Phenomena Science Can’t Easily Explain
Date: 2018-12-20 15:15:02
From udder-shaped cloud formations to the majestic song of the humpback, today we look at strange things science has a hard time explaining.
#12 Animal Migration
One of the most incredible natural feats to witness annually is seasonal migration. Some species will travel up to 11,000 miles to reach their summer home before taking the trip back later that year! Some trips aren’t annual, and instead astound scientists in the length between migrations. For example, some baby turtles will hatch from an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, only to wait years until fully grown to make the 1,400 mile return trip…to the middle of the ocean! The ability of various species to navigate seemingly by pure instinct is one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of modern science.
#11 Mammatus Clouds
More of a growth formation than an actual category, Mammatus clouds hang from the underbelly of other clouds. Believed to be formed by cold air creating pockets within the clouds that sink and cause the cloud to extend downward in rounded tufts. Scientists have proposed many hypothesized mechanisms to explain this odd formation, mainly due to the many different properties they display and environments in which they appear. From cooling due to hydrometeors to gravity waves, the theories surrounding Mammatus clouds differ wildly. The one constant between the various proposed mechanisms, though, comes in the belief that sharp changes in moisture, momentum, and temperature play a strong role in creating these udder-like clouds.
#10 Sun’s corona
Perhaps most easily viewed during a solar eclipse (bare-eyed observation is not recommended), the Sun and other stars across the Universe, are surrounded by a thick aura of plasma. This glowing ring of ambient light is referred to as the Sun’s corona and emanates millions of kilometers into outer space. The light created by the corona, however, is not nearly as curious to scientists as its temperature. Burning at several millions of Kelvins higher than the surface of the Sun, the corona has perplexed scientists as heat directly transferred from the Sun’s interior to its plasmic aura would violate the second-law of thermodynamics. Thus, scientists deduce something else must be at work here, attributing two theories as having the most potential for cause: magnetic reconnection and wave heating. Magnetic reconnection is the belief that the solar magnetic field creates electrical currents in the corona to generate heat, whereas the latter theory relies on waves, like plasma and gamma, to carry the heat to the corona. Either way, there has yet to be any true consensus on the source of the Sun’s plasma crown.