Things You Always Thought You Knew
But Probably Dont
(With Apologies to Bill Bryson)
We know more about the sun than we do about our own planet. Heres a small sample of some other many other things we dont know
You are made up of billions of atoms that assembled in an intricate manner that will only exist once. Why these atoms choose to do this is still a mystery especially since the law of entropy compels things to disintegrate.
DNA contains the code used to make organic structures. We dont know where the code comes from.
No-one is quite sure how big Pluto is, what it is made of, what kind of atmosphere is has, or even what it really is.
There is still no satisfactory explanation for gravity. Scientists are now looking for gravitons which they think may explain gravity. They havent found any yet.
We are still not sure what makes up most of the mass of the universe. Scientists theorise that it is made of something mysterious called dark matter and dark energy. We still dont really know what these are.
We still dont know how and why virus epidemics emerge and then then disappear.
Were still not entirely sure how tornadoes form.
No-one on knows what makes amino-acids form proteins. Or how proteins form life.
Interestingly, we have no idea how many species of life there are on the planet.
We have so many atoms inside us that we have a least a billion recycled atoms from any historical person you care to mention. This includes Shakespeare, the Buddha and Beethoven, but not Elvis (he died too recently for his atoms to have recycled themselves).
Since the structure of any atom is mostly empty space, held together by strong charges, everything considered solid is anything but solid, and things never truly touch. (When you sit down on a chair, you are not actually touching it but levitating 1 angstrom (one millionth of a centimetre) above it. If this where not the case, everything would simply pass though everything else.
We dont know about the spin or position of atoms. When we try to measure the one, we affect the other. Thus we never truly know where atoms are!
We are not sure what causes the global atmospheric-oceanic disturbance known as El-Nino.
We have only a fleeting knowledge of what lies beneath the oceans.
We are not sure about what causes magnetic reversals.The plates of the Earth are moving in ways we dont understand; parts of America and Africa are rising even though they are nowhere near any active plate boundaries.
There are convection currents in the mantle that drive the crustal plates. No-one is sure why they occur, how they happen or even where they happen.
The history of continental drift is far from resolved.
That are the continents where once part of a super-continent called Pangaea that split up might not be true.
There are mismatched fossils and large pieces missing from the puzzle.
(Pangaea, incidentally, was actually the second super-continent to form.)
We are not sure what comprises the layers of the Earth. Weve done scans of certain areas and then drilled and found entirely different rocks and this only a few kilometres deep we might be very wrong about the rocks hundred or even thousands of kilometres beneath our feet.
If two parts of a pair of sub-atomic particles are split and sent to opposite sides of the universe, manipulating one will immediately affect the other. (A smaller version of this theory was conducted in Switzerland and proven to be correct.)
Sub-atomic particles can pop into existence from nothing most of them disappear soon afterwards though.
There are over 200000 types of protein. We understand about 2% of them.Scientists estimate that there are over 100 million insects still to be found and identified.
And thats just a small sample of what we dont know!Theres still so much to explore and discover and find out!