Each year scientists and researchers continue to perform tests and experiments. They do this to better understand the world around us. So each year, more and more amazing facts are created and they're very interesting! As time goes by, these little bits of information become more and more fascinating. We already think that the world is wonderful but then we hear about these new things which blow our minds!
In this article, we've made a list of the top intriguing facts that we liked in the year 2017. These facts are so cool and they're sure to make you go, "wow, I didn't know that!" Read on to learn these interesting pieces of trivia.
- Bacteria tests have shown that life on Mars could exist today
Early studies made about the planet Mars have shown that, theoretically, certain microbes could survive the harsh environment of the red planet. A majority of these microbes are able to grow in extreme conditions. These are environments which may include sulphate salts (which are found on Mars), perchlorate salts, and even radiation. Despite all these, microbes can still thrive and grow.
The scientists gathered the microbes from environments on Earth which don't have any oxygen. Then, they placed the microbes under conditions akin to the environment of Mars. They did this to see if the microbes would survive, and they did. So right now, they're trying to assess the limits of these microbes before moving forward.
- Given the right amount of time, chemotherapy has the potential to work twice as well
We all know that chemotherapy is a form of treatment for cancer patients. It's a mixture of exposure to radiation and drugs which have anti-tumor characteristics. Chemotherapy works well with some patients but not with others. The reason for this is that it's most effective when a person's body is most receptive.
This means that the right time to administer the treatment varies from person to person. At least, this is according to researchers who are working on chemotherapy. They are trying to understand the daily rhythms of the body. This is to determine the best time to give the treatment. However, this does take time and there's no standard for it.
- Dragonflies from the prehistoric times had wingspans which were 60 centimeters long!
This may seem unbelievable, but it's a fact. Millions of years ago, dragonflies already existed. But they were much bigger than their modern-day counterparts. This must have been quite a sight to behold, especially now that we're used to seeing tiny insects. But why were they so huge?
Scientists believe that dragonflies had wingspans like these because there were very high levels of oxygen back in the Paleozoic era. This was the time when dragonflies had evolved. Apparently, insects such as the dragonfly grown faster when oxygen levels are higher. But as time went by, the levels gradually decreased, along with the sizes of these insects.
- Gold found on Earth may have originated from colliding stars
People find great value in gold, but have you ever wondered where it came from? Gold is a precious element because it's rarely found on Earth as well as in the universe. Unlike other elements, gold cannot be produced within a star. It should come from a more cataclysmic occurrence - such as a collision between stars.
Researchers have observed collisions between stars. During the aftermath, there was a distinct glow which lasted for days at the location of the collision. This glow potentially indicates that substantial quantities of heavy elements were created - including gold.
- The human brain makes adjustments to external signals it gets from the environment to make experiences more reasonable than they actually are
A great example of this is when you watch TV and you experience lip-sync errors. When this happens, the video doesn't match up with the audio and it's quite annoying. But did you know that eventually, your brain will actually adjust the signal to enhance your viewing experience?
As a matter of fact, our brains are always adjusting the external signals we receive from the environment. This makes our experiences more reasonable than they actually are. This fact was discovered by researchers who are trying to understand what human beings perceive as "present." It's part of the research which looks into how the brain processes time and information to be able to predict future occurrences.
- Russians are more perceptive to variations in the color blue
You may not know it, but words and language are very powerful. They even influence how you think and how you perceive things. Back in the 20th century, the idea of linguistic relativity became popular. This concept was focused on the idea that the language we use strongly influences how we think.
This could include how we perceive colors. People from around the world are better at distinguishing certain colors than others. And for the Russians, it's the color blue.
- Meditating modifies a person's brainwaves visibly
Researchers have confirmed this fact. Intensive meditation sessions have an instant and visible effect on the sleeping brainwaves of a person. These results were very useful. They helped the researchers see the bigger picture in terms of how meditation and other mind-training activities can modify our brain.
- Hypersonic jets can go from Brussels to Tokyo in just 2 hours
Usually, a flight from Brussels to Tokyo would take more than 11 hours. But now, this time can be shaved down to just over 2 hours! This is possible because of hypersonic jets. They travel at many times the speed of sound! And now, researchers in Europe are trying to make these super-fast jets.
Imagine how great it would be to travel from one country to another in a shorter span of time. It's a dream, especially for people who love to travel but hate the long flights. What seemed like a concept only seen in movies may soon become a reality.
- Although 67% of e-cigarette smokers shifter to vaping to lessen or eliminate smoking, 45% didn't lessen smoking at all
Nicotine is a harmful substance which comes with a lot of health risks. But this isn't really the main concern when it comes to smoking. It's also the thousands of poisonous chemicals in the smoke when tobacco is burned.
This is probably why people made the change from smoking to vaping. However, vaping isn't very healthy either. This also comes with its own health risks. Also, studies have shown that people who shifted to break the habit aren't successful. In fact, most of them didn't lessen smoking or kick the habit.
- People who run marathons produce proteins which are associated with heart attacks
Dutch researchers have found that right after finishing a marathon or a race, many amateur runners have heightened levels of proteins associated with heart attacks. These proteins are called cardiac troponin. They are typically used to indicate the extent of damage of coronary tissues which are caused by a heart attack. Now, researchers are trying to discover is these elevated levels of proteins in runners actually point to heart damage or whether they are just effects of the physical activity.