This First Photo Was Taken Just Before He Went To Bed. When He Woke Up The Next Day… My God.

You may think your town gets hit hard in the winter, but it”s nothing compared to what Reddit user awesomesauce1414 gets. There is a town in Russia named Kamchatka that gets so much snowfall during the winter, you can”t see cars or buildings. Every day is a blizzard.

Welcome to Russia.

This is what a normal street in Kamchatka may look like before bed.

This is what a normal street in Kamchatka may look like before bed.

In the morning, you”d be hard pressed to find your own car.

In the morning, you

This kind of snowfall is completely normal.

This kind of snowfall is completely normal.

Just a normal day in Russia…

Just a normal day in Russia...

Even once you dig out your car (and make it out of a 5 story building covered in snow), actually getting to a road would be tricky.

Even once you dig out your car (and make it out of a 5 story building covered in snow), actually getting to a road would be tricky.

As you can see by these photos, street cleaning is a harrowing job.

As you can see by these photos, street cleaning is a harrowing job.

When the roads are “cleared” there is only room for one car.

When the roads are

So, driving across town may literally take all day, since you”ll need to back out and let other cars pass.

So, driving across town may literally take all day, since you

Because of how the mountains and valleys are in this town, the massive amount of snowfall happens every year.

Because of how the mountains and valleys are in this town, the massive amount of snowfall happens every year.

The tractor looks tiny, but it”s actually giant.

The tractor looks tiny, but it

She seems happy, but she is actually overwhelmed with snow-depression.

She seems happy, but she is actually overwhelmed with snow-depression.

Then, once the snow starts to melt…

Then, once the snow starts to melt...

The townspeople can look forward to massive flooding.

The townspeople can look forward to massive flooding.

After all, the snow has to go somewhere.

After all, the snow has to go somewhere.

Welcome to Russia.

Welcome to Russia.

Kamchatka receives so much snow because of the unique location of the town between the mountains, causing an abnormal amount of snowfall. It”s completely normal for the town to experience multiple blizzards every winter and then, every spring, be subject to massive amounts of flooding.


Note to self: don”t go to Kamchatka.


This Looks Like It’s From An Alien Planet, But It Happens All The Time On Earth

If you never sat on the dank forest ground and waited for something to grow, then you have no idea how cool it is to watch these fungi come into being. These mushrooms pop out of the ground in such fascinating ways. Just when you think you”ve seen it all, a new one rises up and does something that will have you in complete awe. If I didn”t know any better, I would think that these incredible transformations were happening on a distant planet. They”re that freaky.

What? How does that even happen?

What? How does that even happen?

I definitely did not see that coming.

I definitely did not see that coming.

Sorry, pine cones. Looks like someone else wanted the spotlight.

Sorry, pine cones. Looks like someone else wanted the spotlight.

Those came from that little space? Crazy.

Those came from that little space? Crazy.

Okay, that”s definitely an alien, right?

Okay, that

These looks like nuclear bombs going off.

These looks like nuclear bombs going off.

Keeping it nice and simple.

Keeping it nice and simple.

Far out.

Far out.

I know they”re just mushrooms, but I definitely don”t want to run into those two in a dark alley.

I know they

Nature”s tiny cocktail umbrellas.




(via BoredPanda)

These are beyond cool. They make you wonder about other alien-like things on Earth that we never think about. Take squash, for example. I mean, what is that?


This Man Shot Himself In The Face. 17 Years Later, Hes Being Photographed For GQ.

Richard Norris isnt the first person whos undergone plastic surgery to model for a popular magazine, but he is the only one to grace the glossy pages after a full face transplant. Nearly two decades after a gun blast removed his nose to his chin, Norris posed for the camera of GQ photographer Dan Winters. The pictures were taken for the fascinating profile by Jeanne Marie Laska, which documents Norris full facial transplant story.

Norris, who underwent the risky surgery in 2012, is only the 23rd person in the world to have this procedure. While there are still many things he cannot do–the risk of facial seizures prohibits him from driving–theres no denying that the operation was a success.

Before The Surgery

Before The Surgery

After The Surgery

After The Surgery

(via GQ)

Some medical advancements seem just like miracles. Share this post, and Richard”s amazing new face, by using the buttons below.


10 Misconceptions About Modern Earth


Ever since Apollo 8 showed us a big blue marble rising above the lunar horizon, people have wanted to know all they could about Earth. Today, scientists know a lot more, but not every details makes it into the public ear. This means what we hear isn’t exactly what they’re trying to convey, but it’s close enough that everyone misunderstands each other perfectly.

10Mount Everest Is Moving Sideways, Not Up


Fifty million years ago, the Indian subcontinent decided that it didn’t like the neighborhood south of the Equator and headed north. It eventually smashed into Asia, raising the Himalayan mountain range—including Mount Everest—during the process. Today, at almost 9 kilometers (5.6 mi) high, Everest is Earth’s tallest mountain that is above sea level. Since the India-Asia collision is ongoing, it’s still rising, right?

Wrong, say scientists who have meticulously measured the mountain’s height. Giorgio Poretti, a University of Trieste professor, learned in 1995 that Mount Everest is not actually rising at a meaningful rate—better instruments have simply improved the accuracy of height measurements. Instead, Poretti says, the ongoing continental collision between India and Asia is actually moving Everest northeast at a rate of 42 millimeters (1.6 in) a year.

So on your next Everest trek, you will climb up roughly the same number of meters that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay did in 1953. However, you will be doing it almost 3 meters (10 ft) to the north-northeast of where they achieved their record-breaking success.

9Mauna Loa Is The Tallest Mountain In The World


Speaking of Mt. Everest—it’s not actually the tallest mountain on Earth. Mauna Loa (which translates to “Long Mountain“) is part of the island of Hawaii. It doesn’t look anywhere near as tall as Everest, but that’s only because it is mostly submerged, and all we can see are their summits.

From summit to base, Mauna Kea measures a little over 10.2 kilometers (6.3 mi), which makes it much taller than Everest. In addition, Mauna Loa brings more weight to the game and that makes all the difference. About half of the Island of Hawaii is part of Mauna Loa. Volcanoes like Mauna Loa are called “shields” because they are wide and have a low profile like, well, a shield. They form when a volcano erupts lava at a very high rate. Molten rock pours out of Mauna Loa so quickly, it has little time to do anything other than pile up and cool.

Mauna Loa has had frequent eruptions for up to a million years and is still very active. You get a lot of volcano with a million years’ worth of output: 80,000 cubic kilometers (50,000 cubic mi) in fact. The Pacific Ocean is about 5 kilometers (3 mi) deep at the spot where Mauna Loa first started erupting. The big lava pile eventually pushed the mountain another 4.17 kilometers (2.59 mi) above sea level.

