What are the cool phenomena that science can’t explain?
Scientists aren’t sure why people yawn
Yawning is something you probably do every day, but interestingly, scientists aren’t quite sure why. Recently, the scientific community has moved towards the idea that it is, but its true biological function is still unclear. Also, scientists are not entirely sure why it is contagious between social animals, such as humans. A published in found that the networks in your brain responsible for empathy and social skills are activated when you see someone yawn. Researchers have also observed that chimpanzees can “catch” yawns from humans. “Copying the facial expressions of others helps us adopt and understand their current state,” from Emory University’s Yerkes National Primate Research Center.
This fungus grows only in Texas and Japan, and scientists can’t explain it
Chorioactis geaster is the only species of fungus in the genus Chorioactis, and is only found in Texas and Japan. The two places are at the same latitude, but mycologists have not been able to figure out why these fungi grow only in these two places. A 2004 study of fungal DNA, published by Harvard University Herbari, suggested that populations split into two lineages about 19 million years ago. In Texas, the fungus is known as the “devil’s cigar” because it looks like a cigar before it splits open into a star shape.
No one knows why Saturn’s north pole has a rotating hexagon-shaped storm
At Saturn’s north pole, there is a weather system the size of two Earths in the curious shape of a hexagon. The storm was photographed and observed for years by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, but it remains a mystery. The only other natural hexagonal shape scientists have found is in crystals, so they have no idea how Saturn’s storm came to look like this. To make things more confusing, the storm appears to have changed color from turquoise to yellow in just a few years.
Humpback whales have gone from being solitary creatures to living in “supergroups,” a change marine biologists are still trying to figure out.
Humpback whales are usually solitary, but have begun feeding in pods of 20 to 200 off the coast of South Africa in recent years, according to a 2017 study from the University of Pretoria. Marine scientists aren’t sure why the nature of this ancient creature has changed, but there has also been an increase in the humpback whale population. , so that may partially explain this change. “It’s quite unusual to see them in such large groups,” Gisli Vikingsson, head of whale research at the Icelandic Freshwater and Marine Research Institute, told New Scientist.
There is no explanation for these curved trees in the “Dancing Forest” in Russia.
Nicknamed the “Dancing Forest,” this area in Kaliningrad is filled with pine trees that twist into spirals, rings, and other configurations. They were planted in the 1960s and are the only tree species to have done so. According to Atlas Obscura, some theories include extreme winds, unstable ground, and caterpillar interference. Some locals call it the “Drunken Forest”.
Dark matter is not like normal matter and we don’t understand much about it
Matter is made of protons, neutrons, and electrons, but the composition of dark matter remains a mystery. One theory is that dark matter is made up of particles that we simply haven’t detected or identified. A 2016 study suggested that dark matter could be made up of primordial black holes. Dark matter doesn’t reflect or emit light, but high concentrations of the substance can bend light, which is how scientists know it exists. Assuming our knowledge of the universe and physics is correct, there is more dark matter than there is matter. Dark matter, in fact, appears to be necessary for gravitational pulls to be strong enough to create planets and galaxies.
Scientists understand how cats purr, but they’re still not sure why they do it
For a long time, the purring mechanisms of cats were an unsolved mystery. According to the BBC, it is now widely thought that the muscles around the feline larynx contract, creating a vibration that produces the classic purr. But why cats purr is still debated. One hypothesis is that purring promotes bone growth because the vibrational frequency causes bones to stiffen in response to pressure. “The purrs at a frequency of 25-100Hz correspond to established healing frequencies in therapeutic medicine for humans,” Gary Weitzman, a veterinarian and executive director of the San Diego Humane Society, told the BBC.
We receive hundreds of unintelligible signals from space every second
Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are short, bright emissions of radio light that release enough energy to power 500 million suns. Astronomers think one occurs almost every second, but only about 30 have been identified. Originating outside our Milky Way, FRB 121102 is the only signal to have appeared more than once from the same location. It has been linked to a young neutron star, one of the densest objects in the universe. Studies have also recently shown that FRB 121102 is one of two types of fast radio bursts.
