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

accystan 13 132 6 Canada
30 Jan 2008 5:36PM
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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User_Removed 16 2.8k 11 United Kingdom
30 Jan 2008 5:48PM
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.
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
30 Jan 2008 5:51PM
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.
brian1208 Plus
15 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
30 Jan 2008 5:57PM
We are all made from "Star Dust"
stolzy 12 3.8k 7
30 Jan 2008 5:59PM
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.
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
30 Jan 2008 6:05PM
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.
User_Removed 13 4.9k England
30 Jan 2008 6:07PM
The rate of expansion maybe.
User_Removed 14 17.9k 8 Norway
30 Jan 2008 6:08PM
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 Plus
13 2.4k England
30 Jan 2008 6:09PM
Penguins fee don't freeze.
User_Removed 14 17.9k 8 Norway
30 Jan 2008 6:22PM


Kris_Dutson 15 8.2k 1 England
30 Jan 2008 6:36PM
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.
jimthistle73 14 2.4k 1 United Kingdom
30 Jan 2008 6:43PM
That we are all constantly being bombarded with tiny particles from space, which pass straight through us..........
croberts 14 2.2k 8 Ireland
30 Jan 2008 6:44PM

Quote:or even Ghengis Khan in us

stolzy 12 3.8k 7
30 Jan 2008 7:43PM

Quote:pinnacle of of Life on this planet

Most biologists would dispute that.
EmmaG_M 10 136 4 United Kingdom
30 Jan 2008 7:43PM
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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