The most interesting science GIFs assembled together in one place. Please let me know in case you found ones that should be added here. Also, feel free to share this list.
Midnight sun, arctic summer
The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs in the summer months in places north of the Arctic Circle or south of the Antarctic Circle, when the sun remains visible at the local midnight. Around the summer solstice (approximately June 21 in the north and December 22 in the south) the sun is visible for the full 24 hours, given fair weather.
Bean plant searching for support
As a vine, bean plants need external support, which they are able to find by making a slow circular movement.
Belousov Zhabotinsky reaction
The discovery of the phenomenon is credited to Boris Belousov. He noted, some time in the 1950s (various sources date ranges from 1951 to 1958), that in a mix of potassium bromate, cerium(IV) sulfate, malonic acid and citric acid in dilute sulfuric acid, the ratio of concentration of the cerium(IV) and cerium(III) ions oscillated, causing the colour of the solution to oscillate between a yellow solution and a colorless solution.
Short animation made from a children’s anatomy atlas. A great source for further reading in this subject is the Historical Anatomies website.
Human hand seen in X-rays
The skeleton of the human hand consists of 27 bones: the eight short bones of the wrist or carpus organized into a proximal row (scaphoid, lunate, triquetral and pisiform), which articulates with the skeleton of the forearm, and a distal row (trapezium, trapezoid, capitate and hamate), which articulates with the bases of the metacarpal bones (i.e. the bones of the palm or “hand proper”).
A box of matches ignited at once
Matches were invented in the 19th century, when the tips of small wooden rods were coated with chemicals that were easily ignited when heated by friction.
Bread dough rising
Sourdough is a type of bread produced by a long fermentation of dough using naturally occurring yeasts and lactobacilli. In comparison with breads made with cultivated yeast, it usually has a mildly sour taste because of the lactic acid produced by the lactobacilli.
Bubble in extreme cold
Apple hit by a bullet
High-speed film cameras can film up to a quarter of a million frames per second by running the film over a rotating prism or mirror instead of using a shutter, thus reducing the need for stopping and starting the film behind a shutter which would tear the film stock at such speeds.
Bullet hitting a wall
A problem for high-speed cameras is the needed exposure for the film, so one needs very bright light to be able to film at forty thousand frames per second sometimes leading to the subject of examination being destroyed because of the heat of the lighting. Monochromatic filming (black/white) is sometimes used to reduce the required amount of light.
Making a camo helmet
The Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP), also referred to as ACUPAT (Army Combat Uniform PATtern) or Digital Camouflage (“digicam”), is the military camouflage pattern used in the United States Army’s Army Combat Uniform. The pattern was chosen after several laboratory and field tests that occurred from 2003 to 2004.
Reigniting a candle
A recently extinguished candle will reignite when a lit match is held in the smoke stream.
Powelliphanta, a carnivorous snail
These large snails are endemic to New Zealand, in small areas of the North and South Islands, with the greatest diversity of species in the mountains of northwest Nelson in the South Island.
On every blog there must be a cat photo. Here it is!
How chains are made
According to the “Complete Guide to Chain”, the metal link chain was invented in 225 BC.
The Chelyabinsk meteor was a superbolide caused by a near-Earth asteroid that entered Earth’s atmosphere over Russia on 15 February 2013, with a speed of 19 kilometres per second. It quickly became a brilliant superbolide meteor over the southern Ural region. The light from the meteor was brighter than the Sun, even at 100 km distance. It was observed over a wide area of the region and in neighbouring republics. Eyewitnesses also felt intense heat from the fireball.
How chicken wire is made
Chicken wire, or poultry netting, is a mesh of wire commonly used to fence poultry livestock, such as chickens, in a run or coop. It is made of thin, flexible galvanized steel wire, with hexagonal gaps.
Convection is the concerted, collective movement of groups or aggregates of molecules within fluids, liquids or gases, either through advection or through diffusion or as a combination of both of them.
Corn flour and water on a speaker
The root of this phenomena is that when you mix cornflour and water it becomes a non-newtonian fluid – a fluid whose viscosity is rate dependent. It’s often termed silly putty since it appears to break the laws of physics and exhibits some rather strange properties. Further reading
Why corn pops
Each kernel of popcorn contains a small drop of water stored inside a circle of soft starch. The soft starch is surrounded by the kernel’s hard outer surface. As the kernel heats up, the water begins to expand. Around 212 degrees the water turns into steam and changes the starch inside each kernel into a superhot gelatinous goop. The kernel continues to heat to about 347 degrees. The pressure inside the grain will reach 135 pounds per square inch before finally bursting the hull open.
Scale of the Universe – Zooming into a Crustacean, then a Diatom, then a Bacterium
An electron microscope is a microscope that uses accelerated electrons as a source of illumination. Because the wavelength of an electron can be up to 100,000 times shorter than that of visible light photons, the electron microscope has a higher resolving power than a light microscope and can reveal the structure of smaller objects. A transmission electron microscope can achieve better than 50 pm resolution and magnifications of up to about 10,000,000x whereas most light microscopes are limited by diffraction to about 200 nm resolution and useful magnifications below 2000x.
Dissolvable Electronic Circuit
How a dog drinks
Just like cats, dogs fold the tip of their tongue backwards so that the top of the tongue penetrates the surface of the liquid. While water adhering to the top surface of the tongue is pulled upwards to the mouth, water sitting on the bottom side of the tongue spills back down towards the container as the tongue is withdrawn and the jaw closed. Further reading.
