#3. Suicidal whales
We see it in the news reports quite often. A beach full of whales or dolphins, slowly losing their grasp over life as the sun burns their gentle skin, a group of animal friendly activist pouring buckets of water on them to keep their skin moist, and trying to put as many of them back in the water as possible. A hearth breaking scene to which science has no definitive explanation.
Scientists as well as activists have come up with a couple of theories, but to this day none of them is proven.
Most activists like the theory that people are to blame for this strange behavior of our favorite marine mammals. They suggest that our sonar signals are messing up with the whales delicate navigation system. Others say that the pollution in the oceans is driving the whales towards the shore as a desperate attempt to escape the toxic waters. However the fact is that similar cases of whales stuck ashore have been documented for thousands of years, long before we invented the sonar and modern day toxic substances. And the claim that this is happening more often than before is quite unprovable. Just a few decades ago no one had a way to learn that last night, halfway across the globe a few dozen whales were washed ashore. A simple answer to the ever increasing number of such incidents, would be the easier access to information we have nowadays, and the increasing number of activists who would report them and try to do something. With that being said, keep in mind that this is another unproven explanation, it just sounds reasonable enough.
Another theory explaining this strange behavior states that a single whale might get stuck ashore after a not so successful hunting attempt, and its desperate distress call is making all the other whales go suicidal and join it ashore. Now this sounds a bit more reasonable, because it doesn’t involve any human related causes. But it fails to explain how the other whales heard that distress call. The whales high pitch communication sounds can travel vast distances underwater, but not in the air.
Until science finds an answer and a solution to this, we have no other choice but to help the cute marine leviathans get back to the water and hope they don’t get stuck on the next beach.
#4. Tomatoes have more genes than us
You read that right! You the pinnacle of creation, a member of the race that has mastered the elements and escaped Earth’s gravity. You my friend have around 20 000 and 30 000 genes in your genome, that scientists claim to have cracked. And a tomato? Well a tomato has about 31 760 genes!
Then how come tomatoes are not building space rockets and competing with us? It turns out that despite declaring the human genome as cracked, scientist have little to no idea what most of those 30 000 genes do. Also they have absolutely no idea what those extra 1760 genes do in a tomato. To make them look less inadequate, scientists came up with the name “The C-value paradox” (like that explains something) and put that mystery aside.
#5. Cows are always facing either north or south while eating
Now this is a modern mystery. It has been noticed just recently after the introduction of Google Earth. People looking at meadows with cows have noticed that all cows are oriented in the north/south direction while eating or sleeping. And this has been observed on all continents and all breeds of cows.
One of the first explanations that comes to mind, is that just like some birds cows have a natural compass in them. What is the purpose of that compass? Well no one is sure, but one things we know for sure, and that is the compass is surely not there to aid them on their flight south.
Others say it is a coordinate defense measure, however no one can quite explain as to how this helps cows increase their chances against predators.
Another more simplistic explanation is, that cows are just facing away from the sun, after all no one likes the sun glare in their eyes.