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What's the most amazing thing you've ever learned?

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accystan  9132 forum posts Canada6 Constructive Critique Points
30 Jan 2008 - 5:36 PM

What's the most amazing thing you've ever discovered or learned? I not talking about personal stuff but things you might have learned at school etc. or reading a book or watching tv that stunned you.

I'll start the ball rolling. I thought that when things get warmer they expand and when they cool down they contract. It turns out there are significant exceptions and one of those exceptions is water. Generally, as water cools, it contracts. However as it gets close to its freezing point, it does the opposite - it expands as it cools. The significance is this Ė because it expands it gets less dense (i.e. lighter) and therefore the coldest water floats on the surface. Thatís why only the surface of a lake freezes and the deeper water remains liquid. The same applies in rivers; only the surface becomes ice. This ensures that aquatic life in its present form can continue below it and that the rivers continue to drain the landscape.

Iím sure the whole issue is way more complicated and far reaching than Iíve tried to outline above but itís not hard to speculate that a lot of life on this planet would be vastly different if it were not for this little known fact.


Dave D

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30 Jan 2008 - 5:36 PM

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30 Jan 2008 - 5:48 PM

I've leart that it's not worth a toss to comment on uploaded images as there are many idoits who take your comments completely the wrong way and get the wrong end of the stick.
The other thing I've learnt is that these idiots don't seem to realise that the pathetic come back (after they've got it all wrong....again.) makes me laugh rather than upset me and my photographic work that regularly comes my way.

Nice site though.

30 Jan 2008 - 5:51 PM

Good summation on water!

Okay, when you look out into the universe, no matter which way you look, you are looking at a single point in space and time. And as big as the universe appears to be, we can only see a small part of it as there seems to be a lot more just over the very red horizon.

Last Modified By PatrickSmith at 30 Jan 2008 - 5:52 PM
brian1208 e2 Member 1110268 forum postsbrian1208 vcard United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
30 Jan 2008 - 5:57 PM

We are all made from "Star Dust"

stolzy  83753 forum posts7 Constructive Critique Points
30 Jan 2008 - 5:59 PM

In the same vein I was astonished to find out why the sky is dark at night. If the universe is infinite in all directions then every line of sight should fall on the surface of a star, so the sky should be as bright as the surface of the sun.
I'm now trying to remember why it is dark..... something to do with the expansion of the universe and the light from very distant star not having reached us yet, but that doesn't sound right.

30 Jan 2008 - 6:05 PM

It is only dark to our eyes, but in the far infrared spectrum, no matter which way you 'look', it is indeed bright! Well actually a very very dull red from the original expansion plus all the receeding stars.

30 Jan 2008 - 6:07 PM

The rate of expansion maybe.

30 Jan 2008 - 6:08 PM

That 'Man' can continue to evolve as the pinnacle of of Life on this planet and still be so blinkered and pathetic in 'his' dealings with fellow Human Beings.

Cephus  92128 forum posts England
30 Jan 2008 - 6:09 PM

Penguins fee don't freeze.

30 Jan 2008 - 6:22 PM

Quote: fee


30 Jan 2008 - 6:36 PM

That there are a finite number of atoms in the universe. This means that they all, at some point, get recycled including those from dead bodies.

Apparently it takes a few hundred years for this to happen, so it's perfectly possible that we all have a bit of William Shakespeare, Henry the VIII or even Ghengis Khan in us.

30 Jan 2008 - 6:43 PM

That we are all constantly being bombarded with tiny particles from space, which pass straight through us..........

croberts  102160 forum posts Ireland8 Constructive Critique Points
30 Jan 2008 - 6:44 PM

Quote: or even Ghengis Khan in us


stolzy  83753 forum posts7 Constructive Critique Points
30 Jan 2008 - 7:43 PM

Quote: pinnacle of of Life on this planet

Most biologists would dispute that.

EmmaG_M  6136 forum posts United Kingdom4 Constructive Critique Points
30 Jan 2008 - 7:43 PM

The most amazing thing that I've learned... Hmmm... I suppose it would have to be that we carry on in some form after we die, whether as spirit's or as atoms (still open on that one) we carry on in some way and we return to what we came from! Amazing!

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