Weird science facts are not only fun to learn, but they help us to better understand our existence. Better yet, research shows that those who are curious about the oddities of this world are happier people!
If you're hoping to be a little more joyful, then take a look at these crazy, funny, and downright strange science facts that will boggle your mind while building your brain.
Gamers Are Better Decision Makers
Turns out that limiting your child's screen time might have some pitfalls. Researchers at Georgia State University "found that video game players were faster and more accurate with their responses" compared to non-players. The hope is that this information can be used to create cognitive training tools to help a person improve their task performance skills.
Sharks, Snakes, and Crocodiles Never Stop Growing
You may think that the Megalodon and Anaconda movies were a bunch of malarkey, but zoologists note that unlike humans, these creatures have the ability to grow throughout the entirety of their lives! Termed 'indeterminate growth', this condition is common with cold-blooded creatures.
These animals grow at a rapid pace when they are young, just like we do, but they continue to slowly grow until the day they die. This is why you see those jaw-dropping photos of these nightmarish creatures reaching lengths of 20-30+ feet!
There Is an Animal With a Four-Headed Penis
Talk about being ahead of the game -- this odd trait belongs to the adorable Australian animal, the echidna. Why do these little guys have such a Medusa-like member? These four heads actually work as two penises based on their tissue composition.
Scientists note that "by alternating the use of each side, our tame echidna can ejaculate 10 times without significant pause, potentially allowing him to out-mate less efficient males."
Dog enthusiasts of the 90s and early 2000s are familiar with the precious Puggle, but what you may not know is that baby Echidnas also called Puggles.
Echidnas and platypuses are the only two mammals that have young that hatch from an egg.
The Corpse Flower's Core Can Warm Up to the Same Temperature as the Human Body
Most people have heard of the corpse flower, and as the name implies, this giant plant (which can reach up to 8 feet tall) puts off quite the odor: one that is reminiscent of rotting flesh. While many people assume that this putrid feature is to attract prey, it is actually meant to draw in pollinators! Since dung beetles and flesh flies love a fresh corpse, this makes for an appealing pit stop.
This crazy science fact gets weirder though, because this plant actually mimics a human body by heating up its core to 98 degrees. This process is called thermogenesis, and it only draws these insects in more!
It stays open for a mere 24 to 36 hours, so the stench won't stick around for too long! However, this is not the only stinky smelling plant out there. This family of flowers also includes the eastern skunk cabbage, the dead-horse arum, and the elephant foot yam.
The corpse flower only smells when it blooms, which happens once every seven to nine years.
Grabbing the Wrong Gourd This Fall Could Give You 'Squash Hands'
Imagine your hands turning bright red, swelling, blistering, and becoming unbearably itchy within a matter of minutes. This unbearably uncomfortable condition has been termed 'squash hands.' It occurs when a person has a reaction to a mystery compound that is found primarily on the skin of zucchinis, pumpkins, and butternut squash.
Yes, we did say 'mystery.' Scientists still don't know what causes this form of contact irritant dermatitis and not every gourd will give you this unsightly gift, making the situation even more puzzling. In fact, you can go years, if not decades, without a reaction.
Dermatopathologist Dr. Michelle Tarbox notes that the riper the gourd, the safer you will be, but if you are prone to skin conditions like eczema, you might be extra cautious when handling these favored fall fruits.
A Lone Star Tick Bite Can Make You Allergic to Red Meat
This strange science fact is not only true, it's scary! The Lone Star Tick is native to the southeastern and eastern United States and if you manage to get bit by one of these little pests, you may be saying goodbye to that mouthwatering barbecue that's a staple in the south.
The name comes from the silvery spot on its back that some claim looks like the great state of Texas (as a native Texan I would tend to disagree), but it is definitely a bug that Texans and other steak-loving folks desperately want to avoid.
The Mayo Clinic notes that this occurs because "the bite transfers a sugar molecule called alpha-gal into the body. In some people, this triggers a reaction from the body's defenses, also called the immune system. It causes mild to severe allergic reactions to red meat, such as beef, pork or lamb." This is officially referred to as Alpha-gal Syndrome.
Green Apples Can Make You Less Claustrophobic
Researchers have found that the smell of green apples can change your perception of space. Neurologist Alan Hirsch stated that this feeling of being in a bigger space is due to the fact that some foods, like green apples and cucumbers, bring about feelings of well-being.
This helps to reduce anxiety, and therefore calms claustrophobia. Sadly though, for claustrophobic barbecue lovers, the same experiment found that barbecue smoke had the opposite effect.
Your Child's Dislike of Bitter Foods Is a Built-In Defense Mechanism
Ever wonder why it's so hard to coax your kids to eat their vegetables? Options like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale all put off a bitter flavor, and it turns out, the dislike of this flavor at a young age is part of our basic biology.
Scientists theorize that this trait helps to protect them from ingesting poisons. Over time, as we learn what and what not to put in our mouths, our bodies and taste buds change and those flavors become less offensive. This normally occurs in adolescence.
