Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fractured Factoids: It Never Rains in Antarctica by Barbara Seuling

It never rains in Antarctica, but girl, don't they warn ya.

It snows, yes, it snows!

A single hailstone measured in the United States was 18.75 inches around. That's almost the same size as a soccer ball.

In one winter season from 1998 to 1999, 1,40 inches of snow fell at Mt. Baker, Washington.

In 1947, a storm in the Sahara Desert blew reddish dust and deposited it in the Swiss Alps, 1000 miles away. The dust turned the snow pink.

Barbara Seuling's latest Freaky Facts mini-volume, It Never Rains in Antarctica: and Other Freaky Facts About Climate, Land, and Nature features these and many more oddities from the world of climatology and geography. Caves--got 'em, including Howe Caverns in New York, which provided forced air cooling for a hotel long before air conditioning units were invented and lava tube caves which can have icicles and frozen floors while the outside air is +100 degrees.

Bodies of water? How about the lake with the longest name--Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, in Massachusetts! Or the Tonie Sap River of Cambodia, which flows northward half the year and southward the other half. Weather oddities? Lightning is necessary for plant life, combining nitrogen with oxygen to form nitrogen oxides necessary for growth. And did you know that the U.S has the most tornadoes of any country, but Zimbabwe gets the most lightning. Freeze to death at the Equator? Yep, on top of old Mount Kenya, at 17,058 feet high.

This book has plenty more fascinating and freaky facts about earth science. And for more science oddities, just see the other mighty minis in Seuling's Freaky Facts series for lots more "Hey, listen to this!" factoids.

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