Weird/Neat Things
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Weird/Neat Things

The Planet:

(the thing where all the other things are)

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We are a water planet. The oceans are epic and are a huge factor in our world being habitable. They're also super cool!

Ocean Life

The Blue Whale is the largest creature to ever live on this planet. A blue whale weighs 6,000lbs at birth and gains 200lbs per day. This video will tell you a lot about comparative animal size, including dinosaurs. (bonus fact: the breastmilk is so fat it has the consistency of toothpaste)

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Octopuses are astonishingly far away from us evolutionarily, but not cognitively.

They're maybe the closest we'll get to see what an intelligent alien might be like.

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Here are a couple epic octopus camouflage gifs here for you:

(I tried having two amazing octopus gifs in the same toggle, but it was overwhelming, so you'll have to open them individually 🎁)

Octopus plant:
Octopus rock:

[You should maybe also just google and watch octopuses being amazing]

Tide Pooling

Tide Pooling is a magical activity where the ocean recedes for a couple hours and in that time, you can explore the homes of an astounding variety of creatures. Try to go when the tide will be lower than 1 foot. More details on the

page.

Sea urchins (and some other echinoderms including sea stars) have "tube feet" with little suckers on the end that they use to move themselves around and handle potential snacks.

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Other things:

Cashews are a little dangly thing on the bottom of a big tropical fruit

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Giraffe's tongues are prehensile and super long (18-20")

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Pineapples grow on bushes near the ground

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"This is Colossal" is a website full of cool stuff:

e.g. Andy Goldsworth's Magical Land Art (which isn't actually from there, but which is definitely the type of thing that you'd find there)

Hedgehogs:

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There's a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to "Common Misconceptions"

The world has lied to you about bald eagles. In reality, bald eagles have a really weird call. When they show a patriotic bald eagle on a car commercial or at the start of a pundit’s show, as best I can tell, they’re actually playing the call of a red tailed hawk. (I discovered this while in the BWCA — it took me forever to figure out that the weird sounds I was hearing were bald eagles.)

The Universe is SO BIG. Here's an image of the "Ultra Deep Field"

This is a 3D rendering of (what was at least originally) our deepest view into the universe.

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This image contains about 5,500 galaxies. The faintest galaxies are one ten-billionth the brightness of what the human eye can see.

Baby Pandas are the best. The National Zoo has a "Panda Cam" where you can watch them any time day or night as they grow up.

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Grizzly bears are unbelievably fast, even when racing up trees

This mother bear is hanging out with her cub, senses a male nearby and chases him up an enormous tree (and pulls almost all the branches off the tree like it's nothing)

(for those who worry about these things: I don't think either bear is significantly injured in this bout; seems likely that the tree is mortally wounded though...)

Cranberries grow on low bushes/vines on dry land. The reason they’re always depicted in water is that cranberries float, so they flood the cranberry bogs in order to make harvesting easier, and because they have access to water, they also use it to protect the plants in the winter.

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There is a woman, Joy Milne, who can smell diseases, like Parkinson’s, years before the person becomes symptomatic.

Loofah Sponges are actually the insides of a gourd that you can grow yourself!

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You do what you do because of who you are in that exact moment. Because of a short-term memory loss incident, there's an incredible recording of a person having a repeated identical response to noticing she had missed her birthday while unconscious — the implication being that when our minds are configured in a particular way, the same inputs will result in the same outputs. (though normal people's minds are always changing, so don't worry that your fate is sealed!)

Capers are pickled flower buds

And if fried properly, you can get them to blossom! (maybe best if the capers are particularly large?) — I first saw this done by Monique Barbeau on an episode of "In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs"
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This is a cool infographic of countries/land masses (I like what they decided to do with Chile)

Jelle's Marble Runs is a shockingly entertaining YouTube channel where marbles compete while you're treated to a brilliant play-by-play.

Wombat poop is cube-shaped:

The egg that made you was already safely stored in your mother’s ovaries when she was still inside your grandmother. Your egg-half used to be in your grandmother’s pregnant belly and was pretty darn old by the time it started to become baby you.

Your eyes/brain can do incredible things:

Look at the red dot on this woman's nose for 30 seconds. Then look at a simple wall and blink very fast! And then read more about afterimages.

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(this is also fun to do at home in a very dark room/closet: stare into the darkness, have someone flip on the lights and then flip them right back off and see what happens!)

There are some incredible maps out there, including this one, which tracks wind:

And also this one which lets you listen to radio stations around the world: http://radio.garden/ (this one's actually cool enough that I initially just had it on my "Useful Services" page.

There is paint that is super black/reflects almost no light

Black 3.0 and Musou Black (and maybe Vantablack is blacker but unavailable to consumers) — seems like it might be best to airbrush it on.

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Cool stuff about outer space: Ever wondered what __________ would be like in zero gravity? A fantastic Canadian astronaut (who also has a

) answers people’s questions with demonstrations on the international space station.

Want to guess what happens when you wring a wet washcloth out in space? Watch the video to find out whether you got it right.

This is a magical machine that plays music with marbles:

Scorpions glow in blacklight, which means that if you live in a place that might have scorpions, you can acquire a blacklight flashlight, hunt for them after dark, and impress friends & visitors.

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