But there’s more. Mauna Loa’s massive weight has depressed the sea floor down another 8 kilometers (5 mi). Taking that into consideration, this volcano is over 17 kilometers (10.5 mi) high, making it by far the tallest mountain on Earth.

8Tornadoes Are Invisible


Everybody runs for shelter when they see a tornado coming, but how is it that we can see the tornado in the first place? Air is invisible, after all. Well, technically speaking, what we see is actually a condensation cloud made of water droplets and sometimes dirt and debris. It forms inside the invisible funnel of moving air that is the actual tornado.

Tornadoes typically originate in supercells—thunderstorms that look awesome and have a rotating updraft. No one is quite sure what starts the funnel moving downward from the supercell to the ground. It may be related to temperature differences along the edge of the nearby downdraft. Water vapor usually condenses inside the rotating funnel of air as it descends from the supercell, but tornadoes can and do start wreaking havoc on the ground long before the funnel has completely formed.

For instance, here’s a tornado on the ground with the funnel cloud only partly condensed. If this was heading your way and you didn’t see the debris, you might just stand there watching the natural drama. This could be a fatal mistake.

7Clouds Weigh Tons


There are few things prettier than fluffy white clouds floating in a blue sky. We tend to think of such clouds as having no more substance than fog.

However, clouds are actually pretty hefty. The average cumulus cloud—made out of water droplets—weighs 550 metric tonnes (500 tons). Such a hefty behemoth can float because the atmosphere around it is pretty heavy. It’s easy to forget that we and the cumulus cloud exist close to the bottom of the atmosphere. Air molecules have weight, and its air pressure is roughly 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) per square centimeter, or 17.2 metric tonnes (15.5 tons). That’s quite a lot of force against a typical 168 centimeter (5’6″), 63.5 kilogram (140 lb) human. We aren’t crushed by this weight though. because it presses equally over both the inside and outside of our bodies.

Also, air is a fluid just like water. This allows the Archimedes Principle to come into play. The upward buoyant force on the cloud is equal to the weight of the air it displaces. This close to Earth’s surface, that multi-tonne cloud floats in the air for the same reason that a cruise ship floats on water.

6Earth Has Magnetic Tornadoes


NASA experts were surprised when their Messenger mission to Mercury found twisting “tornadoes” over 800 kilometers (500 mi) wide in the planet’s magnetic field.

These “flux transfer events”—or “plasmoids”—form at the point where Mercury’s magnetic field meets that of the Sun. Scientists believe these two are responsible for Mercury’s thin atmosphere. The tornadoes funnel the solar wind—plasma blown outward by the Sun—down onto Mercury’s surface where its electrically charged particles unlock gases that are bound up in rocks.

Scientists have known for a long time that the magnetic fields of Earth and the Sun are connected. This is what causes auroras, after all. What they didn’t know until the Mercury discovery was that the connection is so turbulent. But while Earth has these magnetic events, too, don’t worry. We’re not all going to die. Even though a new event happens about every eight minutes, our planet’s atmosphere is thick enough to protect us from a flood of deadly radiation.

5Rocks Are Inhabited


Have you ever been in a desert or a deep cave and felt as though you weren’t alone? Well, you probably weren’t. The rocks may not exactly have ears or eyes, but tiny life forms called endoliths call them home.

Endoliths are extremophiles, meaning they love extreme environments. They have been found almost 3 kilometers (2 mi) down in bedrock. Most of them live off water and food that fall down cracks, but some actually eat rock and excrete acid that helps them break up more stony snacks.

Temperature is the limiting factor when it comes to how far down into the Earth life can go. Heat radiates out from the center of the planet, and at around 5 kilometers (3 mi) beneath the surface, the rock temperature rises as high as 125 degrees Celsius (257 °F).

No researchers have been able to get that far down into the Earth yet, but studies on extremophiles in hot springs show that they have trouble reproducing at around that temperature. So 5 kilometers (3 mi) down might actually be the limit. These organisms are so tiny that if they’re packed in Earth’s crust all the way down there, then most of the planet’s biomass might be underground.

Since the discovery of endoliths, astrobiologists have been running underground experiments in planetary exploration spacecraft to look for extraterrestrial life that may have settled under our feet.

4Switzerland Rises And Falls Almost 25 Centimeters (10 in) Per Day


Earth isn’t just nutritious to some forms of life, it’s also a little elastic. That’s why Mauna Loa volcano can depress the Pacific sea floor so much.

This elasticity also means that the Moon and Sun can affect the land as well as the sea, although not to such an extent. There is no shore to measure the ebb and flow—large segments of Earth’s surface rise and fall very slowly and almost imperceptibly. But that’s just on plains or anywhere else that doesn’t have a hefty volcano or mountain range to hold it down, right? Not really. Compared to the Sun and Moon, even the Alps are puny.

In fact, very precise measurements have shown that all of Switzerland rises and falls daily on an Earth tide of some 25 centimeters (10 in). However, it only matters if you’re building something finicky like a particle accelerator, since the country’s shift is relative to the “low tide” point on Earth some 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) away.

3Cyclones Can Dance


Tornadoes are sometimes called cyclones, but technically cyclones are low-pressure systems with winds spiraling counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. A cyclone can be a hurricane or any other sort of low-pressure system with the appropriate wind direction.

Sakuhei Fujiwhara was a Japanese meteorologist who figured out that when two cyclones get close enough, they will orbit—or “dance”—around a common center. This Fujiwhara effect only happens if they’re fairly equal in strength. Otherwise, the bigger cyclone will absorb the smaller one.

The world saw a very expensive and destructive example of this in 2012. Most hurricanes in the Caribbean and Atlantic oceans eventually end up caught in westerly winds that blow them away from North America. Hurricane Sandy did this up to a point. It suddenly reversed course and came back to the US and Canada as Superstorm Sandy thanks to an upper level low-pressure system nearby. Its spinning winds moved in the same direction and the Fujiwhara effect started to kick in, bringing the former Caribbean hurricane back toward land. However, because Sandy was bigger, the two storms merged . . . right at landfall, the worst possible place.

2Giant Earthquakes Happen Slowly


An earthquake happens when rocks move along a fault. The fault line can be just a local break—in which case the shaking will also probably be local—or it can be along a major boundary between two tectonic plates. Plate movements store up enormous amounts of energy in the rocks along such a boundary, and when that slips the results can be catastrophic.

