A list of the most influential people of all time wouldn’t be complete without Sir Isaac Newton. Newton’s laws are tied to almost everything we see in everyday life. They help us understand how cars work, how baseballs move, how anything moves.

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

Yet there was a secret side to the 17th-century scientist which will become clear by the end of this story. By his mid-20s, Newton had already invented calculus. Not bad for the son of an illiterate farmer. …


In a year when a single virus has killed millions, it’s hard to think of viruses as anything other than bad, our understanding of them is largely based on the death and destruction they cause. HIV has caused the deaths of over 33 million people since the start of that epidemic in the 80s, the Ebola virus kills up to 90 percent of people who get infected with it in a gruesome and awful way, Polio still paralyzes people, Zika, Dengue, Yellow fever still ravage the tropics.

So, from where we’re standing it very much seems that viruses are not…


If the land can be owned — then it might seem obvious that if you own some land and build a house on it, then that house is your property. And if you plant a tree on your land, that tree is yours too. But when that tree drops a leaf, and the leaf falls to the ground, do you own the falling leaf? When you build a chimney in the air on top of your house, you own the chimney. So do you also own the smoke coming out? …


New Zealand: home of hobbits, mountains, and flightless birds. And no snakes. Even having snakes as pets is illegal in New Zealand. Despite being so close to Snake HQ (aka Australia), snakes are currently prohibited in the land of the long white cloud. But why? Let’s find out.

Photo by Hendrik Schlott on Unsplash

Before we can understand why snakes are illegal in New Zealand, we’ve got to know a bit about the history of snakes, and of the history of New Zealand’s islands. It can be difficult to say for certain things that happened millions of years ago.

But by using clues from fossils, understanding…


In 1959 the British Medical Journal reported on something that had never been seen before — several patients with a mysterious condition, something happening inside their blood that doctors didn’t think was possible.

Historically, we’ve understood our blood types to be a constant, immovable fact of our genetics and of our existence. But what these doctors found were several definitive cases of people with an A blood type, showing signs of their blood type changing, suddenly having red blood cells temporarily expressing the B blood type antigen. …


When you think of the most dominant creatures on earth — what comes to mind? If considering sheer size, perhaps you immediately thought of the ocean — and the largest animal that’s ever lived — the blue whale. Or perhaps thinking of strength and ferocity, you imagined lush forests full of fearsome big cats. Or maybe, quite sensibly, you thought of us — human beings- the most intelligent, and one of the most widespread creatures on the planet. …


Last year a strange and unexpected sight, off the northern coast of Norway captured the world’s attention. A lone beluga whale wearing a tight harness, with the words “property of saint Petersburg” printed on it.

Photo by Saanvi Vavilala on Unsplash

Belugas are normally found in icy and glacial areas, not along this part of the Norwegian coast and certainly not alone. …


Photo by Om Malik on Unsplash

At first glance, the polar extremes of earth look completely inhospitable, but what should be an inhospitable place for mammals is instead full of them. The question is which forces drive them to survive there?

The last glacial period on earth began to fade around 11,000 years ago. The kilometers-thick ice-sheets that covered much of the earth started to recede, and the earth entered into the Holocene, the current geological epoch. But the once-mighty glaciers did not disappear entirely, and the extremes of our earth — the north and south poles — are the remnants of the last ice age.


Pretty much every single person who has ever had an injection of any sort has been protected because of this compound from this strange, ancient creature’s blood. Every year hundreds of thousands of horseshoe crabs arrive on the beaches of the Atlantic coast of America to lay their eggs. And every year, hundreds of thousands of horseshoe crabs are rounded up and brought to the lab — not to be killed, but for their blood to be carefully extracted. These animals, often called living fossils, are one of the ‘oldest’ creatures on the planet. They have remained nearly unchanged since…

ANIKET PANDEY

Discovering and exploring my life.…I love to learn about the Who What Why Where When & How of everything and anything.

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