Dinosaurs, Insects, Space: Redditors Discuss Mind-Blowing Scientific Facts

When you look up into the sky and realize that approximately 99.85 percent of the mass of the solar system is concentrated in the sun, it makes all of Earth's creatures—including us humans—look pretty minuscule.

That is just one of a number of "blow your mind" scientific facts mentioned in a viral Reddit thread that explores basic scientific facts, including many which are often forgotten or just never described in mainstream scientific discussions.

Dinosaurs
The era of the dinosaurs was actually longer than the time since the species went extinct until now. That was one of many scientific facts mentioned in a recent Reddit conversation. iStock/Getty

For example, one user mentioned how Voyager I has been traveling over 30,000 miles per hour since its launch into orbit in 1977 and is 20 light years away. According to NASA, in August 2020 Voyager I "made the historic entry into interstellar space, filled with material ejected by the death of nearby stars millions of years ago."

Both Voyager I and II are farther away from the earth and sun than Pluto. And they each have explored all the giant planets of our outer solar system, such as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, as well as 48 of their moons.

According to Space.com, Voyager 1's next big encounter will take place in 40,000 years when it comes within 1.7 light years of the star AC +79 3888—approximately 17.5 light years from Earth. A limited power supply may lead to a conclusion of data collection by 2025, however.

Another Reddit user touched on the vastness of animal species, namely insects. One user pointed out that if you put one of every animal in a bag and had to pick one out, you would have a one-in-five chance of picking a beetle. That is because there are some 350,000 beetle species worldwide, including nearly 30,000 kinds in the United States alone.

A user chimed in, saying that an individual in such a scenario has a 50 percent chance of picking any kind of insect due to half of the animal species being insects—including 40 percent of insects being beetles.

It recalls an old joke by evolutionary biologist J.B.S. Haldane: "If one could conclude as to the nature of the Creator from a study of creation it would appear that God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles."

In a 2009 textbook published by Iowa State University entomologists Larry Pedigo and Marlin Rice, they stated that the estimated ratio of insects to humans is 200 million to one. At that time it equated to an average of 400 million insects per acre of land.

Voyager
The Voyager I and II spacecrafts launched in August 1977 and continue to explore the limitless universe. Voyager I is traveling over 30,000 miles per hour and is now approximately 20 light years away. NASA/Getty

Another factoid: Sharks are older than trees, and yet trees were a major threat to life on Earth prior to the evolution of fungus—which decomposed trees and allowed for the proliferation of vegetation.

Or this one: Wooly mammoths were not yet extinct when the ancient Egyptians built the Great Pyramids.

And in the era of Jurassic Park and the continuous affinity for dinosaurs, this fact brought up by a Redditor was among the most interesting for readers with more than 18,400 votes: The total span of the age of dinosaurs, from the beginning of the Triassic period to the end of the Cretaceous period, was nearly three times longer than the time from the end of the Cretaceous period to now.

The Triassic period began over 200 million years ago, while the Cretaceous period ended about 66 million years ago.