Many big earthquakes have foreshocks, but scientists were surprised to find that rocks can creep past each other without any shaking at all. They learned this after deploying extremely sensitive equipment along the San Andreas Fault in California (where the Pacific and North American plates are slipping past each other) and the Alpine Fault in New Zealand (where the Pacific plate is sliding against the Australian continental plate).

The Alpine Fault has had some major earthquakes in the past, but its central section has been disturbingly quiet. Scientists began monitoring it closely, thinking that section might be storing up apocalyptic amounts of potential energy. Instead, they found seismic tremors—a series of small, creeping earthquakes that are further down than typical quakes and last up to 30 minutes each.

Something similar has been found along parts of the San Andreas Fault. Scientists aren’t quite sure what the tremor is up to. It could be storing up stress for a future earthquake, or it might actually be releasing some of that pent-up energy and lessening the intensity of the quake that will occur next time the fault zone slips.

1The Next Supervolcano Eruption Probably Won’t Be At Yellowstone


Yellowstone Park is alive with geysers, hot springs, and boiling mud pots. Some of the fun went out of it at the turn of the 21st century though, when geologists realized that there are such things as supervolcanoes and that Yellowstone Volcano is Exhibit A. Since then, everybody has been wondering when it is going to explode. Well, it turns out that isn’t likely to happen at any time relevant to human civilization. Recent studies have shown that, while there is certainly a lot of magma down there, it isn’t in eruptible form.

There has never been a megacaldera eruption in recorded history, so no one really knows what signs to look for. There could be a lot of earthquakes and other natural disasters before the main event. Then again, ordinary volcanoes sometimes erupt unexpectedly. Quite possibly, supervolcanoes do, too.

One interesting candidate might be Chile’s Laguna del Maule, though the volcano is not currently erupting and shows no threatening behavior whatsoever at the moment. It has simply been inflating at a rate of 24–28 centimeters (9.5–11 in) per year without anybody knowing why.

Laguna del Maule is about the size of California’s Long Valley Caldera and sits on the Argentine border. It has had at least 36 small-scale eruptions over the last 20,000 years. Researchers think they have detected enough eruptible magma down there to produce a VEI 6 eruption (not a supereruption—about the size of Pinatubo in 1991), but they don’t know for sure if that’s all there is.


Can You Tell What’s Different About This Guy? Probably Not, But A Closer Look Will Blow Your Mind.

Nine years ago, something happened to this young man that would forever change his life. He and his cousin were playing out in the yard, just doing normal things kids do, when they found some pieces of metal. Being young boys, they decided to start throwing the metal and attempting to hit them with baseball bats. At the last second, his cousin hit a piece of metal too late and it ricocheted left, across 70 feet of driveway, and sliced him in the eye.

But by looking at this picture… you would never be able to tell.

He looks completely normal, right? (Nice shirt. I see what you did there.)

He looks completely normal, right? (Nice shirt. I see what you did there.)

He actually has a prosthetic eye (you may be creeped out). His new model is so good, you can”t even tell it”s fake.

He actually has a prosthetic eye (you may be creeped out). His new model is so good, you can

The prosthesis was made starting with the base color of the boy”s eye.

The prosthesis was made starting with the base color of the boy

She used something similar to acrylic paints.

She used something similar to acrylic paints.

The devil is in the details…

The devil is in the details...

Numbing drops were placed in his bad eye, then (prepare yourself) a mold was placed onto his eyeball.

Numbing drops were placed in his bad eye, then (prepare yourself) a mold was placed onto his eyeball.

They combined the perfectly painted eye with the mold.

They combined the perfectly painted eye with the mold.

Then, she added finishing touches to the eye to make sure it matched the other.

Then, she added finishing touches to the eye to make sure it matched the other.

Slight discoloration and veins were added.

Slight discoloration and veins were added.

And a Triforce. Of course. (It”s not visible, it”s just used so he knows which way is up. And so he can be the Hero of Time.)

And a Triforce. Of course. (It

Side-by-side with the old prosthetic eye.

Side-by-side with the old prosthetic eye.

No one ever wants to lose a limb or eye, but whenever there are talented people like this in the world that can make something almost 99% as good as the original… it makes the loss a little easier.



10 Magnificent Living Trees


This lister loves trees for their beauty, serenity and their ability to make humans look thoroughly insignificant. The next time you walk by one, you are walking by something that may have seen a substantial portion of our species’s history. They are the inspiration for tons of art, through all periods, across all genres. Here are 10 reasons why.

Llangernyw Yew

The Llangernyw Yew Split

It is a yew tree growing in the churchyard of Llangernyw, Wales, and its core trunk died long ago, leaving its current appearance: several huge trunks having separated from the original. These trunks did not sprout after the original died (see #7), but were homogeneous sections of the original until its core died, whereupon they separated and continued to live off the same roots. Without the core, counting the tree’s rings cannot be accomplished. The trunks have a total circumference of about 33 feet.

Yew trees are extremely difficult to age, even with radio-carbon dating, and thus, their ages are usually estimates. This one is estimated to be at least 4,000 years old, and may be 5,000, making it the third oldest known, living, single organism on the Planet. It is not merely still alive; it is still getting bigger. This species of Yew grows very straight, and its wood possesses extraordinary strength, flexibility, and durability, making it the best wood, by far, for English longbows. It is generally accepted that because the Llangernyw Yew grows in a church cemetery founded about the 1200s AD, it escaped being cut down for such use throughout most of the English longbow’s storied history.

The Major Oak
Sherwood Forest, England


It is believed that if there was a Robin Hood, he and his merry men took shelter under this tree, and even inside its trunk, when Sherwood Forest was much larger and easy to disappear into. It is at least 800 years old, and maybe 1,000, making its use by people of Robin Hood’s time possible. It would have already stood close to its present size by that time.

The canopy spreads to 92 feet, but its trunk is what visitors are most awed by: 33 feet in circumference. It stands about 53 feet, and its branches have been so massive as to need to be supported by posts since Victoria took the throne, lest they break off under their own weight. This would not kill the tree, but it would ruin its appearance, and thus, Great Britain has seen to its welfare.

260 of its acorns have grown into saplings, planted southwest in Dorset as a study of the Major Oak’s DNA, and what its descendants will look like.

The Olive Tree of Vouves


It is the oldest known olive tree on Earth, with a tree ring age of at least 2,000 years. Carbon daters have estimated it to be about 4,000 years old, and it still produces tasty olives today. It is 15 feet thick at the base, is not particularly tall, as olive trees go, but is, quite literally, gnarly. Totally gnarly. The trunk is magnificently swirled, knotted, and bulbous.

