I’ve never understood that some people think that science is as boring as watching paint dry. Even if scientists literally watched paint dry, it would probably be part of some fascinating experiment, aimed at the betterment of all humanity, or at least the betterment of some paint.
There are a lot of scientific endeavors that take an immense amount of time, but produce the most amazing results! And here are some of the oddest among them. Elusive pitch drops, alarm bell that just won’t stop, an experiment that is supposed to go on for 500 years – these are truly shocking!
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Sunspot Observation 0:31
Alarm Bell That Just Won’t Stop 1:55
Almost Perpetual Clock 3:00
Elusive Pitch Drops 4:07
500 Years For One Experiment 6:04
More Than 66,000 Generations in Petri Dishes 7:29
Picture of the Pitch Drop Experiment at the University of Queensland, with 9-volt battery for size comparison: By John Mainstone, University of Queensland – John Mainstone, custodian of the Pitch Drop Experiment, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2903048
Richard Lenski with a tray of flasks from the long-term evolution experiment in his lab at Michigan State University on May 26, 2016: By Zachary Blount – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49032039
Thomas Parnell of the University of Queensland, c.1920, Photo courtesy of the University of Queensland Archives, S177 p831: By The University of Queensland Archives – Courtesy of the University of Queensland Archives, CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44910614
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-Since ancient time, astronomers have discovered that sunspots have a direct impact on the Earth’s climate. For example, there was a period called Medieval Maximum, from 1100 to 1250, when a lot of sunspots were observed, and which coincides with a period of warmer climate called the Medieval Warm Period.
-There is an alarm placed right in the foyer of Clarendon Laboratory at the University of Oxford that has been ringing since 1840.
-There is a clock at the University of Otago, in New Zealand, that hasn’t been wound since it was made in 1864 by Arthur Beverly and has almost never stopped to this day.
-A funnel was filled in 1927 with a highly dense pitch known to us as tar or asphalt. When the pitch settled down in 1930, its bottom was opened by Professor Thomas Parnell. It took, on average, 8 years for the first 7 drops to fall.
-Charles Cockell from the University of Edinburgh decided to find out how long can dried bacteria survive. In 2014 his ambitious experiment began, and it is supposed to end in 2514.
-In 2016, 12 populations of bacteria named E. coli reached the point of 66,000 generations. All these generations of E. coli are needed to track little evolutionary changes in them and to watch the evolution itself in miniature.
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