Awesome Learning

Why Do Electric Plugs Have Holes?

Why Do Electric Plugs Have Holes?

The reason that electric plugs typically have two or three metal prongs is very easy to explain. But what about those holes you see in the tips of the prongs? Silver Cymbal digs into the backstory and purpose of this mysterious design attribute and shines some light on the topic.

Why Does the Ocean Smell Like That?

Why Does the Ocean Smell Like That?

If you’ve been to the beach, you know the ocean has a distinctive smell. While salt and dead fish are certainly part of the aroma, host Rose Bear Don’t Walk of SciShow explains what’s responsible for the water’s primary aromas, and how those organisms meaningfully impact the Earth’s ecosystem and climate.

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Mortician Rates Movie Corpses

Mortician Rates Movie Corpses

(Gore) Caitlin Doughty of Ask A Mortician takes on the “experts react to” genre of videos by evaluating the quality and realism of the way dead bodies are portrayed in movies and TV shows, from The Goonies to Weekend at Bernie’s. If you’re squeamish, you’ll probably want to skip this one.

Never Remove a Pointy Object

Never Remove a Pointy Object

It’s a trope we’ve seen in movies and TV shows over and over. Someone gets impaled or shot with an arrow, and their instinct is to yank it out. TikTok contributor and paramedic StolenAmbulance demonstrates us in very simple terms why that’s a terrible idea.

Strange Scientific Mysteries

Strange Scientific Mysteries

In this episode of the List Show from Mental Floss, editor Erin McCarthy talks about seven strange and unusual happenings. From people waking up from comas speaking a foreign language to a massive explosion in the skies over Siberia, not everything that happens is easy to explain by science.

Meteorologist vs. Weather Myths

Meteorologist vs. Weather Myths

Can a tornado cross water? Does lightning ever strike twice in the same place? Wired interviewed WNBC Chief Meteorologist Janice Huff to talk about a variety of myths, misconceptions, and to share her extensive knowledge of the weather and forecasting.

The History of Hell

The History of Hell

(PG-13: Language) Hell is a hell of a place. But what’s the deal with the fiery, demon-filled land of doom? Where did it come from, and why are we so afraid of ending up there? Ordinary Things provides a brief history of the netherworld and why the place has to be so darned unpleasant.

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The Most Painful Things

The Most Painful Things

If you think that hangnail you got pulling off your socks hurt, The Infographics Show is here to remind us of some of the more painful sensations that humans can endure. The thought that the worse the burn, the less it hurts gives us no comfort.

The Book (How to Rebuild Civilization)

The Book (How to Rebuild Civilization)

Ever thought about what might happen if we lost everything and had to rebuild the world from scratch? This 400-page book is designed as a reference to give our society a fighting chance, with illustrations and information on everything from vehicles to shelters to medicines and agriculture. Available in digital or print editions.

How Disney Parks Fool Us with Forced Perspective

How Disney Parks Fool Us with Forced Perspective

If you’ve ever visited one of Disney’s theme parks, you have been tricked. The parks frequently employ an optical illusion known as forced perspective to make structures look bigger or smaller than they actually are. Art of Engineering explains the trickery and why our brains get so easily fooled by it.

The World’s Largest Living Organism

The World’s Largest Living Organism

Conventional wisdom might lead you to believe that the largest living thing on Earth was some kind of whale. But scientists say there’s something much larger, and it’s land-locked in the middle of Utah. Alex Rosenthal of TED-Ed digs into the story of Pando, what caused it to become so enormous, and the risks it now faces.

Interesting Acronyms & Initialisms

Interesting Acronyms & Initialisms

Let’s kick things off with a brief language lesson. An acronym is made up of parts of the phrase it stands for and pronounced as a word, while an initialism is a kind of acronym pronounced as its individual letters. With that cleared up, Mental Floss is here with 25 of the abbreviated phrases from “CAPTCHA” to “WD-40.”

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If Earth Got Kicked out of the Solar System

If Earth Got Kicked out of the Solar System

Pretty much every living thing on our planet depends on the sun in one way or another. But what might happen if the Earth didn’t have our solar system to count on and was left out on its own? Kurzgesagt explores the horrible things that might happen to us if a star got too close and knocked Earth out of its orbit.

Premium Learn to Code Bundle 2021

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Why Are Cat Claws So Sharp?

Why Are Cat Claws So Sharp?

If you’ve ever gotten gored by your adorable little kitty cat’s hook-like claws, you know how sharp they can be. Science educator Kyle Hill explains the biology behind cat claws, what makes them different from our fingernails, and how they manage to stay so razor-sharp.

How Large Can a Bacteria Get?

How Large Can a Bacteria Get?

Each of our bodies is teeming with trillions of bacteria at any given moment. Thankfully, these microscopic organisms generally work in harmony with our cells. But how did evolution prevent bacteria from becoming as big as a whale? Kurzgesagt explores this question in the latest episode of their Life & Size series.

Middle Ages Misconceptions

Middle Ages Misconceptions

You might assume that most people in the middle ages thought the earth was flat, but it turns out many of them already knew the earth was round. Mental Floss host Justin Dodd explores this misconception and a few others about medieval times.

Hexagons are the Bestagons

Hexagons are the Bestagons

We all know that bees make their honeycombs by creating nearly perfect hexagonal cells. But why is that they chose hexagons to do their building? CGP Grey looks into the power and strength of this basic six-sided form, especially when it comes to tiling efficiency.

How Candy Corn Became a Halloween Tradition

How Candy Corn Became a Halloween Tradition

Despite many people despising the fake, sugary flavor of candy corn, it’s still a wildly popular Halloween treat. Mental Floss explores the history of this divisive, tri-colored candy and why it’s so closely associated with the holiday. We never thought about it before, but candy corn has real corn in it, sorta.

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The Caproni CA-60 Transaereo

The Caproni CA-60 Transaereo
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With eight engines, nine wings, and room for 100 passengers, this early 20th-century flying machine was designed to be the first mass-passenger aircraft capable of transatlantic flight. Mustard looks back at the history of this unusual airplane, and what ended up being its downfall.

Abandoned: S.S America

Abandoned: S.S America

Christened in 1940, the S.S. America was a glorious oceanliner that could carry 1200 passengers in luxurious surroundings. But a series of events led the vessel to eventually being abandoned and becoming a rusted-out shipwreck. Bright Sun Films looks back at the unfortunate history of this once-impressive cruise ship.

Why Canada Doesn’t Have Their Own Car Brands

Why Canada Doesn’t Have Their Own Car Brands

There are a number of great American cars manufactured in Canada. In total, our neighbors to the North produced 2.4 million cars in 2019 alone. But for some reason, Canada no longer has any of its own major car brands. Donut Media digs into this puzzling question and attempts to provide some answers.

The Earth in One Day

The Earth in One Day

Imagine, if you will, that the entire 4.5 billion year history of the Earth was collapsed down to a 24-hour single day. Bright Side’s educational video does just that, taking significant events in the development of our world and giving us a relative sense of how closely together they played out.

Do the Past and Future Exist?

Do the Past and Future Exist?

Ready to have your mind blown? In much the same way as a Christopher Nolan movie, PBS Space Time host Matt O’Dowd is here to mess with our understandings about time, as he explores theories that look at the relationships between the past, the present, and the future.

How Old Is Sunlight?

How Old Is Sunlight?

The speed of light is pretty darned fast, but given just how far the Earth is away from the Sun, its light doesn’t get here instantly. It’s Okay to Be Smart teaches us how it’s not just a simple math equation, but complex astrophysics explain how sunlight is much older than you’d think.

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