24 Pics Only Science Can Understand

Diply 13 Feb 2018

Explanations are what science is for. This is a good thing, because quite frankly, science has a lot of explaining to do.

There are some weird, freaky things out there! But it's all cool in its own way, too. And the more you go hunting for answers to nature's weirdest things, the cooler it all seems.

1. Ever seen the inside of a deer's mouth? It's not as velvety smooth as you'd expect. 

Reddit | nacrane

Oral papillae made from keratin, the same stuff as your hair and nails, line their cheeks and help them to chew their food. You'll find them in similar animals, like moose, cattle, and camels, too.

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2. Just half an ounce of plastic made this crater in a block of aluminum.

Reddit | [deleted]

It happened to be traveling at 15,000 mph at the time in a simulation of a space-based impact.

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3. In 2012, surgeons implanted the first 3D-printed titanium lower jaw in an 83-year-old woman.

Reddit | GiorgioMD

And she was home from the hospital just four days later. "The surgery time decreases because the implants perfectly fit the patients and hospitalization time also lowers — all reducing medical costs," one of the doctors said.

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4. These large ice crystals formed on a cold day in Switzerland.

Reddit | simplywing

The molecular structure of ice shows up remarkably well here — it forms hexagonal rings that make hopper-shaped crystals, much like bismuth.

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5. What happens when you pass electricity through an acrylic cube? This.

Reddit | JIVEprinting

You've got yourself one amazing paperweight with some unique Lichtenberg figures running through it. Don't try this one at home, kids.

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6. Another Lichtenberg figure, this time all over the ground, was caused by a downed power line.

Reddit | mybustersword

Which should only reinforce the need to leave downed power lines to the professionals.

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7. You don't see transparent fish every day — maybe because they're transparent.

Reddit | Reddit

Sea salps are completely docile and don't sting or bite. But it's rare to find them alone — they typically travel in large groups that have been known to clog up intake pipes and even shut down a nuclear plant.

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8. Looks like a bowl of colorful pebbles, but they're actually plants.

Reddit | mjk1093

Plants also have camouflage! Lithops, which are native to South Africa, evolved to look like stones so grazing animals would overlook them.

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9. Among the many anti-counterfeit measures being added to bills, Canadian money has this cool effect.

Reddit | ShaolinFantastic420

Shine a laser through the maple leaf on the bill, which contains a diffraction grating, and you'll see the denomination reflected.

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10. Optometrists will sometimes use dye to check your eyes for cornea damage.

Reddit | RicePaddyFarmer69

While that dye is active, it can make your eyes glow under a black light, something definitely worth getting a pic of.

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11. The deepest pit in the world is in Krubera Cave, in the country of Georgia (not the state, in case you want to visit).

Reddit | [deleted]

The biggest drop, known as The Big Cascade, goes down 500 feet, and that's not even a tenth of the distance to the bottom of the entire cave.

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12. This Petri dish was cultured after three minutes under a bathroom hand dryer.

Facebook | Nichole Ward

It looks awful, but it's not all that bad, just some spores and mold that are pretty commonplace. Of course, I'll still be using towels when I can.

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13. Further evidence that the future belongs to drones: 1,218 drones were used to form the Olympic rings at the opening ceremonies for the 2018 Pyongchang Winter Games in South Korea.

Twitter | @intel

A pretty impressive display!

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14. Right from the time they are born, snails have shells, but they take time — and, like your bones, a whole lot of calcium — to develop fully. 

Instagram | @litscience

And this is what the shell looks like at a microscopic level after all that development.

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15. Spiders are both cool and scary, and a specimen found preserved in amber shows they used to be even cooler and scarier.

Nature | Bo Wang

This happy fellow, found in a remote area of Myanmar, looks pretty good considering it's 100 million years old. With a tail like that, it's no surprise that spiders and scorpions share their lineage.

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16. Catching a chicken blinking on camera doesn't always look like a blink.

Reddit | chef_psychonaut

Its eye just looks out of focus or blurry because it's blinking using a nictating membrane, which, weirdly enough, works horizontally instead of vertically.

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17. You know that cold air contracts, but how often do you get to see how much it contracts so clearly?

Reddit | SaveDeeCewl

It also demonstrates how diffusion works, with molecules of air slowly leeching out from the high pressure interior of the balloon into the low pressure exterior.

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18. A proud father had to share the X-ray his son got after ingesting a coin and a SIM card ejector tool. 

Reddit | StumpedatUserName

Which looks terribly uncomfortable. Do they frame this now, or what?

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19. Just in case you thought snakes were all about the muscle, here's proof that they're full of bones, too. 

Reddit | allthekos

That is one heck of a skeleton — and check out the teeth on this thing!

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20. We've all heard of lobsters having rare colors that vary from the typical boring brown.

Reddit | Scaulbylausis

About 1-in-2 million lobsters is blue — but half blue, split right down the middle? Apparently at 1-in-50 million, they're not even the rarest. That title goes to albino lobsters, at 1-in-100 million.

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21. Kondyor Massif in Eastern Russia looks like an impact crater or a volcano, but it's not.

Wikimedia Commons | Wikimedia Commons

It's called an "intrusion" in geology, formed when magma crystallizes below the surface. It's five miles in diameter, the site of a huge platinum mine, and is also the source of its own mineral, called Konderite.

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22. If you need further evidence against sharing needles, here's proof that a needle might not be as clean as it looks.

Instagram | @litscience

The red blood cells can't hide from an electron microscope!

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23. Sperm whales sleep vertically, not horizontally.

Reddit | 10gauge

Tails down, noses up, they're known to catch quick naps of 10-15 minutes just like this. In captivity, whales have been observed sleeping with one half of their brain at a time, while the other half does things like swimming, breathing, and communicating.

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24. The largest known animal ever to fly was the Quetzalcoatlus northropi, a model of which is seen here next to a human for scale. 

Reddit | TortoiseJockey

Paleontologists have estimated its weight at up to 570 pounds, with a wingspan of about 34 feet.

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