Interesting Chemistry Facts and Trivia

(Last Updated On: March 12, 2019)
Interesting Chemistry Facts and Trivia

If you thought chemistry was just for nerds, think again. Chemistry is basically the study of everything. In fact, chemistry is so important that it is often referred to as the “central science” because it is so foundational that it connects all the other sciences together. Anybody who has ever watched the hit series Breaking Bad knows just how cool chemistry can be. But we bet that even a whiz like Walter White didn’t know these interesting chemistry facts.

Here Are 20 Interesting Chemistry Facts You Might Not Know:

1. Every Human Radiates About 150 W of Heat at Any Given Time.

This is why throwing a raging house party is such a good way to save on heating costs.

2. Helium Is 14.5 Times Lighter Than Air.

Hence, the reason why helium balloons float.

3. The Average Human Being Is Made up of 60% Water.

Newborn babies are actually made up of even more water, about 80%. However, this quickly stabilizes to just over 60% after the first year or so.

4. A Lightning Strike Can Get as Hot as 54,000°F.

So think again before you carry a lightning rod around in a thunderstorm.

5. Diamonds Are Called Ice for a Reason.

At a chemical level, diamonds are made-up of a unique three dimensional weaved lattice structure that easily transports heat, leaving the surface of the treasured gem feeling cold to the touch.

6. 1 Inch of Water Is Equal to 10 Inches of Water At 30°F.

This fact is especially interesting because most materials tend to compress and get smaller in the cold. Water has so much energy to spare that it does the opposite and expands.

7. The Periodic Table Was Originally Created as a Last-Minute Cheat Sheet.

At St. Petersburg State University, a professor named Dmitri Mendeleev was under a tight deadline to submit a description of all the known elements at the time, and thus the shortcut known as the periodic table was born.

8. Sound Travels 4.3 Times Faster Through Water Than Through Air.

Water particles are much closer together than oxygen particles, which means it’s much easier for sound to bounce from one particle to the next in water and thus travel faster.

9. Copper Is Naturally Antibacterial.

It is an essential nutrient for both humans and bacteria at low doses, but at high doses it kills off bacteria. It is the only element known to behave this way.

10. Before There Was Everything Else, There Was Hydrogen.

In the earliest days of the universe the only element to exist was hydrogen. Hydrogen atoms would go on to fuse into helium, which would go on to fuse into carbon, and from there continue to create a variety of more complex elements that make up the universe as we know it today.

11. The First Almost Completely Artificial Element to Be Added to the Periodic Table Was Technetium.

It is also the lightest element and consists entirely of unstable radioactive isotopes. The name technetium is derived from the Greek word for artificial.

12. The Human Body Contains Enough Graphite to Produce Approximately 9000 Pencils.

Graphite is a crystalline form of the element carbon that converts to diamond under high temperatures.

13. Chalk Is Actually Made of Trillions of Fossilized Plankton.

These fossils eventually become limestone, a substance mostly composed of calcium carbonate. This might explain why chalk doesn’t taste so great.

14. That One of a Kind Fresh Smell After a Thunderstorm Is Actually the Smell of Ozone.

When lightning strikes, it produces a chemical reaction on their surface of the earth that creates ozone, the same oxygen compound that protects the atmosphere. It is ozone that produces the uniquely pleasing smell that tends to exist just after a thunderstorm.

15. Metal Rules.

Approximately three-quarters of all known chemical elements are metals.

16. DNA is Flame Resistant.

Researchers have found that when they add samples of the building blocks of genetics to fabric, it reduces flammability. Talk about multi-purpose.

17. Another Synthetic Element, Oganesson, Is the Heaviest Element in the World.

Oganesson is so new it was only officially recognized as an element in 2016. It is named after the famed nuclear physicist Yuri Oganessian.

18. Glass Is Technically Neither a Liquid nor a Solid.

Glass is actually made up of flowing molecules. The thing is that the molecules flow too slowly to be considered a liquid, but also too fast to technically be considered a solid. Therefore, glass is actually classified as an amorphous solid.

19. The Amazon Rainforest Is Directly Responsible for Approximately 20% of the World’s Total Oxygen.

Talk about a good reason to protect the rainforest.

20. In About 5 Billion Years, the Sun Will Turn into a Red Giant and Swallow up Mercury and Venus.

Red giants are late stage evolution stars that get their characteristic color from the cooling and expanding process that occurs when all the hydrogen is gone.

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