My kid loves trivia. He can’t get enough fun science facts and interesting tidbits about the things he enjoys. One morning, he actually rolled over, opened his eyes and said, “Mom, did you know the Giant Squid has eyeballs that can get as big as a large pizza?” I don’t know how accurate that particular fact actually is, but I know that it’s one of about a zillion that he has bouncing around in his second-grade brain. He loves to learn things that make him say, “Wow!”
To keep up with his insatiable thirst for knowledge, I started looking up some science facts of my own. When I hear something interesting that I think he might like to know, I jot it down on a note in my phone to tell him later. I have compiled a nice little list of trivia to shoot back when he hits me with an impressive factoid.
If you’ve got a science-loving kiddo like mine, here are a few interesting science facts to keep in your back pocket to wow them with your science knowledge! Wait until you hear about squirrels and terminal velocity!
- Male platypuses have a venom-secreting spur on their hind feet. It’s not lethal to people, but it can cause a lot of pain and swelling!
- According to National Geographic, hippos make their own sunscreen! “Hippopotamuses produce ‘sweat’ made of one red and one orange pigment…the red pigment contains an antibiotic, while the orange absorbs UV rays.”
- Unlike most animals, koalas have fingerprints that are almost indistinguishable from humans.
- Nine-banded armadillos almost always give birth to four babies at a time — identical quadruplets!
- A squirrel can survive a fall from any height! Don’t believe it? It’s simple physics. Unlike most mammals, squirrels can withstand the impact from a fall at their body’s “terminal velocity”—the fastest speed an object can reach while falling.
If you like animal facts, you’ll love The Wild Kratts!
Human Body Facts:
- Black is the most common natural hair color for humans. Red is the rarest!
- Gross but true: On average you fart enough in one day to fill a party balloon!
- Have you ever hit your elbow just right and felt a strange, uncomfortable sensation? Someone might have told you that you hit your funny bone! The truth is, your “funny bone” isn’t a bone at all! You actually bumped your ulnar nerve against your humerus—a bone in your upper arm.
- The smallest bone in your body is located in your ear! You have three tiny bones in there to help you hear. The stapes, also called the stirrup, is the littlest one!
- Every minute you shed over 30,000 dead skin cells. Ew!
If you like human body facts and medical procedures (and you’re not squeamish!) check out Operation Ouch!
- The driest place on earth is the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. According to their website, “NASA astrobiologists travel to the Atacama to look for microorganisms that live in such an extreme environment, hoping to learn how life might exist on other planets.” Wow!
- You probably know that Mt. Everest is the highest mountain on earth, but did you know that the shores of the Dead Sea are the lowest land on earth? There’s a whole museum dedicated to that fact in Jordan!
- Diamonds aren’t rare! According to gemsociety.org, “Our current knowledge of gem formation indicates that diamonds are likely the most common gem in nature.”
- According to Caltech geochemist Paul Asimow, the center of the Earth is about the same temperature as the sun: almost 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit! Ouch!
- “The number of microbes in a teaspoon of soil is estimated to be roughly equivalent to the number of humans currently living in Africa (one billion),” biologist Dianne Newman of Caltech tells Popular Mechanics.
If you like earth science, you might enjoy this geode kit!
- According to theplanets.org, “The footprints on the Moon will be there for 100 million years. The Moon has no atmosphere, which means there is no wind to erode the surface and no water to wash the footprints away. This means the footprints of the Apollo astronauts, along with spacecraft prints, rover-prints and discarded material, will be there for millions of years.”
- Did you know there used to be another planet in our solar system? “Pluto is [now] categorized as a dwarf planet. In 2006, Pluto was categorized with three other objects in the solar system that are about the same small size as Pluto,” says NASA.
- Fewer than 600 people have ever been to outer space!
- Jupiter has 53 named moons and another 26 waiting to be named! That’s a total of 79 moons!
- There’s a volcano on Mars that is more than twice the size of Mount Everest! Olympus Mons is 72,000 feet high!
If you like outer space, you won’t want to miss this episode of the Magic School Bus!
- Did you know that some elements are safe in compounds and dangerous on their own? For example, pure sodium explodes if you throw it in water, but sodium chloride is table salt. A little bit makes your food taste yummy—but don’t use too much! Yuck!
- Helium is lighter than the air around us so it floats, that’s why it is perfect for the balloons you get at parties!
- Some substances are neither solid nor liquid! They’re called non-Newtonian fluids, and you can make one called Oobleck at home with just two simple ingredients!
- Only one letter doesn’t appear on the periodic table of the elements: The letter J.
- There are only two metals that don’t have a silvery color: copper and gold!
If you like chemistry, you’ll love Emily’s Wonder Lab on Netflix! The first season was amazing! If you love it, write an email to Netflix asking for Season 2!
- A 600-pound octopus can fit their whole body through a hole no bigger than a quarter!
- There are about three MILLION shipwrecks in the ocean! That’s a lot of lost treasure!
- According to NatGeoKids, human teeth are just as strong as shark teeth! But I wouldn’t recommend challenging them to a competition! Chomp chomp!
- The deepest part of the ocean is called the Mariana Trench. It’s almost seven miles deep! In fact, it’s so deep and treacherous to explore that more people have been to the moon than the depths of the Mariana trench!
- Scientists estimate that we’ve only explored 5 percent of the ocean. That means that if you want to be an ocean explorer, there’s a good chance you could discover a new species of oceanic animal!
Ocean loving kiddos should check out the Octonauts!
- Dinosaur fossils have been found on all seven continents. Dinosaurs might have roamed right through your backyard!
- If you want to study dinosaurs, you’ll want to specialize in vertebrate paleontology. Vertebrate paleontologists are the scientists who study ancient extinct animals like dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals.
- The dinosaurs lived in a prehistoric age called the Mesozoic Era. Since they roamed the earth for many millions of years, many of your favorite species are unlikely to ever have met one another!
- Not all dinosaurs were giants! “The smallest dinosaurs were just slightly larger than a chicken; Compsognathus (“pretty jaw”) was 1 m (3 ft) long and probably weighed about 2.5 kg (about 6.5 lb),” according to the S. Geological Survey.
- New Zealand is home to the tuatara, an animal who was likely alive during the same time the dinosaurs roamed the earth!
If you like dinosaurs and podcasts, check out the Dinosaur George Kids podcast!
It’s important to me to encourage my kid’s love of science, and taking the initiative to show that I am interested because he is interested is one way I do that. There are millions more science facts where these came from, so happy hunting! Science rocks!
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