This one may be the tree Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) wrote of when mentioning a sacred Greek olive tree 1,600 years old in his lifetime. Though the olive trees growing in the Garden of Gethsemane, in Jerusalem, have not yet been verified to date back to the time of Jesus, several are claimed to be that old, and this tree is the same species, lending great credence to the possibility.

Utah, USA

Old-Tree 1A

Pando is Latin for “I spread.” It is not one tree. It is about 47,000 quaking aspen trees, all growing from a single root system. That root system is spread over 106 acres, is about 80,000 years old, and experts have no idea when it will die. It weighs about 6,600 tons, making it the heaviest organism of any kind known to exist in the Universe. The experts are fairly certain that it has not flowered for the last 10,000 years, thus the end of the last Ice Age. Every time a wildfire has burned down all its trees, the root system has survived underground and started anew.

Each tree lives for about 130 years, dies, and is reconstituted through the roots and becomes a new tree, elsewhere, nearby. The trees reproduce by means of suckers, which are lateral roots sent out from each trunk until they sprout out of the dirt. These trees don’t look identical, but they have an identical genetic makeup, all spreading from one root system to form a single genetic individual, called a clonal colony. In fall, the leaves change to the color of gold brick and seem to glow in the sunlight.

The Chestnut of a Hundred Horses

Screen Shot 2011-07-30 At 4.53.03 Pm

It grows on the eastern slopes of the very fertile Mount Etna volcanic soil, on Sicily, only 5 miles from the crater. It is estimated to be at least 2,000 years old, and very possibly as old as 4,000, making it the oldest chestnut tree ever known, and the largest. In 1780, it was a single trunk measuring 190 feet in circumference at chest-height.

It has since split into multiple trunks with empty space in the middle, but all the trunks share a single root system. Unlike #7, however, these trunks have not died. They are the same wood and branches as were seen by humans 2,000 to 4,000 years ago. This means it is at least 1,000 years older than King David of the Old Testament. The name comes from a legend that tells of a medieval queen of Aragon taking shelter under it with 100 knights, during a thunderstorm. The tree was able to cover all 101 people. Because it is the oldest known chestnut, much older than average, botanists have no idea when it will die. It is as healthy now as chestnuts that die of old age at 1,000 years.

General Sherman
California, USA

General Sherman1

Unlike #2, Gen. Sherman is only 275 feet tall. Compare that to the average oak tree, which grows to about 75 to 90 feet. General Sherman is a Giant Sequoia, not a Coast Redwood, and not even close to the tallest (see #2). What it is, however, is the most massive, non-clonal tree in the world, by volume. It has 52,513 cubic feet of wood in its trunk. This does not count branches. It is somewhere between 2,300 and 2,700 years old, which means it might have sprouted about the time the Book of Isaiah was written, before the Battle of Thermopylae.

Its largest and most famous branch broke off on its own in 2006. It was in the shape of a golf club in pictures dating before then, and the tree discarded it as a defense mechanism in adverse climate conditions. That branch was larger than most trees, 6 feet thick, over 100 feet long, and required a flatbed truck to be taken away, after it was cut up. It fell 130 feet and left a crater in the cement walkway around the tree. At chest-height from the ground, the trunk is 25 feet thick, making General Sherman 10 times thicker than the average full-grown oak.

General Sherman’s root ball covers almost 2 full acres and contains over 100,000 cubic feet of dirt. That’s more than enough to fill up an Olympic-size swimming pool, and it sprouted from a seed that weighed 1/6000th of one ounce.

Jomon Sugi


It is on the north side of Miyanoura-dake, the tallest mountain on Yakoshima Island, south of Kyushu. It is a cryptomeria conifer, called sugi in Japanese, 83 feet tall, 53 feet around at the base, and like yews, carbon dating accuracy is difficult to achieve from it. Its rings have been used to give an age of at least 2,000 years. Beyond this, the sources vary dramatically, going all the way up to 7,000. The tree grows in a very rugged area, 4 to 5 hours from the nearest road, and was not even discovered to be important until 1968. In 2005, souvenir hounds cut off a 4 square inch piece of its bark. It is now viewable only from an observation deck 50 feet away and is under armed guard. It is the oldest conifer in Japan

The Tule Tree


It stands 116 feet tall on the church ground of Santa Maria del Tule, Oaxaca, Mexico, and has the distinction of having the single widest trunk of any tree known on Earth: 38.1 feet in diameter. This is stouter than any known sequoia or coast redwood. The best estimate so far of its age dates it to anywhere from 1,400 to 1,600 years old. This actually concurs with a local Zapotec legend that tells of its planting 1,400 years ago by, Ehecatl, the Aztec wind god. It is stout enough to completely cover the average American house.



Hyperion is a Coast Redwood, and has the distinction of being the tallest living organism ever measured. It is 379.3 feet tall. That’s 38 stories, 100 feet taller than #5, 50 feet taller than the tallest habitable building in Washington, D. C. It grows in Redwood National Park and was not even discovered until 25 August, 2006, because all the trees around it are also redwoods, and are all gargantuan.

Like all redwoods and sequoias (very similar species), Hyperion is so enormous that it possesses its own ecosystem, with full-size pines and hemlocks growing on its branches. It is so high that if you could avoid the branches (and other trees) on the way down, BASE jumping would be no problem at all. There are no confirmed photos of it on the Internet, because scientists don’t want it disturbed or damaged by tourists. Like the Giant Sequoia, you can fit about 10 coast redwood seeds on the face of a dime.

The Methuselah Tree


It is a Bristlecone Pine Tree, named after the oldest person in the Bible whose age is given. The Methuselah Tree is generally held to be the oldest living, individual organism on Earth, measured at 4,842 years and counting. The Bristlecone Pine species can take 700 years to grow 3 feet.

It is located in the Bristlecone Forest of the Ancients, in Inyo National Park, in the White Mountains of Eastern California. Its precise location has not been divulged out of concern for its protection. Bristlecone Pines do not grow particularly tall, reaching 50 feet, with a trunk diameter of anywhere from 8 to 12 feet, making for a squat, solid tree, but what they lack in grandiose height they more than make up for by outlasting every other single organism on the planet.

Methuselah still isn’t the oldest known. That was Prometheus, which was at least 20 years older than Methuselah now, before it was mistakenly cut down in 1964 by a dendrology student who had no idea how old it was. Prometheus might have been 5,000 years old or more, and Methuselah shows no signs of disease or weakness in any way. Researchers expect it to reach 5,000.

