Nature #4

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Sewage effluent from the wastewater treatment plant outside Boulder, Colorado can change male fish into females in just seven days. - San Diego Union, 2/1/07

Lightning strikes the Empire State Building in New York about 25 times each year. - The Week Magazine, 11/3/06

A cubic mile of fog is made up of less than one gallon on water. - San Diego Union, 10/12/06

Actual mathematical equations have determined that you really do get less wet if you run in the rain. - The Week Magazine, 11/3/06

The average distance a dandelion seed travels through the air is 6 miles. - San Diego Union, 9/21/06

The front teeth of rats grow between 4 1/2 and 5 1/2 inches per year. Rats wear them down by constantly chewing on everything around them. - Discover Magazine, 12/06

The brain of a male black right whale weighs approximately 8.8 pounds. The testicles of a male black right whale weigh approximately 2,200 pounds. - San Diego Union, 10/12/06

Norway is planning to build a "doomsday vault" inside a mountain on an Arctic island to hold a seed bank of all known varieties of the world's crops. This will supposedly preserve biodiversity in the event of a global disaster. - BBC News, 1/12/06

Only one verified case of injury from a meteorite has ever been recorded. In 1954, an eight-pound meteorite crashed through a roof and bounced off a radio onto Annie Hodges' hip while she was napping. - Discover Magazine, 8/06

Scientists in San Diego have discovered a plant gene that makes growth-inhibiting enzymes. If the gene is spliced into the grass genome, it will prevent grass from growing more than a few inches. This would mean a lawn that never needs to be mowed. - Popular Science, 8/06

There is no such thing as the "speed of sound" - sound travels at different speeds depending on temperature and the medium it's passing through. The speed of sound is 4 times faster through water, and 15 times faster through steel than air. - San Diego Union, 5/24/06

Whales and dolphins can literally fall half asleep. Their brain hemispheres alternate sleeping so the animals can continue to surface and breathe. - Discover Magazine, 7/06

April 2006 in the United States was the warmest April on record. - USAToday, 5/17/06

Bottlenose dolphins can call each other by name when they whistle, making them the only animals besides humans known to recognize such identity information, scientists said. Two dolphins will sometimes even refer to a third dolphin by name even when he or she isn't present. - USA Today, 5/8/06

The mosquito is the most dangerous animal on the planet. Female mosquitoes carry malaria, which kills over one million people each year. - Yale Alumni Magazine, 3/06

4.5 pounds of sunlight strike the earth every day. - San Diego Union, 5/3/06

The most dangerous animals in the United States are deer. They are responsible for vehicular collisions which accounted for 204 U.S. deaths in 2004. - University of Wisconsin (Madison) Study, 2/06

100,000,000 sharks are killed annually by commercial fishing. - San Diego Union, 3/8/06

January 2006 was the warmest January on record. Several ice fishing contests in Minnesota were cancelled because lakes weren't fully frozen over. - Washington Post, 2/7/06

Taipei 101 is the world's tallest building - 508 metres (1,667 feet) high. At 700,000 tons, it is among the heaviest. But the sheer size of the Taiwan skyscraper is thought to have triggered two recent earthquakes because of the stress that it exerts on the ground beneath it. - The Guardian, 12/2/05
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