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16th Issue


CURIOSITY QUESTIONS from students of Kendriya Vidyalaya, IIT, Guwahati

Question: What is the mystery behind Bermuda Triangle?                                                                                                        

Kristy Saikia, Class IX

Ans.: There is no scientific proven theory to prove the mystery of Bermuda triangle. Most scientists now believe that it is only a manufactured mystery. In a 2013 study, the World Wide Fund for Nature identified the world’s 10 most dangerous waters for shipping, but the Bermuda Triangle was not included in the list.

Question: Why does a sea look blue whereas a glass of water doesn’t?                                                                                                                                                                              

Moumeeta, Class IX

Ans.: The blue colour of sea/ocean water is caused by the selective absorption and scattering of white light. It looks blue because red, orange and yellow (long wavelength light) are absorbed more strongly by the water than is blue (short wavelength light). So when white light from the sun enters the sea/ocean water, it is mostly the blue that gets reflected. Same reason the sky is blue. The deeper the water the more light that is reflected. This is why shallow water appears clear and deep water blue.

Question: How do the human eyes see black colour?                                                                                                                     

Moumeeta, Class IX

Ans.: Black colour merely indicates the absence of any colour. When an object does not reflect any wavelength of light, human eyes perceive it as black.

Question: How do the planes stay in air?                                                                                                                                           

Avantika, Class IX

Answer: Planes stay in air due to Bernoulli’s theorem. As a plane moves fast across the wings, it creates an upward force. This upward force makes the plane stay in air.

Question: How can the chameleons change their colour?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Avantika Pillai, Class IX

Answer: The outermost layer of the chameleon’s skin is transparent. Beneath this are several more layers of skin that contain specialized cells called chromatophores. They hold pigments and whenever thermo-regularization is needed, these pigments can be released to change the colour.

Question: How can we remember and memorise things or events?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Sanjana, Class IX

Answer: The process of memory creation is still under investigation and we still don’t have a clear understanding of the actual process. There are different forms of memories and they are encoded in the brain in different ways. Short-term and long-term memories are encoded and stored in different ways and in different parts of the brain. One way in which working memory is stored is by keeping neural circuits that encode the remembered items active. On the other hand, long-term memories involve more structural changes in the brain, which can occur in many different forms.

Question: What makes people right or left handed?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Sanjana, Class IX

Answer: Our brain is divided into two halves – right and left. Both the halves are not equally active. The left half of the brain of the right-handed people is more active and the opposite is true for the left-handed persons.

Question: How humming birds fly backwards whereas other birds don’t?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Kapil Deka, Class IX

Answer: Humming birds don’t flap their wings like other birds. They move their wings in a particular pattern at a very high speed. This makes the humming birds hover a place for long time and also allows them to move backward.

Question: Why is the sky blue?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 Manas Pratim Sarma, Class IX

Answer: As the light passes though the air, it absorbs all the wavelengths of light except blue. It reaches our eyes and appear blue to us.

Question: Is there a fourth dimension?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Rishiraj, Class IX

Answer: Yes. In physics, time is regarded as the fourth dimension along with X, Y and Z.

Question: How consciousness is generated?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Ankita Sarma, Class IX

Answer: The science behind consciousness is still not clear and is an active area of research. According to a new theory developed by Professor Johnjoe McFadden of University of Surrey, England, electromagnetic energy enables the brain matter to create our consciousness and our ability to be aware and think.

Question: How can we dream while we sleep?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Purvi Saxena, Class VII

Answer: The discipline of neuroscience is still developing and there is no proven mechanism behind dreams. Dreams are images, thoughts, or feelings that occur during some stages of sleep, particularly during rapid eye movement phase, when our brain is most active. When we are awake, our thoughts have certain logic to them. When we sleep, our brain is still active, but our thoughts (or dreams) often make little or no sense. This may be due to the fact that rather than the logical regions of the brain, the emotional centres trigger dreams.

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