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Fence flatworms with their penises and other fun science facts

It sounds like something out of a grimy fairy tale: The mountain shrew visits some species of pitchers to grab a bite of nectar and poop in the plant dresser cup. These plants seem to have evolved so that their openings adapt perfectly under the shrew is behind, and they are strong enough to support the weight of the animal.

It’s a crappy relationship, in the sense that the pitcher plant is actually shit – but the pitcher plant gets nutrients from the deal by extracting them from the shrew’s droppings. “Everything that has led to this is incredible,” said Ethan Kocak, illustrator of the new book True or Poop? The Definitive Field Guide to the Facts and Lies About Dirty Animals. The book, due out in the US on October 23, explores the stories people tell about animals – speaking the real facts and pooping lies. The pitcher toilet is, deliciously, real.

The authors of the book, graduate student in zoology Dani Rabaiotti and postdoctoral researcher Nick caruso, are the same team that brought us the best-selling guide to animal gas, Does it fart?. Corn True or Poop? covers a wider range of topics, from tapeworms fighting with their genitals (true) to the myth that camels store water in their bumps (poo). The team disagrees somewhat on what the book is. really In regards to. Rabaiotti says he covers the poo and coarse habits of animals. But Kocak, the illustrator, says it’s actually a quest for truth.

The mountain shrew, Tupaia montana, pooping in his jug.
Illustration by Ethan Kocak /True or Poop?

Ultimately, the team’s goal is to debunk some of the most common myths surrounding animals – like this, if you cut an earthworm in half, you end up with two earthworms. (You don’t. You just get a sliced ​​worm.) They set out to find the origins of these fictions and supplant them with incredible facts. “You don’t have to make things up about them,” Rabaiotti says. “They’re doing enough weird stuff already.”

Rabaiotti works in the UK, and Caruso and Kocak are both in the US – so even though this is the team’s second book together, they always have never met in person. For this book, too, they relied heavily on tools such as email and Google Docs that allowed them to work together remotely. Caruso says his inbox still hasn’t recovered after last year’s deluge of fart emails. “Now it’s just poo and penises,” he says. “So that’s pretty good. “

The edge talked with Rabaiotti, Caruso, and Kocak about elephants that eat poop, glands adjacent to the anus, and why electric eels are liars.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Were there animal facts that were almost too much gross to include?

Dani Rabaiotti: There was one thing in particular that there was a disagreement between the American and British editors, because our British editor found it so disgusting: that baby elephants would reach for their mother’s buttocks and eat their poo in order to get them. good bacteria in their digestive systems. Our editor just highlighted and just said, “Too rude? ”

Ethan Kocak: I didn’t think I was going to get away with the penis fencing illustration. It’s two flatworms but they fight with penises, and I literally draw them like fences, with the masks and so forth. I didn’t think it was going to do it, but it did.

Hermaphroditic tapeworms can produce both eggs and sperm. They fight with their stretchy and pointed penises, and the loser of the fight gets a cum squirt.
Illustration by Ethan Kocak / True or Poo?

Can we talk about beaver butts? Because I keep hearing that the vanilla-scented secretions from beaver butts flavor my food – but your book tells me that’s usually not true?

Nick Caruso: Yes, there is some fear, because it’s like, “Oh, this substance is produced pretty close to the beaver’s butt – I would describe it as adjacent to the anus – and it’s in your food.” Even if it does, it’s perfectly certain: just because it’s near the buttocks doesn’t mean it’s poo. But also it’s just very expensive. You’re thinking of producing something where you actually have to milk it from an animal to get excretion rather than producing it artificially. It is much easier to not go take some beavers and milk them, their uh –

Rabaiotti: – buttocks!

Why demystify animal myths? What’s the harm in believing that there are beaver butt gland secretions in my vanilla ice cream?

Kocak: In the climate of fake news and all that, I think it’s more important to be truthful and not allow even “harmless” myths. It may not be very funny, but it is how I feel.