Let’s put that into perspective. It sprouted out of the ground in c. 2832 BC. That’s about 1,500 years before Moses was born. Back then, Egypt’s Second Dynasty was just getting going and the earliest Egyptian pyramids would not be built for another 200 years. Methuselah is about 800 years older than the Maya civilization. Biblical literalists (this lister not among them, in this case) like to theorize that the Methuselah Tree was the first living thing to appear on Earth (aside from the things in the various boats) after Noah’s Flood. That’s dubious, at best, but it’s a fun idea.

L’Arbre du Tenere


The Tree of Tenere is not numbered but given a bonus mention because it was knocked down by a drunken truck driver, in 1973. It was an Acacia tortillas tree, the species made famous in the Serengeti by grazing giraffes. This one lived in Northeast Niger, in the Tenere area of the south central Sahara Desert, 250 miles away from absolutely anything except the Saharan desert sand. Today, there is a metal sculpture in its place as a memorial. It lived next to a 130-foot deep well, and the only reason there is almost no vegetation in the Sahara Desert is because the water table is at least 110 feet under the surface of the earth throughout the Desert.

The tree’s roots somehow grew 120 feet long, reaching the water table, and thus enabled it to grow in a place so inhospitable that it was the remotest tree in the world. Today the world’s most remote tree is believed to be a Norwegian Spruce on Campbell Island, south of New Zealand. It is the only tree on the island, and the next nearest are over 120 miles away on the Auckland Islands.

Acacia trees have been planted several times in the Tenere tree’s spot, but none has lasted in the arid climate. How it was able to survive for the 20 to 40 years its roots would have taken to reach the water table remains a mystery, but it might have grown through the walls of the well and received all the water it needed as it descended.


The Strange And Stupid Lies Other People Told Us About Our Own Bodies

Living your life is the longest thing you”ll ever do. People and places will always be temporary, but you will always be with you. So it makes sense that maybe you should learn a thing or two about your own body. And newsflash: most of the things you have learned so far are total lies.

1. Drowning: This is often depicted as a violent struggle where the victim is calling out for help. However, a drowning person wouldn”t necessarily flail and scream. Very often, a drowning individual would lose energy and pass out.

Drowning: This is often depicted as a violent struggle where the victim is calling out for help. However, a drowning person wouldn

2. Drinking water: You don”t need to drink 8 glasses of water a day to maintain peak health. The amount of water needed varies by person (weight), activity level, clothing, and environment (heat and humidity). Also, you might not have to drink water in its pure form, either. It can be derived from liquids such as juices, tea, milk, soups, etc., and from foods including fruits and vegetables.

Drinking water: You don

3. Antibiotics: These medicines do not cure the common cold, and there is actually no cure for the common cold because it is an ever-changing virus.

Antibiotics: These medicines <i>do</i> not cure the common cold, and there is actually no cure for the common cold because it is an ever-changing virus.

4. Redheads: The redhead gene is not becoming extinct. Although redheads may become more rare, they will not die out unless everyone who carries the gene dies or fails to reproduce.

Redheads: The redhead gene is not becoming extinct. Although redheads may become more rare, they will not die out unless everyone who carries the gene dies or fails to reproduce.

5. Swimming and eating: Eating less than an hour before swimming does not increase the likelihood of muscle cramps.

Swimming and eating: Eating less than an hour before swimming does not increase the likelihood of muscle cramps.

6. Our five senses: People have more than 5 senses. Experts have said that we have at least seven…and possibly more than twenty.

Our five senses: People have more than 5 senses. Experts have said that we have at least seven...and possibly more than twenty.

7. Antibiotic resistance: People can”t just become resistant to antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance develops within a population of organisms that experiences selective pressure through exposure to an antibiotic, favoring the survival and reproduction of individuals within the population that already have some degree of resistance.

Antibiotic resistance: People can

8. Hair and fingernails: These do NOT continue to grow after a person dies. Rather, the skin dries and shrinks away from the bases of hairs and nails, giving the appearance of growth.

Hair and fingernails: These do NOT continue to grow after a person dies. Rather, the skin dries and shrinks away from the bases of hairs and nails, giving the appearance of growth.

9. Sleepwalking: Waking a sleepwalker does not harm them. They may be confused for a bit as to how they got where they are, but no actual harm will be done to them.

Sleepwalking: Waking a sleepwalker does not harm them. They may be confused for a bit as to how they got where they are, but no actual harm will be done to them.

10. Sugar rush: Sugar doesn”t cause hyperactivity in children. Double-blind trials have shown no difference in behavior between children given sugar-full or sugar-free diets, even in studies specifically looking at children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or those considered sensitive to sugar.

Sugar rush: Sugar doesn

11. Blue veins: Human blood in veins is not blue. Blood is always red due to hemoglobin, our veins just appear to be blue.

Blue veins: Human blood in veins is not blue. Blood is always red due to hemoglobin, our veins just appear to be blue.

12. Milk consumption: Drinking milk or consuming other dairy products does not increase mucus production.

Milk consumption: Drinking milk or consuming other dairy products does not increase mucus production.

13. Swallowing gum: Swallowed gum doesn”t take 7 years to digest.

Swallowing gum: Swallowed gum doesn

14. Athletic performance and sex: There is no physiological basis for the belief that having sex in the days leading up to a sporting event or contest is detrimental to performance.

Athletic performance and sex: There is no physiological basis for the belief that having sex in the days leading up to a sporting event or contest is detrimental to performance.

…so, each and every one of us have been hoodwinked. Your body may feel like a stranger to you now, so do your best to get to know it!


10 Beautiful Types of Rainbows


When it comes to rainbows, most people think they’ve seen all there is to see. Certainly, we’ve all seen the simple rainbow – and even the most ordinary can be a stunning sight. But rainbows come in more than just one color: there are plenty of less common types of rainbows which can be even more beautiful than the usual kind. Check them out:

Primary Rainbows


This is the rainbow we are all most familiar with. The primary rainbow is the single multi-colored arc that usually appears after a rainstorm. Primary rainbows are formed when refracted light is reflected through a water droplet. The intensity of the rainbow’s colors depends on how large the water droplets are. 

Secondary Rainbows


If you have seen a primary rainbow, then chances are you have also seen a secondary rainbow. They are also known as double rainbows. A secondary rainbow forms behind the primary rainbow when the light in the water droplet is reflected twice instead of once. The secondary is about twice as wide as the primary rainbow, but is only one-tenth as intense. Its colors are also reversed.

