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Strange Chemistry

August 31, 2015

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Maybe you love chemistry, or maybe you fall asleep every time you crack that textbook. Even if chemistry isn't your thing, you might be interested to learn some of these slightly strange but totally fascinating chemistry facts! 

Oxygen

  • Oxygen (O) is a chemical element that makes up over a fifth of Earth's atmosphere, and, as I'm sure you know, it is essential for the survival of all plants and animals (including humans) on this planet.
  • This may all sound familiar, but did you know that 20% of the Earth's oxygen is produced by the Amazon Rainforest?
  • The Amazon Rainforest is huge and covers a large portion of South America, but that doesn't mean that this important ecosystem is safe.
  • There are lots of reason for destruction of parts of the Amazon Rainforest, primarily industries such as mining and logging.
  • Even leaving out the wealth of species that rely on this rainforest, consider how much oxygen it provides! It's vital that we work to protect this amazing region. 

Deforestation is destroying the AmazonDeforestation is destroying the AmazonCourtesy of proftec.com

Salt

  • Table salt (NaCl) is a compound made up of two elements: sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl).
  • Salt is essential to human health; your body needs it to regulate your fluid balance. It should be consumed in moderation, though, because too much salt can lead to negative health effects, especially as the body ages.
  • Overdoing the salt can result in high blood pressure, heart problems, and even osteoporosis.
  • Salt is a part of all of our everyday lives, but did you know that there is actually 1/2 pound of salt in the average human body?
  • Considering that most cooking recipes call for as little as a pinch, that's quite a bit of salt! 

Help yourself to some salt - but not too much!Help yourself to some salt - but not too much!Courtesy of thefermentedfoody.com

Ethylene Gas

  • Ever heard the saying "one bad apple spoils the whole barrel"? Turns out it's absolutely true, at least in terms of fruit.
  • Ethylene gas (C2H4) is a hydrocarbon compound naturally found in fruit.
  • As fruit ripens, the gas is released, and it quickens the ripening of surrounding plants.
  • Scientists discovered this correlation when ethylene gas was being used in gas lamps in the mid-19th century. Turns out, gas leaking from the lamps was directly affecting the growth of plants nearby! 

There's a little truth to every cliche! There's a little truth to every cliche! Courtesy of triumphjobs.com

There you have it, folks! Do what you will with the facts: impress your teachers, instruct your parents, or lord your knowledge over your friends. There's no point in arguing; chemistry class may be boring sometimes, but the science itself is anything but! 

Have Your Say! 

Do you like studying chemistry? Comment below and let us know what your favorite part about it is.