Rabaiotti: Even some of the most harmless can change the way a person treats an animal and have a negative impact. For example, many people believe that if you cut an earthworm in half, you end up with two earthworms. If a child believes this, he could cut tons of worms in half. And it’s not cool because you just damaged this animal for no reason.

What turned out to be poop that you thought was true?

Rabaiotti: This vulture poo is disinfectant and it poops on its legs to kill bacteria. But actually, when I read it and talked to vets and vulture experts, they were like, “Oh my god no, vulture poop is really full of horrible bacteria. Don’t touch that thing. It was a bit of a shock to me.

Kocak: I should stop rubbing that in my wounds …

Caruso: I should have known, but in jurassic park, where the T. rex I can’t see you if you stand still. I guess I never really thought about it too much, but I was like, “Why would they lie to me about this?” But that’s not true, they can definitely see you – and even if they couldn’t, they could smell you!

What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned?

Kocak: Parrotfish poop sand. The principle being that the humpback parrotfish eats coral, digests it and poops white sand, and so this is where white sand beaches come from.

Rabaiotti: And that’s true. Not all white sand beaches, especially the Maldives. It must be so uncomfortable being a humpback parrotfish. I’m glad I didn’t have to poop sand.

Kocak: I like the idea of ​​people paying extra money to go and lay on fish crap.

Rabaiotti: For me, the most surprising thing was that platypuses don’t have a stomach. It was the one where I was like, “Noooo, that can’t be true!” And then it was absolutely true. They eat their food and then it passes directly into the intestines without there being a pocket that produces acid. Weird.

Humpback parrotfish poop sand (true).
Illustration by Ethan Kocak / True or Poo?

Were there any myths that puzzled you and made you investigate?

Rabaiotti: The one about the fact that you’re always within six feet of a rat. It was the one where it was like, “Ooh, not sure.”

Caruso: So this myth began in the early 1900s when WR Boelter asked country residents how many rats they saw. He was writing a book on the rat problem. And then he estimated on the basis of this little survey how many rats there are in the whole country. And from there it was like, “Oh [the number of] rats are equal to people all over England. It took some pretty big assumptions that clearly weren’t correct to get these numbers.

Rabaiotti: One of them that I found very difficult to verify was that black widows ate their mates, as many species of spiders share the same name. In the United States, apparently, the species that people call a black widow does not eat its mate, and many spiders in the widow family do not eat their mate, or at least very rarely do. But the Australian widow actually eats her mate most of the time. So it was quite difficult to understand. So we opted for a sort of myth that not all black widows eat their mates. But some do.

A bunch of them – like those fire-born salamanders, or ostriches bury their heads in the sand, or earwigs lay eggs in their ears – come from a Roman naturalist whom you write “was very wrong about. a lot of things ”, right?

Rabaiotti: Three words: Pliny the Elder. He invented so many of these myths. Every time you think to yourself, “Oh, I wonder where this myth came from? It’s like, “And then Pliny the Elder made it up.” Basically he just wrote this really big book about the natural kingdom, but that was around the time when they were almost looking for morality in animal behavior. He sort of merged animal behavior according to his agenda at the time, which meant that not everything was quite right. Classical Pliny.

Caruso: We are cursing Pliny as we write this. Waving our fists to the sky.

Are there any that you are just devastated to find out that are wrong?

Kocak: Electric eels not being eels. I am crushed. It is a beautiful fish.

Caruso: Didn’t you draw it by saying “liar” in electricity?

Kocak: I did.

Rabaiotti: That’s how crushed Ethan was.

Did you learn anything by posting Does it fart? has it changed your approach to this book?

Kocak: Don’t shout “asshole” in an interview.

Rabaiotti: I obviously did not learn that …

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12 amazing science facts you probably didn’t know

We all had the same science lessons in high school. We’ve learned how to dissect a frog and that mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell, but they haven’t taught us everything. Whether you’re feeling a little nostalgic for your high school science class or just need some random new facts for your next conversation, here are some science facts that will absolutely blow your mind.