Alexander’s Dark Band

Alexanders-Band Wallpaper  Yvt2

Alexander’s Band is technically not a rainbow, but it is associated with the primary and secondary rainbows. An Alexander’s band is the area of sky between the primary and secondary rainbow and it is noticeably darker than the rest of the sky. The single reflected light of the primary brightens the sky inside and the double reflected light of the secondary brightens the sky outside of it. To our eyes, it appears that the sky is darker between the primary and secondary rainbows. 

Supernumerary Rainbows


Supernumerary rainbows are also known as stacker rainbows, and occur rather infrequently. They consist of several faint rainbows on the inner side of the primary – and more rarely, they appear outside of the secondary. They are formed by small but similarly sized raindrops, and by the interference of light which reflects once, but travels along a different path inside the raindrop. 

Red Rainbows

Red Rainbow By Lighti85

Red rainbows – also called monochrome rainbows – are formed after rainfall during sunrise or sunset. The shorter wavelengths of the spectrum, such as blue and green, are scattered by dust and air molecules. This leaves the remaining light to display the colors with the longest wavelengths, red and yellow, to finally form the red rainbow.

Cloud Rainbows

Weird Cloud Rainbow By Marandaschmidt-D5I864R

Cloud rainbows form from small water droplets in clouds and damp air, rather than from raindrops. They appear white because the water drops are very small in size (bigger water drops are more able to reflect the spectrum colours). Cloud rainbows are much broader than normal rainbows, and are most likely to form over water. They can also form over land, so long as the fog is thin enough for the sun’s rays to shrine through.

Twinned Rainbows

Dj Rainbow-Twinned Reflectionrainbow Wc

Twinned rainbows are not the same as the double rainbow – they’re actually very rare. They’re made up of two rainbow arcs that stem from a single base point, and they’re caused when a combination of small and large water droplets fall from the sky. The large drops are forced to flatten by air resistance, while the smaller drops are kept in shape by its surface tension. The water droplets then form their own rainbow, which may come together to form twinned rainbows.

Reflected and Reflection Rainbows

Sixrainbows Nordvik Big

Reflected and reflection rainbows – which are not the same thing, despite their similar names – only form over water. A reflected rainbow is the most commonly seen: it appears when light is deflected off the water droplets and then reflected off the water before we have time to process the light with our eyes.

A reflection rainbow is what appears when light reflects off the water before it is deflected off the water droplets. Reflection rainbows are not nearly as visible as a reflected rainbow, because of the specific conditions they require.

Rainbow Wheels


Rainbow wheels are formed when dark clouds or dense rain showers prevent the light from reaching your eye. The shadowed raindrops do not allow you to see the colours of the rainbow. The result is a rainbow that can resemble a wagon wheel, with large spokes centered towards a specific point. If the clouds are moving quickly across the sky, then the rainbow wheel can appear to rotate.

Lunar Rainbows

10 Lunar Rainbow

Lunar rainbows are rainbows that are formed at night by moonlight. However, moonlight is very weak and lunar rainbows are very rarely seen. The best time to see them, logically, is on the night of a full moon while it’s raining. The sky must also be very dark, which means that lunar rainbows appear very dull or white because the colour of the night is not bright enough to activate the cone cells (colour receptors) in our eyes.


10 Archaeological Sites Suffering From Climate Change

10 Archaeological Sites Suffering From Climate Change

When we hear the term “climate change,” we often think of its negative impact on animals, plants, and mankind. However, we fail to realize that it’s not only the living that are threatened by changes in the climate. Even archaeological sites — the windows to our past — are suffering from the devastating effects of the current warming trend.

10 Chinguetti


Photo credit: Francois Colin

During its heyday, Chinguetti was a lively, rich metropolis that was home to more than 20,000 people. Between the 13th and 17th centuries, Chinguetti, which is located in north-central Mauritania, served as a vibrant trading and religious center for Sunni Muslims who were on their way to Mecca. Today, it’s an endangered site filled with decrepit buildings and abandoned homes with a population of “a few thousand residents” who primarily rely on tourism for income.

Like many desert towns, Chinguetti’s existence is at risk due to climate change. Seasonal flash flooding and increased desertification threaten this important archaeological site. The government of Mauritania and the residents of Chinguetti have the monumental task of protecting the village from flooding and preventing the Sahara Desert from completely wiping it off the map.

9 Sonargaon


Photo credit: Sourav Das

Sonargaon was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Bengal. It was the seat of power of Isa Khan during the 15th century and was a vibrant political and trading center during its peak. Today, Sonargaon, which is located in present-day Bangladesh, has been relegated to a tourist attraction. People marvel at its Mughal, Sultanate, and colonial architecture.

Also known as Panam City, Sonargaon’s existence is threatened by illegal development, vandalism, poor maintenance, unauthorized occupation, and earthquakes. But perhaps the greatest threat to Sonargaon is climate change. Most of the terrain of Bangladesh is low-lying. As a result, the whole country, including Sonargaon, is vulnerable to increased flooding and rising sea levels.

8 Herschel Island


Photo credit: Maedward

Herschel Island is an abandoned island located off the coast of the Yukon Territory in Canada. Between the 1890s and early 1900s, it was a vibrant whaling center inhabited by Americans, the Inuvialuit, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It was abandoned by the Americans in 1907 when the whaling industry collapsed. Several decades later, the Inuvialuit and the Canadian police followed suit. Today, Herschel Island serves as a stop for cruise ships.

Herschel Island is rich in history and home to many archaeological remnants of the once-vibrant whaling industry and the Thule Inuits. Sadly, the island is threatened by rising sea levels. For centuries, the ocean has been gradually encroaching on Herschel Island, but climate change is speeding up the process. Experts predict that the historical and archaeological artifacts found near the island’s shores will be completely lost to the sea in 50 years.

7 The Kimberly


Photo credit: TimJN1

The Kimberly, a region in Western Australia’s northwest corner, is home to “rugged gorges, epic waterways” and aboriginal ancient rock art. Experts estimate that over 8,700 ancient rock paintings can be found in the Kimberly. Most of the paintings depict animals, such as bats, wombats, marsupial lions, and other extinct creatures.

Sadly, this archaeological site is indirectly threatened by climate change. For some years now, Australia has been battling the devastating effects of climate change, such as severe droughts, high fire risk, and extreme hot weather.

To prevent fires, the state government has carried out firebombings and ground burnings. However, these two methods have damaged some of the rock paintings in the Kimberly. In fact, local residents claim that the state government’s fire prevention strategy has damaged the priceless Bradshaw collection of rock art, “the oldest figurative paintings in the world.”

