Children ask lots of questions. It is noted that children love the word "why." After all, children are very curious about the world they are born into and why things are as they are. Some parents discourage their children from asking questions while others make up answers because they don't know the answer to the strange yet eye opening questions. However, children need to continue to be encouraged to ask these "why" questions because it helps them understand the world around them better and it builds concepts, skills, vocabulary, and understandings. It is seen that as children grow up they stop asking questions because they think that there aren't any answers, but there are. These are the questions that need to be asked more and the answers need to be known because it truly is amazing to know something that not many know and it helps us make sense of the world around us. Here are just a few questions that seem impossible to answer:
Why is the sky blue?
The sky is blue because of how the sunlight interacts with our atmosphere. The colors of a rainbow make up a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The electromagnetic spectrum includes ultraviolet waves, microwaves, and radio waves and these are all forms of light. Light moves as waves that differ in lengths. The shorter waves make bluer light and the longer waves make redder light. "As sunlight reaches our atmosphere, molecules in the air scatter the bluer light but let the red light pass through." This is known as Rayleigh scattering. Since blue light travels as shorter, smaller waves, blue light is scattered more than other colors in the Earth's atmosphere.
Why is the grass green?
The grass is green because of a pigment called chlorophyll which absorbs both blue and red light, but reflects green light. Chlorophyll is produced by many plants and species of grass and plays a significant role in the process of photosynthesis.
Why does it rain?
Rain is a form of precipitation which occurs when warm air is cooled. Warm air can hold more water than cool air so when the warm air is cooled, condensation occurs and the moisture condenses to liquid. Just like that, it rains!
How do clouds float?
Clouds are made up of very small droplets of water. When I say very small, I mean very small. They have small fall speeds and due to how light clouds are, they are able to stay aloft with the help of upward velocity from the wind. This is why clouds appear to float.
How can fish breath underwater?
Fish are able to breath underwater because of their gills. Fish need oxygen to breath just like humans. Their gills remove oxygen from the water which allows them to breath underwater. "Gills are feathery organs full of blood vessels. A fish breathes by taking water into its mouth and forcing it out through the gill passages. As water passes over the thin walls of the gills, dissolved oxygen moves into the blood and travels to the fish's cells."
Why is the moon sometimes out in the day?
It is strange seeing the moon in daylight. There are two reasons for this. First being that "it is bright enough that its light penetrates the scattered blue light of the sky." Another reason why would be that the moon must be high enough for it to be visible, but the fact is the moon is visible in daylight nearly every day.
Why aren't birds electrocuted on wires?
Birds don't get shocked when they sit on wires because they are not good conductors of electricity. "Electricity flows by the movement of electrons through conductors." Due to their cells and tissues, it is more difficult for electrons to travel, but the copper wire the birds are standing on allows electrons to flow easily so the "electricity bypasses the birds and keeps flowing along the wire."
What came first the chicken or the egg?
This question is very controversial, but eggs existed before chickens did. "At some point, some almost-chicken creature produced an egg containing a bird whose genetic makeup, due to some small mutation, was fully chicken." In other words, there was this chicken-like bird that laid an egg and this other chicken-like bird that fertilized the egg. However, the genes combined in a new way that created a mutation that was different from the parents and thus a new species was created...the chicken!
How do we know how many people there are in this world?
The current world population is 7.3 billion. Is it possible to even count that many people? No. Now you must be asking how do they know then? Well, it's just an estimate. The United Nations Population Division keeps track of the world population by "synthesizing a mind-boggling array of data" and math equations.
What are humans made of?
Humans are made up of elements, but a majority of our bodies is made up of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen. In fact, half of our bodies is made up of water.
What is the universe made of?
The universe is made up of three types of substances: normal matter, dark matter, and dark energy. Normal matter consists of atoms that make up stars, planets, human beings, etc. However, normal matter is the "smallest proportion of the Universe." 70% is thought to be dark energy and 25% dark matter. Dark matter is non-luminous material that exists in space and takes any form. Dark energy is a "repulsive force that counteracts with gravity and causes the universe to expand."
Why does everyone look different?
It's extraordinary how everyone looks different from each other. Your face may resemble to those you are related to, but there is always a difference that sets you apart from them. This is because of evolution. Certain traits tend to evolve over time for an adaptive reason. Also, identification of individuals is a necessity for our species. "Facial indentification allows us to form a complex society with a wide variety of roles and finely differentiated relationships, and it is this complex society that allows us to create the culture and technology that in turn enables us to survive in all earthly (and a few extratrrestrial) environments."
Who is God?
God is seen as the creator of the universe and "source of all moral authority." Who God is differs in certain other religions, but in the end all religions believe that God has "power over nature." God can be a superhuman being or a spirit, it depends on what you believe.
Why do we dream?
Scientists have been researching to find answers to how and why we dream. There still isn't an answer, but there are theories. One theory is that we dream because it helps our brains sort through everything it collected during waking hours. "During sleep, the brain works to plow through all of this information to decide what to hang on to and what to forget." Also, scientists have made connections between dreams and memories. Studies have shown that we dream so that we sort through and convert short-term memories into long-term memories. Another theory is that our dreams reflect our emotions. For example, if you have a math test tomorrow, your brain is focused on that one thing which is why you dream about math. Scientists believe that at night everything slows down and that's when our "emotions of the day battle it out in our dream cycle." There's also another theory in which scientists believe that "dreams don't really serve any function at all" and are just pointless products of the brain.
Why can't humans fly?
Sadly, scientists have concluded that humans will never be able to fly like birds. Birds are able to fly because their wingspan and wing muscle strength are in balance with their body size. As humans grow, weight increases faster than our strength. This means that in order for humans to fly, they would need a large wingspan. "Imagine the difficulty of a simple task like walking, with your giant arm-wings dragging behind you."
Why is blood red?
Blood is red because of a protein called hemoglobin which are inside our red blood cells. "Hemoglobin is a protein that forms a complex with iron molecules and together they transport oxygen molecules throughout the body." Iron can reflect red light and because there is so much iron in our blood, blood looks red. In other words, the chemical bonds between iron and oxygen reflect red light.
Why do people have different eye colors?
A pigment known as melanin is found in the front part of the iris of the eye. Different amounts of melanin determines your eye color. "The lack of this pigment results in blue eyes, some pigment gives green and lots of pigment gives brown eyes."
Was time invented?
Time plays a huge role in our everyday lives yet we don't realize this. We all wake up at a certain time to go to school or work. We keep track of time throughout the day as we wait until school ends or when practice starts or even when our favorite television show comes on. Some of us even look at the clock every chance we can and count down to bedtime because who doesn't love sleep? Anyway, time wasn't invented. It's been around since the beginning of time and "orders our lives." Some people long ago got measurements of time to help us understand better. "The time it takes the Earth to rotate once on its axis (about 24 hours) is called a day. The amount of time it takes the Earth to revolve once around the Sun (about 365 days) is called a year."
Why can't everything be free?
As much as we wish for a world in which everything was free, that world will not last long. Society would not function without money. "...people use their time and talents to produce a wide variety of goods and services that are bought, sold, and traded." Also, if everything was free, essential needs such as food would run out. "For example, farmers produce food for you to eat, because they receive income when you purchase that food. If the food didn't cost anything, farmers would have no incentive to produce the food you want and need." People would no longer want to work if everything was free and they didn't receive money for their work.
What is the meaning of life?
The answer to this question depends on who you are and what you believe in. Some people believe that life is all about finding love while others believe life is all about religious practices. It's up to you to decide, but just know that it's good to ask questions and to look for the answers. Never stop questioning or searching.