Domino Energy and Momentum
Each upright domino is also full of potential energy. When the first domino falls, the force of gravity turns that potential energy into enough kinetic energy to topple a domino larger than itself. That taller, heavier domino stores even more potential energy, and that energy will continue to mount so long as each falling domino’s kinetic energy can overcome the potential energy of their more massive neighbors. Very interesting reading.
Driving a Rover on the Moon
The Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) was a battery-powered four-wheeled rover used on the Moon during the last three missions of the American Apollo program (15, 16, and 17) during 1971 and 1972. The LRV could carry one or two astronauts, their equipment, and lunar samples.
Grimpoteuthis, the Dumbo Octopus
Grimpoteuthis is a genus of pelagic umbrella octopus that live in the deep sea. Prominent ear-like fins protrude from the mantle just above their lateral eyes. These octopuses are commonly nicknamed “Dumbo octopuses” in reference to how the ear-like fins protruding from the top of their head-like bodies resemble the ears of Walt Disney’s flying elephant Dumbo. The average life span is 3 to 5 years.
Earth viewed from a Spacecraft flying away
It was the Apollo program that produced the first widely publicized views of Earth as a colorful marble floating in black space. Further reading.
Night time Earth
A view of night time Earth made of numerous satellite photos. The brightest areas of the Earth are the most urbanized, but not necessarily the most populated. More photos of this kind.
Easter Island Statues
The mystical Stone Heads of Easter Island may have been ‘walked’ into position, according to a team of scientists. Article.
Cracking an egg underwater
The water pressure keeps the raw yolk and white together, which raises the question: how can we use this knowledge to cook eggs differently? More reading.
Elastic energy converted to kinetic energy
In order to stretch a spring, it is necessary to do external work on the spring. This work is stored in the spring and is called the elastic potential energy. This potential energy can be changed to kinetic energy by releasing the spring and allowing it to pull back towards its equilibrium position, when the payload starts to fly.
A flame test is an analytic procedure used in chemistry to detect the presence of certain elements, primarily metal ions, based on each element’s characteristic emission spectrum.
Nebula in 3D
This gas cloud where stars are born is called IC 1396. The image is not actually showing the 3D structure of the nebula. It’s an approximation, a guess based on various assumptions on how nebulae are shaped. More information.
Cicada leaving the shell
In China, the phrase “to shed off the golden cicada skin” is the poetic name of the tactic of using deception to escape danger, specifically of using decoys (leaving the old shell) to fool enemies. It became one of the 36 classic Chinese strategems.
A ferrofluid is a liquid that becomes strongly magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field. Ferrofluid was invented in 1963 by NASA’s Steve Papell as a liquid rocket fuel that could be drawn toward a pump inlet in a weightless environment by applying a magnetic field.
Flammable gas in jar
Several websites call this project a “bottle fire vortex” or “bottle fire tornado”, but the flame propagates as a wave down the bottle, without spinning.
Caterpillar catching a fly
No clue what kind of caterpillar this is, but if you are interested in pet insects, check this out.
Blossom Stop Motion
Gallium Spoon Melts in Hot Water
Gallium is a soft silvery metal, and elemental gallium is a brittle solid at low temperatures. If it is held in the human hand long enough, gallium will melt.
Gladiator Spider Dropping a Net
It constructs a square net of sticky silk. Then holds it between its forelegs before hanging itself down by a thread. It hovers a few inches above the ground until an unsuspecting insect wanders by. Read more.
Human Heart Removed from Body
The world’s first adult human heart transplant was performed by a South African cardiac surgeon, C. Barnard. He performed the first transplant on Louis Washkansky on December 3, 1967 at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa.
How a Semi-Automatic Handgun Works
It uses the energy of one shot to reload the chamber for the next. After a round is fired, the pistol will cycle, ejecting the spent casing and chambering a new round from the magazine, allowing another shot to take place immediately.
Systems of Human Body
Looks like an illustration from anatomy atlas. However, the psychedelic graphic around it is a bit thought-provoking.
Development of Human Face
During its early development a fetus looks remarkably like something from the dawn of time. Detailed description.
Earth’s Snow Cover Round the Year
The boxes below the image indicate month of year.
Iodine Clock Reaction
Discovered in 1886. Two colourless solutions are mixed and at first there is no visible reaction. After a short time delay, the liquid suddenly turns to a shade of dark blue. More reading.
Night Earth Seen from ISS
This mosaic of glowing patches are cities and towns visible from International Space Station, when passing over darkened side of Earth.
The largest jellyfish can reach 200 centimetres (79 in) in bell diameter and about 200 kilograms (440 lb) in weight. Species.
How a key lock works
How latte art is made
Mercury thiocyanate desomposition
Moon phases and libration
Neil Armstrong shaving on the way back from the Moon
Neodymium magnet flying through a copper tube
Octopus stops mimicking ocean floor
Plasma shooting off the Sun
Pouring tea on plane while doing barrel
Magnetic putty absorbing a neodymium magnet
Rubik solving machine
ISS magic carpet
Strawberry grows and ripens
Tadpole to frog transformation
Thiocyanate reacting with heat
Total internal reflection
Snake venom reacting with blood
Papua New Guinea volcano
Volcano eruption viewed from space
White blood cell chasing bacteria