6 Elephanta Caves


Photo credit: Sivaraj

The Elephanta Caves are considered to be the epitome of Hindu cave culture. They are located in Gharapuri, an island close to Mumbai. In 1534, the Elephanta Caves were discovered by Portuguese explorers who named them after the monumental elephant found on the island. The origins of this mysterious archaeological site are unknown, but experts suggest that it dates back to between the fifth and eighth centuries.

The Elephanta Caves consist of seven caves containing Hindu and Buddhist bas-reliefs and sculptures. They were restored in 1970 and have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sadly, this awe-inspiring archaeological wonder is at risk due to several factors. The most devastating is rising sea levels caused by climate change. In addition, tourism and an expanding population are also threatening the majestic caves.

5 Banaue Rice Terraces


Photo credit: Nonoyborbun

Considered a National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines, the Banaue Rice Terraces are man-made terraces carved into the mountains of the Ifugao province. This ancient wonder is living proof of “human harmony with nature” and a great example of “sustainable agriculture with traditional techniques.” Sadly, the existence of the Banaue Rice Terraces is threatened by climate change.

Climate change has caused extreme rainfall in the Ifugao province. This is a major problem because heavy rainstorms can make the terraces unstable, leading to erosion and landslides. In addition, local rice varieties planted in the Banaue Rice Terraces “are less adaptable to rapid climate change,” posing a problem to the farmers who plant them.

4 Altai Mountains


Photo via Wikimedia

The Altai Mountains in Central Asia are home to several frozen tombs that belonged to the Scythian civilization. The Scythians were a group of ancient people who founded a rich, powerful empire centered in Crimea. They were both admired and feared for their horsemanship and prowess in war. Eventually, this ancient civilization collapsed when it was conquered by the Sarmatians.

For more than 2,000 years, the bodies inside the tombs have been well-preserved thanks to the permafrost of the Altai Mountains. The bodies have been so well-preserved that even their tattoos have remained intact.

In the past, hunters and robbers were the greatest threats to the frozen tombs. Today, it’s climate change. This global problem is causing the permafrost of the Altai Mountains to thaw. Without the permafrost, the frozen tombs and the secrets they hold will vanish.

3 Skara Brae


Photo credit: Wknight94

Skara Brae is a prehistoric Scottish village located in the Orkney Islands. It was accidentally discovered in 1850 when a winter storm swept through the area, blowing away the sand dunes that had covered the mysterious archaeological site. Despite being between 4,000 and 5,000 years old, Skara Brae is in good condition. Tourists can still see the furniture that the inhabitants used thousands of years ago. Sadly, this might not last long.

Rising sea levels caused by climate change are threatening the existence of Skara Brae. What’s protecting this Stone Age village from storm damage is “a specially erected sea wall.” Over the years, the wall has been severely damaged and is in need of repairs. But even if it is restored, scientists predict that Skara Brae will “be entirely unsustainable” in 200 years. Sadly, this might happen sooner due to climate change.

2 Mesa Verde National Park


Photo credit:

Mesa Verde, which means “green table” in Spanish, is considered to be the biggest archaeological preserve in the United States. It was once home to the Ancestral Puebloans — a group of nomadic people who mysteriously left the area and settled in New Mexico and Arizona.

Mesa Verde is famous for the Cliff Palace, which housed approximately 100 people and had 150 rooms and 23 kivas (rooms used by the male members of the tribe for religious, political, and casual meetings) during its heyday. In total, there are 5,000 known archaeological sites in the park, including 600 cliff dwellings.

Due to climate change, the archaeological treasures found in Mesa Verde could be wiped out. Archaeologists are worried that climate change–induced phenomena, such as fires and erosion, could damage the sites “before they can be studied or even discovered.”

1 Easter Island


Photo credit: Ian Sewell

Also known as Rapa Nui, Easter Island is perhaps one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world due to its awe-inspiring moai — the mysterious head-and-torso statues believed by experts to have been created in honor of the island’s chiefs, ancestors, and other important figures. The inhabitants didn’t have leave written historical records, and few oral traditions exist. So experts can only guess how and why the ancient people of Easter Island built the moai.

Today, this important archaeological site is in danger due to climate change. This pressing global problem is causing higher sea waves to hit the island. This is a great concern for local residents and scientists because the high sea waves are damaging the platforms that have supported the moai for centuries. If no action is taken, some of the moai could eventually fall and get lost in the sea.

Paul Jongko is a freelance writer who spends his time writing interesting stuff and managing MeBook. When not busy working, Paul creates piano covers, masters his capoeira skills, and does progressive calisthenics training. Follow him on Twitter.


10 Reasons We Know Nothing


The difference between a smartass and a scientist is a smartass thinks he knows everything, while a scientist admits he knows nothing. Ask any expert in any field and they’ll admit the stuff they don’t know vastly outweighs the stuff they do. That’s why we have science—to try and unravel the vast mysteries of the universe. Only some of those mysteries are so commonplace it feels like we’re still stuck on the universe’s training level. After all, we still don’t understand:



Ever since the first caveman had a late-night X-rated fantasy about the first cavegirl, human beings have dreamed. Every single night, you, me and a few billion other people all lie down and get on with it, and science has absolutely no idea why. It’s not like we’re lacking in theories: researchers have suggested everything from dreams being a way of de-cluttering our brains or dealing with stress to ‘just because’. This isn’t just idle speculation—studies have found that dreams can be used as an indicator of future surprises our bodies have in store for us, such as Parkinson’s or dementia. Even weirder, a New Mexico study has suggested teaching subjects how to manipulate their nightmares may be key to curing depression. So figuring out why we dream has the potential to lead to all sorts of amazing breakthroughs. Only we’re not even close. Despite it happening to every human being for millions of years, we still don’t know why.



Death is one of the last big mysteries. No-one can say for certain what happens when our bodies stop working—but scientists are trying their damndest to find out, and throwing up way more questions than answers. First off there’s the problem of Near Death Experiences. A huge number of people have reported visions of white light and music and floating above their body and so on—experiences that can’t be explained away as hallucinations because they occur while the brain is flat-lining. This raises a second problem of what happens to our consciousness after death. According to world-leading expert on resuscitation Dr Sam Parnia, people have been revived with no lasting damage over ten hours after dying, suggesting our conscious mind somehow continues to exist even after our bodies have called it a day. While this isn’t proof of an afterlife—the minute brain cells begin to decay there’s no way you’re coming back—it does show how little we really understand death, despite our millennia of practice at it. And it’s not just dying either, right down at the other end of the scale, we still don’t understand…



Make no mistake; we’ve come a long way in creating artificial life. However, try as we might, we still can’t say for certain why life—the life all around you—arose in the first place. All we know is there was a point in Earth’s history some 3.8 billion years ago when molecules started performing increasingly-complex chemical reactions that resulted in RNA and, therefore, life. What triggered these reactions is a question no-one has the answer to. Theories range from chance to God to ultraviolet light to a form of proto-evolution, but no-one has yet hit on the definitive solution. And it’s not for lack of trying: researchers across the globe are busy recreating the conditions of early-Earth’s primordial soup in the hopes of it witnessing that moment—but, so far, nothing. Right now, the only answer to perhaps the biggest question mankind will ever ask is just a gloomy shrug.

