Science Questions Answered – Issue 1106

By Louange Lubangu

1. What makes hair curly?

The answer to this is the shape of the hair follicles. When hair follicles are asymmetrical, the hair that grows out appears curly because of the oval shape of the hair strand. When the hair follicle is symmetrical, however, hair strands tend to grow out round in shape, and hence the straight hair.

2. What makes an animal cute?

We’ve all done it, scrolled through social media and stopped on that one picture of a cute husky and just wanted to cuddle it and take it home. But what is it that makes us find something cute? Well, it’s subjective first of all, but there are some general characteristics that would lead one to categorise a human or animal as ‘cute’: big eyes, a small nose, a larger forehead, round cheeks to name a few. This list is referred to as kindchenschema which is German for ‘baby schema’, an ethology term first used by ethologist Konrad Lorenz.

3. Why can we see the moon during the day sometimes?

The moon obviously doesn’t move anywhere, so during the day we normally don’t see it because the sun is much brighter, so if we can see it, it is because the sun, moon and earth are aligned in a certain way, that means that the moon can reflect light, and therefore we can see it. Simple.

4. How much does the earth weigh?

Is this a trick question?

5. Why does water feel wet?

Let’s say you dip your finger in some water and lift it out again, the wet feeling is due to the water on your finger evaporates quickly and as a result, you feel cold. If we were to compare this effect to say oil, we would find that it would not work the same because oil does not evaporate as rapidly as water does.

6. What would happen if everyone on earth jumped at the same time?

Thankfully nothing! Even though there are approximately 7 billion humans on earth, all of our weights combined could not even compare to the weight of the earth, so nothing would happen, absolutely nothing.

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