Many of us take solace in the fact that most things can be easily explained by science. We usually rely on scientific info for our health and well-being -- after all, most of us aren't exactly rocket scientists or even trained pharmacists. Science has definitely done a lot for us. Then again, there are tons of things in this crazy world that no one in the history of man has been able to explain. They're just totally mysterious. Here are 13 things that just can't be explained by science.
Aww. Science can't explain our favorite feeling/experience/whatever we could say love is. Most scientists would say that love is a hormonal thing, but that doesn't explain everything. Love can come on instantly or never arrive at all, and it can leave just as quickly. This gets trickier when you break down the different types of love, because while it makes sense biologically that you might fall in "love" with someone your body wants to mate with, that's different than how you love family and animals.
12 Why Tomatoes Have More Genes Than Humans
Tomatoes require more than 30,000 genes to become what we know as a tomato, but a human only requires between 20,000 and 30,000. How weird. This confusing truth has been referred to as the C-value paradox, but botanists like to call it an "enigma." What on earth is the tomato doing with all of that DNA? Let's be honest, the tomato is pretty basic, especially compared to other fruits and vegetables. It's not like it has its own peel or anything complicated.
11 How The Placebo Effect Works
We know that the placebo effect does in fact work, and pretty well at that. People can be tricked into thinking that they will be cured by taking placebo pills if they expect them to work. The mind is an extremely strong thing. But while scientists know that the placebo definitely works, they can't really explain it. It's sort of like the medical version of manifesting your destiny. Guess we should try to control our reality with our minds all the time and see what happens.
10 The Great Smoky Mountains Fireflies
There are 19 species of fireflies that live in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but one species is the only one in the country that can synchronize their flashing light patterns. Each year they start flashing together for a two-week period which changes year to year but always remains synchronistic. Scientists have no idea why or how they do it. They think it has something to do with their mating process. Whatever the reason is, it's a pretty cool thing to see.
9 How Old Water Is
Back in the day, like way before human life was even a twinkle in the creator's eye, planet earth was a little planet weakling when it came to energy output. The earth was so mild in fact that it shouldn't have been able to melt any ice that was on it. And yet scientists have confirmed that there was water on the earth between 3.8 and 2.4 billion years ago when life was starting to evolve. The question is... how did the ice melt? There are a few different theories about this, but no one knows for sure.
8 What Dinosaurs Looked And Sounded Like
All we have left of the dinosaurs are their bones. There are tons of things about dinosaurs that have never been proven and we just have endless questions. We don't technically know what their skin looked like, so could they have been some pretty wild shades? Sure. Common sense suggests they blended in with the bland landscape, but then again we also have flashy parrots who do just fine with multi-colored feathers. We also don't know what dinosaurs sounded like, since the structures of bones we can put together don't show us anything about organs or their throats.
7 Why Most Of Us Are Right-Handed
Nine out of ten people in the world are right-handed which is pretty crazy, but we can't agree on why. Of course, there are plenty of theories out there. There is evidence that our species was right hand dominant as far back as 1.5 million years ago, but not as much if you go back more than 2 million years ago. One theory? Language. People process most of their language on the left side of the brain, and the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body.
6 Where The Aliens Are
Don't freak out, they probably look more like us than E.T. Well, maybe not. Whether you want aliens to exist or not, scientists do believe there is other life somewhere. There are billions of stars in the galaxy, and there should be some similar to earth somewhere, which means that there should be life. The odds are good that some of that life would be intelligent, and scientists assume that some of them should have figured out how to hop in space ships by now. But we haven't run into any of them in our space travels or seen any evidence of this.
5 Why Magnets Have A North And South Pole
Magnets naturally have a north and south pole, which is pretty weird when you think about it. That's why if you try to connect them end to end, one end will repel while the other will stick. No matter how many times you cut a magnet in half, it will still have a north and a south pole which is more than a little baffling. But what scientists can't figure out is why there aren't any with a single pole. The study of quantum mechanics says that it's possible, and people have successfully made them in the lab, but one has never been found in nature.
4 The Moon Illusion
This is the optical illusion that causes the moon to look larger when it's rising close to the horizon than when it's higher in the night sky. Its been documented this way since ancient times and there is probably a good explanation for it... which we just don't know. There are a few different theories out there that are hotly debated. The reality is that the moon is actually farther away when it is lower in the sky than when it is hanging, so it's a little weird. One hypothesis is that it has to do with relative size. When it's close to the horizon, it looks large in comparison, but in the sky it's all alone up there and seems smaller.
3 Why The Sun's Atmosphere Is Hotter Than The Surface
Everyone knows that the sun is really hot. But what's strange is that its atmosphere is actually much hotter than its surface. The surface of the sun reaches crazy temps of 5,000 degrees, but the atmosphere? That reaches two million degrees. What the heck? Again, this is one mysterious fact about our universe that no one has the answers for. Combined with the fact that the atmosphere of the sun can extend out more than a million km from the surface and you're even more freaked out.
2 Why Birds Know Where To Migrate
Birds fly south for the winter to get their warm weather enjoyment on, but no one knows how they know to do it. Spring break for birds? Scientists think that this is because of the food available. There are tons of theories out there about how and why they migrate and stick to some pretty specific schedules, but none of the theories have been proven. Some people think they have a built in wi-fi type thing that gives them info about the weather, others think they look to the stars.
1 Why We Sleep
We all know that sleep is very important, and there are obviously tons of studies out there that show the benefits of sleep and the crappy things that happen when we don't sleep. And yet science doesn't have a real answer why we need to be asleep for such a huge portion of our lives to survive. There are a few common theories, and the truth might be a mix of them. Some possibilities: the inactivity theory (that it's safer to sleep when it's dark out), the energy conservation theory (to cut down on our need for food), restorative theories (to repair ourselves), and the brain plasticity theory (that we need to be asleep to change our brain). All we know is that we need some serious shut-eye or we're seriously grumpy.