Antigravity helium

We all know that helium in its gaseous form is lighter than air: it fills our balloons and makes our voices squeak. Did you know that it also has anti-gravitational properties when in liquid form? Supercooled helium has two different liquid forms.

The first type, Helium 1, occurs between -455 and -452 degrees Fahrenheit, where it is almost impossible to see. The second type happens when it’s colder than 2.18 Kelvin and that’s when things get weird.

Helium supercooled below 2.18K ceases to obey the laws of gravity. It turns into a superfluid that can climb up the walls and come out of its container. Supercooled helium is as close to a frictionless material as we have discovered so far.

Flame retardant DNA

DNA isn’t the kind of substance you normally associate with flame retardant, but researchers have found that treating cotton fabric with DNA made it more flame retardant.

This is due to the DNA itself. DNA molecules contain phosphate. When heated, phosphate replaces the water naturally present in cotton fibers with phosphoric acid, which is more heat resistant than fibers alone. Now, we’re not suggesting treating your tissues with genetic material, but it’s a nice little treat to ditch at the parties.

Source: Pixabay

Not enough blood

The average human body contains between 1.2 and 1.5 gallons of blood. That’s why you can give a pint every now and then without hurting yourself. However, you wouldn’t want a baby to donate blood. When a newborn is born, it only have 0.007 gallons of blood in their body, assuming the baby weighs eight pounds at birth. That’s less than an ounce of blood!

A Pythagorean disorder

Do you remember the Pythagorean theorem? A squared plus B squared equals C squared to find the hypotenuse of a triangle. It’s probably one of the few things you remember from your algebra class because your teacher spent so much time shoving it in your head.

Instead of doing the math, you can prove the theorem with water. All you need is a triangle, three square containers the same thickness as the triangle, and a circular platform to attach them. By filling both sides of the triangle with water – A and B – then turning the platform upside down, the water on both sides will exactly fill the container on the third side – side C.

Watch it here if you don’t believe us.

12 amazing science facts you probably didn't know
Source: Pixabay

Cat physics

We all know cats always land on their hind legs, but it’s not just because of some crazy magic, it’s because of physics.

When you drop a cat, it instinctively retracts its front legs and extends its rear legs. This creates positive body rotation in the front and negative body rotation in the back. Essentially, the cat can use the two parts of his body separately to make sure he always lands on his feet. By creating two different types of spin, it can spin in the air very quickly. With the front legs turned down, it can easily pull its rear legs into the right position to allow it to land on its feet.

Brain Freeze Twister Tongue

We’ve all had a brain freeze at one time or another – you drink a cold drink or eat an ice cream cone too quickly, and you have an instant headache. Here’s a nice little treat to drop into the conversation, but it will take a bit of practice to get it right.

Repeat this – Ganglioneuralgia sphenopalatine. That is to say scientific name for that brain freeze that causes headaches. If you do get one, press your tongue against the roof of your mouth to reduce the pain and get back to your frozen treat much faster.


No one likes being bitten by a spider or being stung by a bee unless you are an addict. The title may make you think of a 90s comic book supervillain, but the toxin is a new kind of science trying to turn the venom of snakes, bugs, and arachnids into pain relievers.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be bitten or stung to experience the benefits of these pain relievers. Just take a pill or take a shot and you are good to go. If you ever need a really exciting job title for your first blind date, think call you a toxiner – just make sure you know enough about the topic to back it up.

12 amazing science facts you probably didn't know
Source: Pixabay

Don’t drop your phone

There is nothing worse than dropping your phone in the bathroom. Even if you have a waterproof case on it, it’s still gross. Thanks to some scientists, you might want to drop your phone in the toilet more often. New research has now found a way to charging cell phones while peeing in an electric battery designed to use minerals from your urine to generate electricity.

About 2.5 cups of urine is enough to charge a cell phone for three hours. Kill two birds with one stone by charging your phone in the bathroom without ever having to plug it into the wall.

Hold your breath

Always wanted to explore an awe-inspiring underwater environment, but felt bored of having to keep searching for air or lugging around a big tank of oxygen? Scientists have discovered an oxygen nanoparticle that allows you to live up to 15 minutes both without breathing.

