All Facts


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Posted by Science Facts on 25th July 2010

Fact: Deepest Lake In The World ?

Lake Baikal (Baikal) in Siberia, Russia is the deepest lake in the world measuring 1620m deep at its deepest point. This makes it not only deep but also the oldest lake in the world estimated to be around 25 million years old. At over 636 kilometers long and 80 kilometers wide this fresh water lake holds over 20 percent of all the fresh water in the world and is second in size only to the Caspian Sea (the caspian is called a sea but is technically a lake).

To put things into perspective the lake is so big that if all the rivers in the world flowed into its basin it would take almost 1 year to fill. We all know Siberia isn’t the warmest of places so you can imagine what a phenomenal site it is when in the winter months the lake freezes over holding ice up to 115 meters thick. Now that’s a lot of ice!


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Posted by Science Facts on 25th July 2010

Fact: Where Did The Word Robot Come From ?

This is a question we get asked a lot so we thought we’d put people out of their misery. Firstly the word robot comes from the Czech word ‘robotnik‘ which means forced labour or even slave. Watching movies like I Robot, Wall-E and reading various sci-fi novels of the past you’ll quickly see that robots have mostly always been portrayed as helpers and servents of humanity.

It’s only in recent years that the image of robots has been upgraded to sentient beings with minds of their own e.g. transformers and even IRobot.

Anyway the word was first introduced by playwright Karel Capek in his play ‘RUR – Rossum’s Universal Robots‘ and it’s from there that the word and idea became popular. The first robot to be developed was by Joseph Engelberger and George Devol back in 1961 and if you’re imagining a metallic being with 2 arms, 2 legs and a head you can forget it. The first robot was basically a clawed arm that dropped hot steel car parts into water for cooling.

90% of robots today are used in factories, working on production lines and often handling dangerous materials that humans would find difficult or even impossible to handle. Other uses include exploration such as deep sea exploration and mining.


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Posted by Science Facts on 25th July 2010

Fact: What’s The Fastest Possible Speed ?

Well imagine going 500,000 times faster than a concorde and you have a speed nearing 299,792,458 meters per second. This is the speed of light as it travels through a vaccum which is so fast that if you were able to move at this speed you could go around the earth 7 times in just 1 second, now that’s fast!

Obviously the speed of light passing through liquids and solids is slower but even then the speed of light is phenomenal. Many of you may also have heard of the concept of a light year, which represents the distance light would travel in a complete year.

This extraordinary number comes out to around 9,460,000 million kilometres. The term is used extensively in astronomy to measure distances between planets, stars and other celestial bodies. The simple fact of the matter is that distances involved when it comes to discussing the universe are so huge that you need a better unit of measure to make it more understandable.

Lastly those of you who watch too many space movies e.g. star wars, star trek etc and are familiar with concepts like warp speed or hyperspace then you’re probably wondering when we’ll be able to travel at speeds like those shown in the movies. Well the simple answer is it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see anything like that in our lifetime however tolearn more about the research going on in this area you can check out NASA’s section on breakthrough propulsion physics.


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Posted by Science Facts on 20th June 2009

Fact: The Difference Between Insects And Spiders ?

Despite the visual similarities between the two both are actually members of distinct families. Spiders are members of the Arachnid family whilst insects belong to the Insect family. So what makes the two families different ?

Well for starters spiders have 8 legs whilst insects have just 6. Insects have 3 distinct body parts, a head, thorax and abdomen whilst spiders have just 2, a combined head and thorax known as the cephalothorax and an abdomen.

As well as the above, other interesting differences include the eyes. Spiders have simple eyes whilst insects have compound eyes. Spiders have piercing jaws whilst insects have jaws which are more suitable for chewing. All spiders can make silk thread (although not all spiders spin webs) whilst most insects cannot. Spiders can’t fly where as many insects have wings allowing them to do so.

So yes to the untrained eye there is indeed very little visual difference but if you look really hard then they’re actually worlds apart.


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Posted by Science Facts on 19th June 2009

Fact: How Heavy Is The Earth ?

Now despite science coming forward in leaps and bounds the simple question of how much the Earth weighs isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Certainly placing the earth onto a massive set of weighing scales isn’t an option. So how do we measure the total weight of the earth ?

Well scientists initially went about this task by trying to estimate the weight of a very large mountain and then simply scaling that figure up. However this method led to some peculiar results and since then the mathematics and calculations involved have changed taking into consideration further factors such as the volume and overall density of the planet.

If you combine the above with weighted samples of various parts of the planet scientists have come up with a more accurate number which they believe to be around 6 quadrillion kilograms. Mind boggling to say the least but if you think that’s a big number don’t forget to check out our article on the number Googol.


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Posted by Science Facts on 18th June 2009

Fact: What’s A Google ?

When you hear the word Google the first image that comes to mind has to be the famous internet search engine but does the word actually mean anything ? Well the answer is a firm yes because it comes from the term “Googol” which represents a number (written as a 1 followed by 100 zeros) so large that it’s actually larger than the total number of atoms in the known universe.

As you might imagine the number is rarely used except maybe in theoretical and computational calculations, however the big question is whether a number bigger than a Googol exists ? Well funnily enough there is and it’s called a googolplex which would be a number 1 followed by, wait for it not one thousand zeros, not even one million zeros but a googol zeroes.

Getting confused ? Well you should be because this number is so large that it’s almost impossible to imagine and also impossible to write because doing so would require more space than the known universe provides. Absolutely mind boggling don’t you think!

Lastly for those of you that are interested in where this term actually came from, well it was popularized in the 1940’s by the american mathematician Edward Kasner who created it as a useful number when comparing unimaginably large numbers with infinity. Oh and the actual term “googol” was coined by his then 9 year old nephew Milton Sirotta, not bad for a 9 year old!


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Posted by Science Facts on 17th June 2009

Fact: Which Is The Highest Waterfall In The World ?

The highest waterfall in the world is the Angel Falls in Venezuela. At a towering height of 979m did you know that each drop of water takes 14 seconds to fall from the top to the bottom. The water flows from the top of a “Tepui” which is a flat topped mountain with vertical sides.

The waterfall which despite being known to the local indians for thousands of years was originally called the “Churun Meru” but for some reason they were renamed by an American bush pilot called Jimmy Angel, who noticed them in 1935 whilst flying over the area looking for gold.

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