There is an otherworldly looking crater in Siberia that has not been explained.
This giant crater, nicknamed “Patom” after a nearby river, is a 520-foot-wide, 139-foot-tall mound of broken limestone. However, some locals call it “Fire Eagle’s Nest” and believe the area is associated with death, given the animals’ lack of growth and unwillingness to approach. The crater was first officially reported by Russian geologist Vadim Kolpakov in 1949, but was created about 500 years ago. Ideas about its origin include nuclear explosions and spacecraft, but Russia Beyond said the most likely theory is a “steam explosion that occurred during emplacement of magma in hydrated rocks or due to faulting and decompression of heated hydrated rocks.”
Why do cows face north or south when eating?
part of “at the table” or “in front of the TV,” you probably don’t give much thought to the direction you’re facing when you eat. But the cows do; almost universally, a cow will face north or south at dinner time. And while we know how they do it, we have no idea why.
How can animals predict earthquakes days or weeks in advance?
It’s one thing for an animal to feel an earthquake seconds before it happens: we know they can since ancient Greece wasn’t ancient. We even know why: According to the US Geological Survey, two types of waves come out of an earthquake: a large S-wave and a tiny P-wave that usually arrive seconds before the S-wave. Animals, unlike Humans, they can feel the little P wave, so when they do, they know it’s time to run. So if your pet randomly starts panicking and running to the safety of higher ground, follow her, because you have about five seconds before everything around her starts shaking like a Polaroid picture.
Why do animals play?
How do sharks navigate?
There’s a lot about sharks that we don’t know about, like exactly how they navigate the ocean. Even though much of space is dark, empty, and watery, sharks can effortlessly go where they need to go, sometimes thousands of miles, without getting lost. We’re baffled as to why, and the science is no closer to a definitive conclusion now than it was years ago.
How do young cuckoo birds know exactly where to migrate?
Bird migrations are usually not difficult to understand: children follow mom wherever they need to go. In the case of cuckoos, however, it is a bit different. For one thing, they don’t really have “mommies.” A female cuckoo will lay her eggs, then deposit them in another bird’s nest, and then fly off to the party, probably. Meanwhile, the egg hatches and the chicks are raised by an entirely different species, much like a real-life dinosaur train. The puzzling part, however, is how these cuckoos, which haven’t been raised by any other cuckoos and won’t meet any other cuckoos along the way (they tend to fly solo), instinctively know where to migrate and how to get there. . Despite having no family or flock,
Why do chimpanzees wage war?
As cute as they may seem, chimpanzees are downright mean. They are so bad, in fact, that they have been known to hunt, kill, and even eat their fellow chimpanzees. What is worse, they do it in an organized, group, methodical or what we call “war” way. Yes, chimpanzee tribes have been noted to wage war against nearby chimpanzee tribes, which means Planet Of the Apes isn’t that unrealistic after all. As to why they fight this way, as opposed to how basically all other species hunt simply to eat, is currently unknown.
Why are great white shark migrations so strange and disorganized?
We know less about white sharks than we do about regular sharks, mainly because every time we try to study one in captivity, it dies fast. One of the biggest mysteries about great white behavior is where exactly they go and how they get there. As National Geographic points out, white sharks have arguably the strangest migration patterns of any shark. Rather than all going roughly in the same direction, great whites tend to weave here and there in a random and seemingly disorganized manner. Some stay close to shorelines, others drift into the deep centers of the ocean. Some move north in the summer and south in the winter, as birds would, but not all do this.
Why do ravens hold a grudge
Ravens are scary smart and, as it turns out, scary mean. As researchers in Seattle learned in 2011 (according to LiveScience), they not only remember the faces of the humans who held them captive, they will foster grudges to the point where, years later, they will attack, peck, and dive. bombard his former captors. To a raven, revenge is a dish served forever. Why they do this, however, is unknown. Ravens could just as easily forgive and forget, but they don’t. There don’t even seem to be many theories as to why, although we don’t really know.