It’s not like injecting oxygen into your bloodstream, which is stupid and could kill you if the bubbles reach your heart or brain. These particles are suspended in a liquid but carry enough oxygen so that the injected rabbits can survive for up to 15 minutes with their airways blocked. This is not a permanent solution – fresh nanoparticles need to be infused into the bloodstream at regular intervals to ensure that there is enough oxygen for the body to keep functioning. However, holding your breath for ten minutes or more could be a great party trick!

12 amazing science facts you probably didn't know
Source: Pixabay

Dance in the rain

We all try to eat a healthy diet and take supplements on a daily basis to make sure we get all the vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy. Instead of taking that vitamin B12 supplement, why not just dance in the rain?

Rain is the last part of the water cycle – water falls, is absorbed into the soil where it takes up natural vitamins and minerals, then evaporates in heat and sunlight before returning to the ground. rain. Scientists have found that microorganisms in the air and on surfaces such as roofs can create vitamin B12 as a metabolic by-product.

It may not be enough to supplement your diet or replace your vitamin pills, but do we need an excuse to get out and dance in the rain?

13 inspirational Einstein quotes that Einstein never said

Radioactive sunflowers

Sunflowers are beautiful. Their bright yellow flowers reach five feet or more in the air, and their seeds are some of the tastiest snacks. These beautiful plants can and are also used to cleanse radiation.

Sunflowers are known as hyperaccumulators in the scientific community. They absorb large amounts of chemicals or toxic materials and store them in their tissues. These chemicals are stored in the stems and leaves of plants. They grow so fast that a field contaminated with radioactive material can to have cleaned in three to four years.

It may take a little longer than traditional cleaning methods, but it is much easier to get rid of a field of sunflowers than it is to dig up and move contaminated soil.

Folding paper

You probably know that you can’t fold a piece of paper in half more than eight times, regardless of the size of the paper. Even with a piece of paper the size of an airplane hangar, the Mythbusters could not handle more than 11 folds with a steamroller and a forklift in their arsenal. But what if you managed to fold a piece of paper more than eight or 11 times?

When you fold a sheet of paper in half, you double its thickness. The medium piece of paper is approximately 0.0039 inch thick. Bending it ten times gives it roughly the thickness of your hand. If you could bend it 23 times, the thickness increases up to a kilometer. 30 folds put you in orbit 100 kilometers away. 51 folds will reach the sun, and you will get a piece of paper larger than the observable universe with 103 folds.

Are you not happy that you can only fold a piece of paper eight times?

12 amazing science facts you probably didn't know
Source: Pixabay

Blow someone else’s mind

If you have nothing to say at your next party, you weren’t looking for enough. Go ahead and re-read this article – we’ll wait. Hope you have learned something new and have some interesting facts in your arsenal to wow your friends and wow them.

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Dr Alex impresses with scientific facts before hilarious ‘flossing’ lesson on Love Island takes

The doctor taught Jack a thing or two before taking in any new information himself.

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Love Island: Alex learns to floss – and he loves it

Dr Alex George, aka Dr Do-More, became both a teacher and student by teaching Jack Fincham a thing or two about our brains, before Josh Denzel taught him to “floss”.

In unseen footage of the villa, the doctor chatted with his companion and Wes Nelson in the hot tub, where they discussed how their brains work in terms of vision and treatment.

Soon after, Alex and Josh got down to flossing in the kitchen, and the NHS worker quickly picked up on the whimsical dance movement sweeping the country.

In his conversation with Jack, he told the pen salesman that our eyes don’t really see in 3D, but see everything as flat, and our brains make us believe things have more dimensions.

Jack was completely stunned, demanding, “Why did you tell me that? I can’t believe it!”

Alex continued: “And some buildings in London are playing on that – your brain is trying to tell you it can’t be flat.”

Wes chuckled hysterically as his friend Jack seemed to question his own existence while contemplating such an amazing scientific idea.

