Author Archives: Scott

Why Does Hypothermia Help People Survive in Some Situations?

frozen-woman

Derek H. asks: Why does extreme lowering of body temperature sometimes help people survive when they’re otherwise dead for extended periods? We’ve all probably heard of a person being pulled from cold water after a seemingly unrevivable timeframe. Miraculously, they survive and more or less make full recoveries. A 7-year-old girl named Stella Berndtsson from Sweden currently holds the record […]

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Why Nuclear Bombs Create Mushroom Clouds

tsar-bomba1

Susan K. asks: Why do nuclear bombs make mushroom clouds? This phenomenon all comes down to a little something called the Rayleigh-Taylor instability, and by extension, convection. I’ll begin with the somewhat longer, but less geeky explanation before descending once again into extreme nerdery. It all starts with an explosion that creates a Pyrocumulus Cloud. This ball of burning hot […]

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A 17 Year Old Girl Survived a 2 Mile Fall Without a Parachute, then Trekked Alone 10 Days Through the Peruvian Rainforest

juliane-koepcke

Today I found out that a 17 year old girl survived a 2 mile fall from a plane without a parachute, then trekked alone 10 days through the Peruvian rainforest. On Christmas Eve, 1971, just a few hours after attending her high school graduation, 17 year old Juliane Koepcke and her mother, Maria, got on a flight from Lima, Peru […]

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What Causes St. Elmo’s Fire

saint-Elmos_fire

Andrew M. asks: What causes Saint Elmo’s Fire? For those not familiar, “St. Elmo’s Fire” is a name for the glow that looks like blue/violet fire surrounding the top of pointed metal objects during a storm. This phenomenon can trace its name back to an Italian saint “Sant ‘Ermo” or “St. Erasmus” around 300 A.D., the patron saint of early […]

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Do Vaccines Cause Autism?

vaccines

Jennifer asks: I’ve read that vaccines cause autism and that they don’t. What’s the truth with this? In 1998, there was a groundbreaking study telling parents that their children were at risk of getting autism from vaccines. Parents everywhere collectively gasped. After all, they had been told for years vaccines were the best way to prevent any number of unwanted […]

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How Blood Works

blood

Our resident medical expert, Scott, and a buddy of his have just started The Medicine Journal, where you can learn all sorts of interesting facts about all things medical related. Below is their first video. If you like it, please subscribe to their YouTube channel here: If you liked this video, you might also enjoy: Does Cauterizing a Wound Really […]

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Why Nuclear Bombs Create Mushroom Clouds

tsar-bomba

Susan K. asks: Why do nuclear bombs make mushroom clouds? This phenomenon all comes down to a little something called the Rayleigh-Taylor instability, and by extension, convection. I’ll begin with the somewhat longer, but less geeky explanation before descending once again into extreme nerdery. It all starts with an explosion that creates a Pyrocumulus Cloud. This ball of burning hot […]

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