The Universe


We know from observation that the Universe is expanding—it’s pretty much undeniable. Also undeniable is the fact it’s speeding up, something it shouldn’t be doing. See, by rights, gravity should be slowing everything down in preparation for the ‘Big Crunch’—a kind of reverse Big Bang we now know will never happen. So why is this happening? Well, most scientists blame Dark Energy and Dark Matter, two parts of a package deal that supposedly make up roughly all the universe. But here’s the kicker: we don’t know where the hell they are. For something that’s such a big part of, well, everything, we have exactly zero evidence of either. Now, they may yet turn up—or the answer may turn out to lie in quantum gravity, some obscure branch of String Theory or even human error. The point is, the universe currently seems to be disobeying its own laws and all we can do is guess why.



We’re used to seeing history as a sort of narrative leading up to the here and now. And it kind of is—only one with ridiculous great holes in it. While we have a decent handle on what went on in, say, Roman times, there are whole centuries of history where our entire knowledge comes from a single source or guesswork. Take sixth century Britain. Rome’s influence has collapsed, Christianity is rearing its head and Scandinavia is gearing up for an epic rumble. Want to guess how many accounts we have of this vitally important era?

One. That’s it, just one – one single sermon written by a half-mad monk that spends about ninety percent of its length ranting about divine judgement. Even with periods like Rome or ancient Greece, we’re missing a heck of a lot of information. Most of our knowledge of the Emperors comes from biased, unreliable sources; while we only recently discovered the Greeks built a computer two thousand years before Babbage decided it’d be cool to invent the future. Thanks to such poor records, we apparently can’t even say with absolute certainty that the Early Middle Ages actually happened and this isn’t really 1716. Chew on that for a second. The fact that a qualified historian can honestly claim three hundred years of history didn’t happen should at the very least prove how frustratingly little we know about the past.


Baroque Banner

Ask anyone who writes or paints or whatever why they make art, and you’ll likely get a vague answer. That’s not just them trying to seem all sexy and mysterious either—as a species we honestly have no idea why we do it. Think about it: there’s no evolutionary reason for us to start drawing on cave walls. It confers no advantage on us as a species; it doesn’t keep us warm or fed or anything, so why the hell do we do it? Like everything on this list, no-one knows. But that hasn’t stopped us guessing. One theory is that all creative expressions—music, sculpture, writing entertaining lists for popular websites—are nothing more than the human equivalent of a peacock’s tail feathers. In other words, we get creative to get laid. If that’s true, every painting or song or film you’ve ever loved is just a by-product of our ancestors’ collective boner. Is that true? Who knows—there are plenty of other theories out there and, right now, that’s all we have: theories.



If you were a kid around the time Jurassic Park came out, you almost certainly went through a dinosaur phase. Maybe you even went along to your city’s Natural History museum to check out the skeletons in the entrance hall. What you probably didn’t realize was how many of them were sheer guesswork. See, things don’t just fossilize. It takes a set of very specific conditions to turn a T-Rex carcass into something you can stick in your museum. This means not every species makes it into the fossil record, while those that do are often incomplete. And I mean incomplete: our entire fossil find for the Middle Triassic period—for example—is an arm and a bit of spine. That’s a couple of bones from a period lasting ten million years. Even when we find a comparatively large amount of fossils they’re almost always tiny fragments. According to National Geographic, over fifty nine percent of all dinosaur genera are known by a single set of incomplete remains. Unsurprisingly, that means we often have to fill in the gaps as best we can—meaning we often wind up making ridiculous mistakes.



By now you’ve probably figured out how this works—so when I ask ‘guess how much we know about our greatest playwright’, you know the answer’s going to be: ‘not much’. And you’re right. About the life of William Shakespeare we basically know he made some plays, bought two beds and died, which is still way more than we know about, say, Christopher Marlowe. Go back even further and we can’t even say that. Take the Greek poet Homer, author of the Odyssey. The entirety of what we know about him can be summed up as ‘maybe he existed’. We don’t even know if our modern versions of his books in any way resemble the original, since they weren’t written down until three centuries after the supposed date of his death. Of the whole of Roman literature, on the other hand, only two novels survive—and those in fragments. And that’s before you start getting into lost works and those destroyed in various fires and wars and so on. Basically, there’s about a bazillion gaps in our literary history that most scholars would sell their grandmother to see closed again.



Remember how earlier I said Dark Matter was a way of explaining why the universe doesn’t obey the laws of gravity? I forgot to mention that gravity doesn’t obey them either. Without getting too headache-inducing, let’s just say that gravity is the only one of the four fundamental forces that manages to both contradict itself and just seemingly switch off when you get small enough. In fact, it’s such a massive pain in the butt that some physicists have simply declared it doesn’t exist a position either insane or enlightening, depending on where you stand on things not making any sense. But that’s modern physics for you—every single time we make a discovery we find out we know way less about the world than we thought we did. Leading me nicely onto the last thing we have yet to understand…


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If you think of science as a house of cards and each ground-breaking theory as a ten ton steel ball smashing into it you’ll see the problem. Around the end of the 19th century we honestly thought we’d almost reached the limits of knowledge—then some guy called Einstein published history’s most famous equation and everything came crashing down around our ears. So we built it all back up again and things were going fine, until we noticed black holes weren’t doing what they were supposed to. So right now, we appear to be in the middle of another slow-motion crash. And that’s gonna mean re-writing some pretty fundamental notions of existence. For example, it’s perfectly possible, using String Theory, to ‘prove’ that we’re all just living in a sort-of hologram being projected from the edges of the universe. Sure, that’s not exactly a mainstream theory, but it goes to show just how bizarre the truth may yet turn out to be. So, to sum up, nothing makes any sense and you might just be an image projected from the edge of space for no other reason than existence is insane. Good luck getting your head around that.

Morris M.

Morris is a freelance writer and newly-qualified teacher, still naively hoping to make a difference in his students” lives. You can send your helpful and less-than-helpful comments to his email, or visit some of the other websites that inexplicably hire him.

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