The Non-Vegetarian Plant in our Backyard

Ever heard of plants that eat animals? The Pitcher plant is one such species. Pitcher Plants are several different carnivores plants which have modified leaves known as pitfall traps. The trap is a prey-trapping mechanism featuring a deep cavity filled with digestive liquids. The plants attract and drown their prey with nectar. Foraging, flying or crawling insects such…

Why do joints pop and crack?

Do your joints make noise when you move? Knees, ankles, fingers, and shoulders can all make cracking or popping noise from time to time. While it may sound like something is terribly wrong with the joint, in most cases joint noise is nothing to worry about. For many decades, the physical mechanism that causes the cracking sound as…

How are ping pong balls made?

Ping pong balls are made of celluloid, which is the same material from which photographic film is made. No, it is not considered a true plastic. Celluloid is a composition of nitrocellulose and camphor. A flat sheet of celluloid is soaked in hot alcohol until soft. Balls are cut by machine, with hot water dripping onto them to avoid cracks. Ball halves…

The Devils’ Kettle

A waterfall that seems to just disappear into the ground sounds pretty unbelievable; half of this waterfall disappears into a hole never to be seen again. But scientists are still bewildered by the mysteries of Devil’s Kettle Falls. Called the “Devil’s Kettle,” this natural, rocky void has no obvious explanation on or below the surface.…

The Survival of the Sea Turtle

Sea turtles are large, air-breathing reptiles that inhabit tropical and subtropical seas throughout the world. Sea turtles have a strong sense of place—when it’s time to nest, they return to the same beach where they hatched decades before. All sea turtles in the United States are listed as endangered, except for the olive ridley and loggerhead, which are listed…