Got Curiosity?

We’ve Got answers

Let your curiosity run Wild!

Have you seen one or more of our WILD facts around Rochester? Read more below to discover some facts worth sharing.

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Beavers Secrete an FDA-Approved Flavoring

Oddly enough.. this one is TRUE!

Beavers possess a gland that secretes a substance called castoreum, which can enhance vanilla or strawberry flavors–an umami of sorts. Castoreum is used to scent-mark beavers’ territory (what a delightful way to leave your mark!). Even if this is new information to you, this scent/flavor has been used in foods and perfumes for at least 80 years. Though, more recently, it has been used in perfumes as a base note more than it’s been used in foods. Yum!

True or false?

Saturn can FLoat on water

Theoretically, this one is TRUE!

IF there was a body of water large enough to accommodate Saturn, it could float on water! Saturn is the second largest planet in our solar system, so this isn’t an actual possibility at the moment.

Saturn is 95 times Earth’s mass, but what makes Saturn unique, is that it is less dense than Earth AND water! If an object is less dense than water, it’s likely to float.

Saturn has a density of 0.687 grams/cubic cm. while water has a density of 1 g/cubic cm.

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True or false?

one cloud can weigh more than 100 mastodons

This fact is TRUE!

Mastodons were creatures that were smaller than mammoths, but more similar in size to modern-day elephants. They lived from the late Miocene until the end of the Pleistocene era.

1 adult mastodon would have weighed approximately 8,000-10,000lbs. Collectively, 110 mastodons could have weighed a little over 1.1 million pounds.

An average cumulus cloud (the big, white, and fluffy ones that are typical of a sunny Rochester day) can weigh about 1.1 million pounds when they’re 1 km wide and tall. So if you’ve got an average cumulus cloud hanging over you, you’ve got a cloud that’s heftier than a herd of mastodons!

Because a cloud is less dense than dry air and made up of big fluffy piles of tiny water droplets & vapor, they float instead of falling out of the sky. We’re glad there are clouds in the sky and not mastodons.

True or false?

There are more Trees on earth than stars in our galaxy

Theoretically, this one is TRUE!

Going off of 2015 numbers, there are approximately 3.04 trillion trees on Earth.

According to NASA, there are between approximately 100 billion and 400 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy.

Both numbers are estimates, so we may never know the exact number of stars vs. trees at any given time, but the estimates currently favor the trees.

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true or false?

YOU COULD DRIVE UP TO SPACE IN ONE HOUR AT 70 MPH

Hypothetically, this is TRUE!

If you were actually able to drive up to space in your car, it would only take about an hour if you were driving 70 miles per hour. If you walked, it would take you close to 17 hours.

Unfortunately, either way, you’d lose in a race to a rocket–the NASA SpaceX Falcon 9 can make the trip in about 8.5 minutes.

Issues you might encounter while trying to get to space in a car: a lack of oxygen, limited gas stations in space, and no public bathrooms.

true or false?

Hodinöšyö:nih means “people of the extended house”

This fact is TRUE!

We use the name Hodinöšyö:nih/Haudenosaunee (hoe-dee-no-SHOW-nee) as opposed to Iroquois, because this is the name that this Indigenous group calls itself–”The People of the Extended House”.

This name originates from the Confederation (or alliance) of Five original Nations–Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk. The Tuscarora would later join in the early 1700s to become the Sixth Nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The name combines the distinctive structure of the physical longhouse building with the metaphorical sharing of resources, responsibilities, and decision-making that characterizes the Confederacy.

Each Haudenosaunee longhouse would shelter several families that belonged to the same clan. Historic longhouses were about 20 feet wide and could range from 40 to 200 feet long depending on the number of families living there.

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True or false?

Lasers can get trapped in water

This is TRUE in some cases!

A laser can appear to be trapped in a stream of water. When a laser is pointed into a body of water that has a stream exiting it, the ray of light will appear to bend with the stream. The light produced by the laser will change its angle at the points where two mediums meet (water and air).

In the instance of a stream of water, laser lights are bouncing back and forth within the boundaries of a stream of water, acting almost like a hall of mirrors. The stream will appear to have trapped the laser.