Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Amaze Your Brain

No. 139

Astronauts can't burp in space.

An astronaut's burps are different than those experienced on Earth. If an astronaut does burp in space, it comes out as a wet burp! Gross!

Make some noise!

Sound is the energy things produce when they vibrate. Just like the movement you're creating and the corresponding sound you hear, slower waves produce lower sounds, while faster waves produce higher sounds.

Amaze Your Brain

No. 8

If put in a big enough bath tub, Saturn would float.

Saturn is predominantly comprised of hydrogen and helium gas, giving it an overall density lower than that of liquid water. However, since the planet is not a uniform, rigid object, we can’t be sure that it would float without further experimentation. That’s an experiment that would take an awfully big laboratory!

Amaze Your Brain

No. 65

At a standstill, you are actually traveling at 2.7 million MPH through the universe.

Add up the speed of the rotating earth, the earth revolving around the sun, the sun moving in the milky way, and the milky way moving through the universe and you get one fast speeding ticket.

Spinning Colors

Why are you seeing a new color when the wheel spins? The colors are spinning at such a rate that your brain is unable to process them as the individual colors that are on the wheel. Instead, your brain takes a shortcut and creates the secondary colors.

Amaze Your Brain

No. 124

Caffeine withdrawal is a real condition.

Caffeine withdrawal is a real condition with neurochemical causes. Common symptoms include headache, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and dysphoric mood.

Amaze Your Brain

No. 81

A three toed sloth can turn its head 270 degrees.

While mammals have seven neck vertebrae, sloths have eight or nine. The reasons for the extra vertebrae are not clear, but might contribute to their ability to turn their necks farther than other mammals.

Amaze Your Brain

No. 201

An average cumulus cloud weighs more than 70 adult T. Rex.

Cumulus clouds are the fluffy white clouds that fill the sky on a clear, typically sunny, day. The weight of these clouds is determined by their water density, which equates to about 1/2 gram per cubic meter!

Amaze Your Brain

No. 256

If you drove straight up you would arrive in space in just over an hour.

The Kármán line, which is commonly represented as the boundary between Earth's atmosphere and outer space, is at an altitude roughly 62 miles above sea level. This means if you could drive straight up going 60mph you would arrive in outer space in just over an hour's time.

Amaze Your Brain

No. 122

You can start a fire with ice.

Start by shaping an extremely clear piece of ice into a disc that is thick in the middle and narrow at the edges. Now, smooth away any rough edges with the warmth of your hands. Angle your ice lens towards the sun, focusing the light on a pile of tinder. The ice acts as a convex lens, directing photons to a localized point. The resulting concentration of heat energy can reach extremely high temperatures, allowing the tinder to catch on fire. This is sometimes easier said than done- the purity of the ice, thickness of the lens, and quality of tinder can all affect the process.

Amaze Your Brain

No. 24

On Saturn and Jupiter, it can rain diamonds.

On Saturn and Jupiter, atmospheric pressure is so high it is possible amorphous carbon could be converted to diamonds.

Amaze Your Brain

No. 78

You are always looking at your nose, your brain just chooses to ignore it.

Our brain ignoring our own nose is a part of binocular vision, and peripheral vision may also play a role in why our brain is able to ignore the sight of your nose all day.

Amaze Your Brain

No. 12

A day on Venus lasts longer than a year on Venus.

On Venus, one rotation on its axis takes the equivalent of 243 Earth days and the planet's orbit around the Sun takes the equivalent of 225 Earth days.

Amaze Your Brain

No. 214

A single bolt of lightning could contain enough energy to cook 20,000 pieces of toast.

The average lightning strike contains about one billion joules of energy. To power an average 800 watt toaster, it would take around 48,000 joules of energy to power the toaster for 1 minute in order to toast the bread. So, one billion joules of energy in a lightning strike equals around 20,000 pieces of toast.

Amaze Your Brain

No. 506

Your DNA could stretch from the Earth to the Moon thousands of times.

Scientists estimate that each human cell would contain about six feet of DNA if stretched end to end. Multiply that length by the trillions of cells in our bodies and you get a lot of trips to the Moon!

Amaze Your Brain

No. 46

Only female mosquitoes drink blood.

Female mosquitoes use the blood from humans and animals as a protein source for their eggs. Additionally, male mosquitoes do not have the same mouth part female mosquitos do that are needed for sucking blood.

Amaze Your Brain

No. 76

Peanut butter can be converted into diamonds.

Peanut butter can be converted into diamonds by subjecting it to extremely high temperature and pressure. Be warned- the quality of diamond produced by the peanut butter won't be something to write home amount. The resulting diamonds are typically very small and tend to be muddy in color.

Amaze Your Brain

No. 37

At any given moment there are 1,800 thunderstorms happening on Earth.

Over the course of one year, this will amount to 16 million storms across the Earth!

Amaze Your Brain

No. 307

Feet can produce a pint of sweat a day.

There are 500,000 sweat glands in your feet that are capable of producing a pint of sweat throughout the day.

Amaze Your Brain

No. 37

Pumpkins are a member of the berry family.

We know, what?!?!

Amaze Your Brain

No. 23

Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards and upside down.

The design of a hummingbird's wings differs from most other types of birds. Hummingbirds have a unique ball and socket joint at the shoulder that allows the bird to rotate its wings 180 degrees in all directions. The shape of their wings are long, narrow and tapered, which allows them to move more quickly and easily through the air. Additionally, the shoulder and elbow joints of the wing are very close to their tiny bodies, allowing the wings to tilt and pivot. These characteristics allow hummingbirds to change flight directions in a way other birds cannot.

Amaze Your Brain

No. 92

Octopuses can squeeze through most anything.

Because their bodies do not contain bones, an octopus can squeeze through anything so long as their beak can fit.

Amaze Your Brain

No. 210

Snails have thousands of teeth.

Depending on the breed, snails can have 2,000-14,000 teeth! Most snails are herbivores, their teeth are used for scraping or tearing their food.

Amaze Your Brain

No. 18

Out of around 320 million cubic miles of water on Earth, only 1% is drinkable.

Water covers nearly 70 percent of of the globe. The majority is undrinkable, ocean-based water. 2.5 percent is fresh and of that 2.5 percent, just 1 percent is accessible - the remainder is trapped in snowfields and glaciers.

Amaze Your Brain

No. 347

Butterflies taste food with their feet.

A butterfly's taste sensors are located on their feet, which is how they taste their food.

Science doesn't end, but these cards just did.

That's all of the facts for now, but we have plenty more to discover! Check out our cooler than cool exhibit halls to amaze your brain even more!

Explore The Museum

Just keeping spinning …

  1. Turn your screen brightness all the way up.
  2. Lay your device on a flat surface.
  3. Carefully spin your device quickly to see the colors blend. (You can also tap on the wheel to spin it.)
  4. Tap on the wheel to spin it and stop the spinning.

Shake it on, just shake it on …

  1. Turn your device's sound on and its volume up.
  2. Tap the button to turn the generator on and off.
  3. Carefully shake your device at different speeds to change the frequency of the tone. Keep shaking! The tone goes away if the device stops moving.
  4. Tap your spacebar at different speeds to change the frequency of the tone.