Utterly Useless Facts #1

(A New Feature brought to you by Iris Einstein)

Crimmie teases me mercilessly on this, but I can’t help it. I just have this thing of collecting utterly useless facts—such as the weight of an elephant’s testicles (1 kg – though I’m not sure if that’s for the pair, or just for the one); and (a far more interesting fact, this) the last foot of an elephant’s penis is prehensile. What, you thought sexual fun was the exclusive preserve of we humans?

But to more serious facts.

Utterly Useless Fact #1:

Light travels 18,000,000,000 times faster than rain.

Which means you see the water-filled drops 18 millions times sooner than you feel their icy-cold splatter. You might like to think of that next time you’re caught out in the rain without an umbrella.

Have a nice day.


by kind permission of
Crimson Prose

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
This entry was posted in On Writing, Thoughts and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Utterly Useless Facts #1

  1. Brian Bixby says:

    If I read this correctly, then rain falls at a speed of approximately 1 inch per second, to 1-digit accuracy. Is that a terminal velocity for rain?


    • crimsonprose says:

      Gosh, we’ll have to consult Iris on this, although she only collects the facts, not necessarily the supporting science – unless it has to do with animal reproduction. She’s very hot on animal reproduction (sign of a miss-spent youth). Myself, I’d question that fact altogether, or at least ask if that is an average speed of rain. Because in my experience, and I’m sure you’ve found the same, sometimes rain drifts down at a very leisurely pace, while at other times it comes tearing into you like a manic drunk is driving it. You are quite right to question it and I shall pass your query onto to Iris. 🙂


      • Brian Bixby says:

        It is my unscientific belief, unsupported by any objective evidence, that rain in the U.K. falls more slowly and is less cold (relative to air temperature) than in the northeastern United States. I found this a particularly welcome idea while hiking 9 miles of Hadrian’s Wall, when, of course, it rained.


      • crimsonprose says:

        You could be right, since the UK climate is altogether more amenable to comfortable habitation – though some areas do suffer the odd flood. East Anglia, on the other hand, is renowned as the hottest and driest area of the entire Isles (Okay, Isles of Scilly are warmer, but certainly not drier). However, I have to report some freak storms this last week, with hailstones of ave. 2 cm diameter. This is not a guest-imate. I love thunder storms, and since my front door is protected from direct assault I tend to open the door to watch it, an advantage of being outside while being dry. On these 2 separate occasions, however, I had to quickly close the door because within seconds my floor was totally covered in ice-balls. That is not an exaggeration. But it wasn’t by direct hit, it was by ricochet off the tarmacked drive. Now that is some velocity. My daughter was out in it. She has bruises! While thunderstorms might be expected in August, while accompanying flash floods, I’ve never known it (in August) to be accompanied by hail. What’s more, there was a distinct whiff in the air prior to the downfall. Though I might have expected a sulfuric stencn, since lightning is known to convert H2O to sulfuric acid, it actually smelled of methane. Odd. Very odd.


      • Brian Bixby says:

        Interesting. Our weather oddity that sometimes occurs is the winter thunderstorm.


      • crimsonprose says:

        Um, are winter thunderstorms not normal? Though I must admit I don’t remember one with snow (only hail). Time once – before the climate swerved – we had thunderstorms from March thro’ June, and from Sept thro’ Dec. Now we have them all year round. (No 2 daughter was born during a thunderstorm – at midnight, in November. She’s the one who enjoys vampires and ghouls. She’s also a practicing hedgerow witch, I’m not whether we can blame that on the fact of her birth, though had she not been born . . . ). The other change I’ve noticed over recent years is an absence of sea-mist. It used to be if the day started warm, by 4 pm the sea-mist would roll it. Like great billowing clouds of smoke. That’s not happened for about 10 years now. I wonder why that is. Any suggestions? After all, we have far more warm mornings now than we used to. We have them earlier in the year, too. Summer now begins in April. But by August we need to turn the heating back on. I blame it on the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. They were the first to launch into large-scale deforestation and stubble-burning. (I have actually seen that put forward as a serious theory.)


      • Brian Bixby says:

        Thunder in snowstorms, which are the only winter storms I was thinking of, is relatively rare around here, enough that it is always remarked upon.

        We’ve also had the earlier springs, which is playing havoc with the maple sugaring season, though this spring was a notable exception.

        I blame it all on the curse the Indians placed on Mt. Monadnock, causing the first example of total deforestation in New England, any evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.


  2. Judy says:

    I am sure the fact is totally useful to the elephant!! Well or at least function!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.