The laughter continued later as Josh clashed with Alex to teach him a valuable lesson: how to floss.

Samira Mighty had given the boys a little dance lesson before, choreographing a routine for them to learn and perform by the pool.

But Josh wanted to improve the Doctor’s game and showed him how to bring down the dance craze for the next time he went to clubs.

Alex’s limbs were all on his hips as he tried to master the movements, but soon he started to understand and tried to increase his speed.

He exclaimed, “I’m flossing, buddy! The doctor is flossing!”

Islanders loved her excitement, declaring the statement as her new best quote in the series.

While the doctor might have had a bit of a cheesy moment here, another being when he explained all the new phrases he learned such as “peng sort” and “creps” he played it cool. in the coupling department and bagged new girl Ellie Brown.

She seemed charmed by his intelligence, even to the point where she told newcomer Zara McDermott that she needed him to give her a “penis-cillin” shot.

But will he really be her type on paper?

Love Island airs weekdays and Sundays from 9 p.m. on ITV2.

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Scientific facts that ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ ignored

“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is full of incorrect dino-representations. Everything from the colors of the dinosaurs to their roars, and even their lack of feathers, here are five things that “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” breathed in. Here is a transcript of the video.

Jurassic World’s latest installment is upon us like a hungry T-Rex, that doesn’t have feathers, for some reason. Here are some things Hollywood is still wrong about dinosaurs.

Many dinosaurs had feathers, bBut the dinosaurs of “Jurassic World” are covered in scales. Like crocodiles and lizards. Maybe they made an effort to stick some feathers on this dinosaur, but even if they did, it’s not even a real animal. It’s a hybrid of two different species, which brings us to our next point …

Genetics don’t work that way. Of course, similar species can reproduce. This is how you get a liger (Lion + Tiger). But the Indoraptor is not like a liger. It is a mixture of a type of tyrannosaurus and raptor. Of them very different kinds of animals. Rather, it would be like trying to raise a lion with a Wolf, instead of. It just won’t happen. DNA is not compatible.

The dinosaurs didn’t roar. In the first “Jurassic World”, The roar of T. rex consisted of a mixture of animal sounds and it looks pretty similar in the new movie. But dinosaurs don’t roar like a lion. They are related to birds. Which means their voice box was probably similar to that of a bird.

The birds of prey had wings. First of all, the raptor’s hands didn’t fall like this. In reality, this would only happen if their wrists were broken. In truth, raptors, like birds today, had wings. They couldn’t fly. But the shape of the wing means their arms looked nothing like this.

The dinosaurs were colorful. Yes, the dinosaurs in “Jurassic World” are way too boring. Of course, earth tones like green and brown are common among reptiles today. But paleontologists have discovered that dinosaurs present themselves in a kaleidoscope of bright colors just like the birds of today. Some even had shiny, iridescent feathers!

We got it, Hollywood, T-rex is scarier with its iconic roar. And velociraptors look more vicious without those ridiculous feathers. But come on! You could at least add a little more color. Maybe next time.

This video was made in large part thanks to paleontologist Steve Brusatte, author of “The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs”.

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22 mind-boggling science facts we didn’t know in early 2017 – the National Student

Did you know that scientists have invented a whole new state of matter called time crystals? Or that the adorable faces of pugs are the result of a genetic mutation?
Here are some of the impressive scientific facts we learned in 2017:
1. A human organ that no one knew has been hiding in plain sight all this time. Called mesentery, it connects the intestine to the abdomen and is believed to perform important functions for the body, ranging from helping the heart to helping the immune system.
2. Earth appears to have a whole new underground continent called Zelandia. The discovery itself is not new – some geologists have argued for its existence for many years. However, in 2017, a team of scientists concluded that Zealandia met all the requirements to be considered a drowned continent.

