Listen to Article
A few weeks ago, we asked you to quiz your parents with some rather easy-peasy science-related questions. While some of you were able to stump them, others were not so lucky. Here, are a few more. Hopefully, this time around you will be able to say - Gotcha!
Q. What Causes Brain Freeze?
All of us at some point or another have experienced 'brain freeze', that excruciating pain that seems to shoot across your entire face and up to your head, when you consume chilled foods like ice cream or an ice-cold soda. Wonder why that happens? Here is the lowdown.
When something freezing cold comes in contact with the roof of the mouth, it causes the blood vessels to constrict or shrink to try prevent the body from losing heat. However, this lasts for a split second. As soon as the cold sensation recedes, the vessels open up again, causing the blood to rush back so quickly, that it results in an intense headache, aka brain freeze!
Q. Why Does Chopping Onions Make Mom Cry?
You may have often walked into the kitchen, only to find your mom busy chopping onions with tears rolling down her eyes. Fortunately, it is not because the task is making her sad, but because, her body is reacting to the sulfur compounds that are present in the vegetable. Released as gas, these inflame the eyes, causing irritation. To try combat this and make it more bearable, our body reacts by producing what are called 'reflex' tears - those that come out involuntarily, when there is a physical irritant in the eye.
Q. Why Do Golf balls Have 'Dimples'?
Have you ever wondered, why golf balls are so different from other balls? Instead of a smooth surface, they sport multiple indentations or dimples. Turns out it was not always the case. When the game was first invented, it was played using a smooth surfaced ball. However, golfers soon began to notice that whenever they used an old beaten up ball, it traveled longer distances.
When experts looked into it, they realized that it was all to do with aerodynamics - As the ball races across the golf course, the dimples act like little suction cups not only drawing in little pockets of air that help spur the ball ahead, but also, increasing the turbulence around. This high speed air stream that sits around the ball like a glove helps reduce the drag on the ball by changing the direction of the air pressure, so that more of it is behind it than in front, which in turn, helps move the ball faster.
Q. Why Are Traffic Lights Always Red,Yellow and Green?
While the world may not be able to decide which side of the road is the 'right' side to drive on, one thing they all seem to agree on are the colors of the stop light. No matter where you are on the planet, they are always red, yellow and green.
Turns out that the choice of colors was copied from the code system devised by railway engineers in the 1830's. While red, the color of blood was easy, because it signals danger and would give people a reason to pause, the other two were more trial and error. The first colors picked were green for 'caution' and clear for 'go'. However, the clear did not work too well, since depending on the way the sun was hitting the light, people often mistook the signal for 'go', before it really came on. They then moved the green to indicate go and added the yellow in-between for caution. Sure enough, it worked like a charm and has remained the same since then!
Q. Why Do Our Two Eyes See Only One Of Everything?
We are so used to looking at things with both our eyes that this elementary question has probably never crossed your minds. But given that both eyes have the ability to see, shouldn't we be seeing two of everything? Turns out that our brains are much too smart for that. What really happens is that while the two eyes see the same image, they see it from different angles and hence each has a different view of it. However, if you were to put the two different images together, they would be some overlap, and hence appear out of focus. But as it turns out, our brain is smart enough to sort these two images and combine them to create one perfect three-dimensional image.
Q. Do Camels Store Water in Their Humps?
The common perception is that camels can do without water for long periods of time, thanks to their humps, which act like storage tanks. Surprisingly, this is not true! Camel humps house food reserves that allows the animal to survive for as long as a fortnight, without being fed. As the camel uses its fat reserves, the humps start to become flabby and shrink and even, flop to one side, if they get completely depleted. As for the water? That apparently is stored in several sac-shaped containers that lie in the stomach. The hardy animal can store up to one and half gallons of water at any given time!
How did the adults do with these questions? Do let us know by adding your comments below.