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IN Weird ON 18 Oct, 2015
When do you use Wikipedia? Perhaps for your homework or for a movie you'd like to watch but want to know more about first. However, beyond the typical stories and pages in Wikipedia, there's a treasure trove of incredibly interesting and downright unbelievable topics that will undoubtedly change the way you see things in life.
More importantly, these aren't just gossips -- they are either actual, weird stuff or scientific guesses.
Sometimes, seemingly serene lakes can kill hundreds of people. This was the case in Lake Nyos, Cameroon, which occurred on August 21, 1986. Out of nowhere, an enormous amount of carbon dioxide and other gases erupted out of the lake bottom and spread onto the surface, immediately killing everyone nearby in a matter of minutes. Only six people survived in the village, with almost 800 others dead. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limnic_eruption
We were taught in our biology classes about evolution, with how different animals have the same ancestor because they simply developed unique characteristics apart from each other as each line of species became more distinct. Well, despeciation is the process in which two species interbreed and form an entirely new, single species. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Despeciation
Despite the fact that The Martian is a thoroughly enjoyable film, we haven't actually sent any human to observe Mars firsthand. However, we are lucky enough to have meteorites crashing down to Earth, all the way from Mars and the space between the two planets. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martian_meteorite
No, it doesn't actually lead to hell. However, this is a place often visited by tourists in Turkmenistan. This endlessly burning crater has been active since 1971, when methane was contained by geologists by burning them. What they didn't know while they were in the natural gas field, however, was that there was a large amount of methane to keep the fire burning for decades to come. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Door_to_Hell
What you're looking at is a kinesin helping a vesicle move on a cytoskeletal filament. That's right, it's a very supportive motor protein that takes different membranes and proteins from one place to another, keeping the cellular processes in check. What's more, all of us have these in our bodies right now. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinesin
This is 90377 Sedna, a Pluto-sized object that is 83 billion miles away. If you want to know just how incredibly far that distance is, just remember that Pluto is only 4.6 billion miles away. 90377 Sedna is twenty times farther than Pluto. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/90377_Sedna
As recently as 650 million years ago, the Earth could have been completely frozen, from the oceans to the lakes. Some geologists believe that this has happened not once, but twice already. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowball_Earth
This is the Turritopsis dohrnii and is found in the waters of Japan and in the Mediterranean Sea. It's infamous for being an "immortal" jellyfish, though it is actually immortal in the biological sense. Thus, when it grows old, it can simply revert back to its young stage infinite times. This, however, doesn't prevent predators from eating and killing the biologically immortal jellyfish. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turritopsis dohrnii
Did you know that the Mediterranean Sea nearly, if not completely, lost all of its water six million years ago? Yup, this was because of tectonic shifts which blocked it from the Atlantic Ocean. Thankfully, about 5.3 million years ago, the Zanclean Flood occurred as the Mediterranean Sea was once again filled up by the Strait of Gibraltar opening up. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zanclean_flood
The blood rain seems like a thing out of mythology and sci-fi, but scientists have claimed that when rain is mixed with the airborne spores of the green microalgae named Trentepohlia annulata, blood-colored rain can actually occur. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_rain
This is Theia, the theoretical object in which our moon apparently came from as it collided with Earth about 4.5 billion years ago. Its size is supposedly similar to that of Mars, and this is the most prominent theory when it comes to scientific talks of how the moon was formed. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theia_(planet)
30 million years ago, one of the biggest volcanic eruptions created this caldera. The eruption was supposedly 5,000 times stronger than the largest nuclear detonation and had 4,800 times more materials released than that of Mount St. Helens. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Garita_Caldera
This Earth-life-changing moment occurred about 2.3 billion years ago when cyanobacteria began releasing oxygen as a waste product. What made this event both helpful and deadly is that most of the life forms back then couldn't tolerate oxygen, so they got killed off when the cyanobacteria let out oxygen. For us, however, we should be thankful. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Oxygenation_Event
Like the case of La Garita Caldera, Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia was host to the Toba super-eruption. Scientists believe that the catastrophic eruption led to a global winter lasting between six to ten years, with the Earth cooling down for 1,000 years. Moreover, the event happened the same time the human population went down drastically, suggesting that the super-eruption reduced the genetic diversity of humans. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toba_catastrophe_theory
Our beloved Milky Way Galaxy will most certainly collide with the Andromeda Galaxy in about 4 billion years. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andromeda–Milky_Way_collision
There are quite some apocalyptic events in the distant future. For example - Niagara Falls will be nonexistent in 50,000 years. Moreover, the continent of Africa will be divided in 10 million years as the expanding East African Rift Valley leads to a new ocean basin. Going more extreme than that, there is a 1% chance that Mercury will crash against Venus in 3.3 billion years; this event will cause great havoc to our solar system. Even further than that, in 100 trillion years the lack of free hydrogen will impede normal star formation. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_far_future
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