3. The cute little flat faces of pugs are the result of a genetic mutation. Their characteristics have been strongly linked to a genetic variant called SMOC2.
4. For the first time in human history, gene editing has been performed to correct a mutation of an inherited disease in embryos. Using a powerful tool called Crispr-Cas9, scientists have succeeded in altering the DNA of defective embryos so that they are no longer programmed to develop congenital heart failure.
5. Your Annex may not be a useless organ after all. Research suggests that it may play a role in the immune system as a secondary defensive organ, acting as a “safe home” for helpful gut bacteria.
6. Giant penguins about the size of an adult man who waddled around New Zealand about 59 million years ago.

This fidget spinner is tiny (ORNL / PA)
This fidget spinner is tiny (ORNL / PA)

7. The smallest in the world spinning top is 100 microns wide. It is smaller than the width of a human hair and is barely visible to the naked eye.
8. The lungs do more than help us breathe – a surprising finding has revealed that they do too some blood. It is believed that the organ, found in mammals, produces more than 10 million platelets (small blood cells) per hour.
9. A new state of matter exists (alongside solid, liquid and gas) and it is known as time crystals. Created in the laboratory, the extremely hard-to-grasp time crystals are structures that repeat themselves periodically in time rather than in space, potentially defying the laws of physics.
10. Great apes, including chimpanzees and orangutans, absolutely dislike music anything. Research has shown that they cannot tell the difference between Beethoven and Bieber, and music is just meaningless sound to them.

Dinosaur family tree needs to be redesigned (Owen Humphreys / PA)
Dinosaur family tree needs to be redesigned (Owen Humphreys / PA)

11. The dinosaur the family tree may need to be redesigned for the first time in 130 years. New evidence has revealed that the two categories of dinosaurs – lizard-hip meat eaters (like T. Rex) and plant-loving bird-hip beasts (like Stegosaurus) – should actually be lumped together. , making you question everything you’ve ever learned. about these animals that disappeared from school.
12. Humans have accidentally created a protective bubble around the Earth. Decades of use of very low frequency radio communications (VLF) have resulted in an artificial cocoon that could help protect the planet from solar flares and radiation particles.
13. Precious metals on earth, like gold and platinum, can come from the stars. Scientists confirmed this after detecting a titanic collision of two super dense neutron stars 130 million light years from Earth.
14. The Kepler-90 star system has as many planets as our own solar system, making us on par with the largest number of planets revolving around a single star known to date. By combining data from the Kepler Space Telescope with Google’s artificial intelligence system, NASA discovered an eighth planet – called Kepler-90i – which astronomers missed in their previous analysis.

Panda GIF - Find and share on GIPHY

15. Pandas are black and white because their patterns are a combination of communication and camouflage, according to a study published in Behavioral ecology.
16. The moon once had a atmosphere. Recent tests of lunar samples collected by Apollo astronauts reveal that volcanic eruptions that occurred around four billion years ago released billions of tons of gas. As gases were produced faster than they could escape into space, an atmosphere formed. The gases eventually got lost in space.
17. Scientists could finally find out why eggs come in different forms, and apparently everything is due to the bird’s ability to fly. It seems that the best fliers are those that lay more “pointed” or elliptical shaped eggs, while the others are more likely to lay rounded or oval shaped eggs.
18. It is theoretically possible to go back and forth in time. Two physicists developed a mathematical model for a time Machine based on Einstein’s theory of relativity (which was proven in 2015), that gravitational fields are caused by distortions in the structure of space and time. What holds us back is that the technology that can physically fold this space-time fabric has yet to be invented.

Animated GIF - Find and share on GIPHY

19. Harvard scientists have stored a Animated gifs of a galloping horse in the DNA of bacteria, using the Crispr-Cas9 tool.
20. Bees have been shown to understand the concept of zero. Scientists discovered it after training insects to count shapes, following previous research that found they could count to four.
21. Humans are still evolving. Researchers who have tracked eight million mutations have found that a number of genes – like the one that predisposes you to Alzheimer’s disease – are gradually filtered out of human DNA.
22. There are aliens dust particles on your roof. They are called micrometeorites and measure around 400 microns. More than 100 billion micrometeorites are said to fall on Earth each year.

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