Fish & Sea mammals
— About 14% of the world’s protein consumption comes from fish.
— Many abyssal creatures (those who live at the bottom of the ocean) glow in the dark, like fireflies.
— The largest recorded blue whale was 33 meters (110 feet) long, about the height of an eleven storey building.
— Manatees, (large marine mammals), have been mistaken for mermaids by some explorers.
— The American alligator is the largest reptile in North America.
— The octopus is considered to be the most intelligent invertebrate. It has complex camera eyes like humans with its optic lobes taking up about 30% of its brain, again the same as humans.
— Starfish don’t have brains.
— Turtles can breathe through their bum holes.
— Albatross drink seawater and only come ashore to lay their eggs and raise their young.
— Coral is a colony of tiny animals that have porous limestone skeletons which can be used for bone repair in humans.
— Coral reefs are home to about 10% of all the fish that people eat.
— Coral reefs cover about one-fiftieth of the ocean floor and are home to around a quarter of all marine species.
— Corals produce a natural sunscreen which chemists are trying to extract for use by humans.
— An ostrichs’ eye is bigger than its brain.
— Ants can lift 50 times their own weight and pull 30 times their own weight.
— Butterflies taste with their feet.
— The fastest land animal in the world is the cheetah.
— Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure.
— Bats are the only mammals capable of true flight.
Humans & other stuff
— A UK company has developed an ice cream containing jellyfish proteins. It glows when you lick it.
— On average every person in the UK throws away their own body weight in rubbish every seven weeks.
— In Lebanon, men are legally allowed to have sex with animals, but only female animals. Sex with a male animal is punishable by death.
Rocks & that
— Most of the ocean floor is made of basalt. This igneous rock continues to flow out of Earth from chains of underwater volcanoes known as “mid-ocean ridges.”
— The most productive volcanic systems on Earth are hidden under an average of 8,500 feet (2,600 m) of water. Beneath the oceans a global system of mid-ocean ridges produces an estimated 75% of the annual output of magma.
Plants, trees, etc
— Stinging nettles produce formic acid which they hold in brittle hollow hairs. When you crush a plant, you break the hairs, causing the acid to burn your skin.
— 441 new species of plants and vertebrates have been discovered in the Amazon rainforest in the last four years alone.
— Mercury appears to be a huge ball of iron covered by a thin layer of rock and thought by many astronomers to be the core of a once larger planet. It takes 59 days to make a rotation but only 88 days to circle the Sun. This means there are fewer than 2 days in a Mercury year.
— The largest volcano in the solar system is on Mars and called ‘Olympus Mons’. It’s around 27 kilometres high with a crater 81 kilometres wide.
— It rains diamonds on Neptune and Uranus.
— On Venus it rains sulphuric acid and snows metal.
— A teaspoon of neutron star weighs more than everyone on earth.
— The wind on Neptune is so fast it breaks the sound barrier.
— The amount of gold in the Earth’s core would cover the entire surface of the planet 1.5 feet deep.
— Every planet except Earth is named after a mythological god or goddess. Seven of the eight planets in the solar system are named after Roman gods but Earth comes from the old English word, ‘ertha’ meaning ground or land.
— About 70 per cent of the planet’s surface is covered with water leaving 30 per cent of land making up the islands and continents.
— The rainforest is huge, the Amazon alone contains one third of the planet’s species.
— There is actually no solid land under the North Pole, it is just sea ice. Imagine if it all melted, how vast that ocean would be.
— If you stood on the North Pole, you’d weigh more than at the equator, due to the varying effect of gravity.