SCIENCE

11 Science Facts That Seem More Like Science Fiction

11/28/2013 09:03 am ET

In our hectic, mile-a-minute existences, it's easy to forget just how amazing our world truly is.

Fortunately, the authors of the newly published 1,227 Quite Interesting Facts to Blow Your Socks Off have made it easy for us to slow down and savor some astonishing scientific facts--about everything from the bodies we live in to the planet that hosts us.

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  • The human brain takes in 11 million bits of information every second but is aware of only 40.
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  • If you drilled a tunnel straight through the Earth and jumped in, it would take you exactly 42 minutes and 12 seconds to get to the other side.
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  • A medium-sized cumulus cloud weighs about the same as 80 elephants.
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  • A single bolt of lightning contains enough energy to cook 100,000 pieces of toast.
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  • Gorillas and potatoes have two more chromosomes than humans do.
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  • Human saliva contains a painkiller called opiorphin that is six times more powerful than morphine.
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  • In an average lifetime, human skin completely replaces itself 900 times.
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  • The air in an average-sized room weighs about 100 pounds.
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  • Lava can flow as fast as a sprinting greyhound.
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  • A red blood cell can make a complete circuit of your body in 20 seconds.
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  • The strongest creatures on Earth are gonorrhea bacteria. They can pull 100,000 times their own body weight.

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