People are sharing online science-y facts that consistently amaze them, following a prompt from science communication and mental health advocate Susanna L Harris. A lot of them are pretty great, and who doesn't like getting their mind blown, so here are a few of our favorites. We'll jump in if we feel like something needs a bit of elaboration.
This is true. Aphids can reproduce asexually as well as through sexual reproduction. The females are born with eggs already growing inside. They only reproduce sexually when their environment is unstable in autumn – possibly due to lower food supply and changes in temperature – producing more genetically diverse offspring that will be more resilient.
Prions are indeed scary. Take for example this unfortunate researcher who worked in a lab in France. She accidentally cut her finger while handling mouse brains during lab work. Seven years later she began to feel burning pains in her neck and shoulder. She then developed depression, anxiety, and experienced hallucinations, before dying 19 months after her symptoms began.
The cause of death was variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), a rare disease where prions begin to fold in your brain, before changing the shape of neighboring proteins, turning them into misfolded prions and so on, spreading around the brain.
That isn't even the worst disease caused by prions.
Check out more about that one here, but probably not before bed.
More distressing truth. Here they are in action.
This next one really messes with people.
Ask around amongst your friends and you'll probably find some have an inner monologue and some don't. You can find out more about it here.
There's a whole lot more so enjoy the ride.
This is true, and we are lucky to have the spectacular eclipses we do. Our last total solar eclipse will take place about 600 million years from now, before the Moon is too far away from Earth to block the Sun from our view entirely.
And one last one, because it always weirds me out.
Check out the rest on Twitter, it really is an endless thread of science-y facts that will consistently amaze you.