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The human stomach can dissolve razor blades

The human stomach can dissolve razor blades
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On the rare occasion that you swallow a razor blade, don’t fret. The human body is more capable than you think. Acids are ranked on a scale from 0 to 14 – the lower the pH level, the stronger the acid. Human stomach acid is typically 1.0 to 2.0, meaning that it has an impeccably strong pH. In a study, scientists found that the “thickened back of a single-edged blade” dissolved after two hours of immersion in stomach acid.

A laser can get trapped in water

A laser can get trapped in water
RINAT KARAMSHYN/SHUTTERSTOCK

Yes, really. A cool thing called total internal reflection is applied when pointing a laser beam through a container of water. When light travels through water, it’s slowed by the heavier particles in water, as described here. Thus, the laser beam effectively gets “trapped” in the water.

Earth’s oxygen is produced by the ocean

Earth’s oxygen is produced by the ocean
IVAN KURMYSHOV/SHUTTERSTOCK

Ever stopped to think where oxygen comes from? Your first thought may be a rainforest, but marine organisms take the bait. Plankton, seaweed and other photosynthesisers produce over half of the world’s oxygen.

Animals use Earth’s magnetic field for orientation

Animals use Earth’s magnetic field for orientation
Getty Images

Lost land animals may not be able to find their way home, but sea animals might. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), “there is evidence that some animals, like sea turtles and salmon, have the ability to sense the Earth’s magnetic field and to use this sense for navigation.”

A cloud can weigh over a million pounds

A cloud can weigh over a million pounds
TRIFF/SHUTTERSTOCK

Your childhood dreams of floating on a weightless cloud may get rained on with this fact: the average cumulus cloud can weigh up to a million pounds. A million pounds! That’s about as heavy as the world’s largest passenger jet.

Before you hop on a plane it’s important to check the weather – here’s what really happens when lightning strikes.

Soil is alive and well

Soil is alive and well
WSTOCKSTUDIO/SHUTTERSTOCK

In just one teaspoon of soil, there are more microorganisms than people on the planet, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Millions of species and billions of organisms – bacteria, algae, microscopic insects, earthworms, beetles, ants, mites, fungi and more – represent the greatest concentration of biomass anywhere on the planet.”

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Rats laugh when being tickled

Rats laugh when being tickled
HEIKO KIERA/SHUTTERSTOCK

These creatures are more dynamic then we think. Rats have the ability to “laugh” when tickled. A National Geographic video demonstrated that rats respond positively to tickling. And they even chase after the researcher’s hand in a playful manner.

There are more trees on Earth than stars in our galaxy

There are more trees on Earth than stars in our galaxy
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NASA experts believe there could be anywhere from 100 billion to 400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, Snopes reports. However, a 2015 paper published in the journal Nature estimated that the number of trees around the world is much higher: 3.04 trillion.

Oxygen has a colour

Oxygen has a colour
CLAIRE MCADAMS/SHUTTERSTOCK

As a gas, oxygen is odourless and colourless. In its liquid and solid forms, however, it looks pale blue. Some science facts are just plain weird.

Only one letter doesn’t appear in the periodic table

Only one letter doesn’t appear in the periodic table
DEMARCOMEDIA/SHUTTERSTOCK

It’s the letter J. Go ahead and double check. We’ll wait.

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Reader’s Digest Magazine delayed due to coronavirus
Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in Malaysia and the Philippines, Reader’s Digest magazine will not be available at its regular on-sale date to our subscribers or through our retail channels in these regions. We hope to have the issues available around 15 April in Malaysia and around 24 April in the Philippines, but this is dependent on when the lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience.
Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team