Science Snippets

Want some fun facts and interesting snippets of science? Then you came to the right place.

Filter Total Items: 274
A USGS geologist collects a molten lava sample during a December 2015 lava flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō.
April 11, 2016

Viscosity refers to a fluid’s resistance to flowing. Ever heard the phrase “slower than molasses?” Viscosity is what it’s referring to, since molasses has a fairly high viscosity and so doesn’t flow very quickly.

A diagram showing a cross-section of the subsurface, including the unsaturated zone.
April 4, 2016

The unsaturated zone is the area below the surface of the ground but above the groundwater table. In other words, it’s the area that is comparatively drier than aquifers, with both water and air in the pore space between rock and soil.

Image: House Damage from 2011 Oklahoma Earthquake
March 28, 2016

The occurrence or frequency of earthquakes for which the origin is attributable to human activities.

Skeleton of Ambulocetus natans, an ancestor of modern whales that lived during the Eocene Epoch, a part of the Tertiary Period.
March 21, 2016

The Tertiary is a system of rocks, above the Cretaceous and below the Quaternary, that defines the Tertiary Period of geologic time. T

Hurricane Ike storm surge: Sept. 2008
March 14, 2016

Storm tides is the combination of storm surge, which is water that has been pushed by a storm, with the regularly occurring tides.

Lake Mead near Hoover Dam.
March 7, 2016

This one has a lot of variance within the scientific community, but at its core, a reservoir is a place where fluids collect and concentrate.

Detailed view of a Quagga Mussel (right) and a Zebra Mussel.
February 29, 2016

Its spelling looks similar to Quahog, and it is even distantly related—the Quagga Mussel is a bivalve mollusk just like the Quahog.  That’s where the similarities end, though. Quahogs are clams, native to the Americas and often used in chowder, whereas Quaggas are mussels native to Ukraine that accumulate toxins and have an offensive smell.

 Probing the snow pack at the highest point in North America
February 22, 2016

Prominence is a term in topography that refers to the elevation of a summit relative to its surrounding terrain. This is different from its overall elevation, which measures the height of the summit above sea level.