Shopping in Heels Can Help You Save Money
For those folks who wear heels often, you have likely improved your equilibrium without even realizing it! Interestingly enough, scientists have found that the heightened physical sensation of balance helps you to choose "compromise options," aka the better bargains. So if you are looking to save, maybe slip on some slingbacks before strutting out the door!
Exercising While Pregnant Can Bring Cognitive Developments for Baby
As hard as it can be to muster the energy to get up and get moving while pregnant, it turns out that it is definitely worth the effort! Not only does it decrease your risk of preeclampsia and a cesarean birth, it also boosts your baby's brain function!
Heavy Rains Can Cause Earthworms to Wriggle to the Surface
It might look like a scene from Fear Factor, but when heavy rains are occurring in your area, you might see a befuddling sight -- earthworms wriggling to the surface. What causes this strange science fact to occur?
There is actually a very simple explanation to this startling piece of weather trivia. They don't want to suffocate! Just like other animals, earthworms can die from waterlogging, so they come to the surface when the conditions underground are too saturated.
Soaking in Blue Light at Night Can Make You Gain Weight
Turns out, when we indulge in our favorite programs and scroll on our preferred apps at night, we are making ourselves fatter. This crazy science fact seems ridiculous, but researchers have found that the exposure to regular artificial light at night can cause women to put on the pounds.
In fact, the study showed that subjects who slept with their televisions on or even kept a closet light lit gained 11 pounds or more! Oh, and this increase happened over a year. Why does this occur? Blue light impacts your melatonin levels, which changes your circadian rhythms. This can impact your eating habits during the day.
For those who need noise to sleep, consider a sound machine or turn on an audio book and flip off those lights!
Your Dog's Kisses Could be Making You Sick
Those slobbery smooches are great, but pet parents who are feeling under the weather should probably think twice before getting a kiss on the mouth from their furry friends. Many people don't realize that antibiotic resistant bacteria is lurking in their pet's saliva and these pathogens can cross between pets and their humans. While not all of this bacteria impacts us, most folks are familiar with Salmonella and E. coli -- and these pathogens are present most of the time.
Does this mean no more kisses from your fluffy friends? Not necessarily. On regular days, it's likely fine, but when you are sick and your immune system is compromised, it might be best to say steer clear of any smooches. Immunocompromised individuals may want to do this all the time.
Your dog's food and water bowls are dirtier than you think. Most are housing E. coli, staph, and even C. diff. Washing these containers daily can help to limit the bacteria in their mouths.
Wearing Red Makes You a Mosquito Target
Who knew that your wardrobe could matter so much! This weird science fact is backed by a study that found certain species of mosquitoes are more likely to fly "toward specific colors, including red, orange, black and cyan." When you think about it, it actually seems obvious that they prefer these shades because everyone's skin has some sort of red-orange pigment.
Conversely, purple, green, blue, and white are ignored by gallinippers. However, if you feel that even with the right clothing colors, you are still a mosquito magnet, know that these little vampires are also attracted to folks with type O blood, individuals who are pregnant, and those who are active.
Bloody Marys Always Taste Better in the Sky
No, it's not the stress of flying that makes that first sip of a bloody mary such a delicious relief. Food experts have found that our sense of taste is compromised in loud environments, like on airplanes. More specifically, this is "specific to sweet and umami tastes, with sweet taste inhibited and umami taste significantly enhanced."
What you may not know is that Umami is the taste of glutamic acid. Tomatoes are brimming with this compound, especially when they are ripe. This makes tomato juice a delectable choice when flying!
If You Have a Latex Allergy, You Could Become Allergic to These Foods at Any Time
Did you know that latex contains some of the same proteins found in avocados, kiwis, bananas, peaches, tomatoes, and potatoes? Allergies are triggered when a person has an adverse reaction to the proteins found in that organic substance.
Scientists note that "approximately 30-50% of individuals who are allergic to natural rubber latex (NRL) show an associated hypersensitivity to some plant-derived foods, especially freshly consumed fruits." This is called the latex-fruit syndrome.
Never had a reaction to these foods before? That doesn't make you any less susceptible. If your body goes through an extreme immune response due to an illness or pregnancy, it can cause mild sensitivities to become full-blown allergies. Worried? Keep some Benadryl on hand!
Astronauts Cannot Burp in Space
This is one of our favorite funny science facts! On Earth, excess gas moves to the top of the stomach and is released through a person's mouth when they need to belch. However, in space, the lack of gravity causes the food, liquids, and gas to combine and stay all mixed together. This makes it impossible to burp in space!
The Bigger the Brain, the Longer the Yawn
Yep, that's right. The bigger your brain, the longer that it takes for you to yawn! Well, it is actually the greater the number of cortical neurons that dictate this length of time, but the way we said it first sounds better.
Yawning is an involuntary action that is designed to make you more alert, and because bigger brains need more blood flow to address this need, the yawn needs to be longer. Cool, right?
Weird Science Facts Are Just the Beginning
If you enjoyed this list of weird science facts, make sure to check out our funny weird facts to get a giggle or two! Learning is always best when it's fun; these factoids are guaranteed to make you chuckle (and might even make you blush)!