QandA

Q&A Tabs

Ordinary glass absorbs 97 per cent of the UVB rays that cause sunburn and some skin cancers, and 37 per cent of the less harmful UVA radiation. This translates to a protection of about SPF30, so...

It’s called trypophobia and it’s not a fear of open man-holes or caves. Rather, it is the revulsion some experience when they look at asymmetric clusters of small holes, or dark spots...

It depends on the temperature of the water. In cold water, the bacterial action that causes a body to bloat with gas may be so slowed that the body stays on the seabed. The skin will absorb water...

Temperature affects the way your brain works, and fever can produce waking hallucinations and vivid imagery as well as nightmares. Some people find that too much spicy food leads to nightmares,...

Not for long. The gruesome idea of nails and hair continuing to grow on a rotting corpse is fascinating. But it’s a myth – at least if you’re thinking of luscious locks and long...

All female mammals have a clitoris, the sole purpose of which is to react to sexual stimulation, and presumably this stimulation has evolved to be pleasurable for most species. But establishing...

To create a sound, we have to set matter - whether it's a gas like air, a liquid or even a solid material - in regular motion, creating a wave of specific frequencies, which we hear as a sound of...

Mirrors don’t reverse left and right either – that’s just our interpretation of what happens. Your reflection in the mirror is actually reversed front to back – if you have...

Discovered by an American student named Gary Flandro in the mid-1960s, the slingshot manoeuvre usually involves spacecraft briefly 'coat-tailing' a planet orbiting the Sun, extracting some of the...

The ice disappears because the wind blows away water molecules that have evaporated or 'sublimed' from the ice, so the ice slowly shrinks in size. The molecules that escape are those with the...

Recent Q&A...

It’s called trypophobia and it’s not a fear of open man-holes or caves. Rather, it is the revulsion some experience when they look at asymmetric clusters of small holes, or dark spots...

Icebergs are notorious for keeping around 90 per cent of their bulk hidden beneath the surface of the sea. While this makes them far more dangerous to shipping than they appear, it does mean they...

Every January, government organisations and health researchers meet to decide which strains of influenza virus present the biggest threat for the following winter. The three or four worst strains...

Not really. While a study from Connecticut College last October showed that eating biscuits activates the same pleasure centres in the brain as cocaine and morphine (at least in rats), this is...

Yes. Stroking is the equivalent of grooming and grooming is the way that cats, dogs, monkeys, and many other animals maintain their relationships and care for each other. They enjoy it, as well as...

Most kettle whistles consist of two parallel metal plates with a hole running through them through which steam passes. The whistling sound is the result of this flow of steam making the air...

Plant cells contain a protein called phototropin that is mostly concentrated in the growing tip of the plant shoot. This protein unfolds into an activated state when it absorbs blue wavelengths of...

The whole brain is active during dreams, from the brain stem to the cortex. Most dreams occur during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. This is part of the sleep-wake cycle and is controlled by the...

Elephants are remarkable. They live in tight-knit groups, and will help injured animals or bring them food and water. They show grief when a family member dies and sometimes bury their dead or...

The largest known structure in the Universe is called the ‘Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall’, discovered in November 2013. This object is a galactic filament, a vast group of...