Part 1: Fake News

Fact: Carrots aren’t orange. They will help you see in the dark, but they’re still pulling the wool over your eyes – carrots are naturally purple, white or yellow, not orange. Modern day carrots are orange because they contain very high levels of beta-carotene – the same molecule that makes them so good for you….

Beer Jacket

Fact: Drinking alcohol actually makes you colder. Braving the cold night air is always easier after you’ve had a pint or six, but although alcohol makes you feel warmer, your beer jacket it lying to you. We aren’t quite sure why, but alcohol causes the blood vessels in your skin to relax (or dilate). This…

Liquid Diet

Fact: Guinness is a low-calorie nutrient-rich super-food. Drinking one quickly feels like downing a roast dinner, but the rich, creamy meal replacement that is Guinness is actually often the lowest calorie beer on tap, so it’s worth considering if you’re watching your weight on a night out. The main source of calories in beer is…

Breathe Deep

Fact: Oxygen is a poison. The air we breathe, the very thing keeping us alive… it turns out oxygen is actually poisonous to most life on Earth, including humans. Oxygen is a critical reagent in the reaction we use to release energy from our food (‘respiration’). We do this by passing electrons from sugar molecules…

Part 2: Death by Sex

Fact: Anacondas spend months mating: it can go on so long that they die from it. Green anacondas are the worlds largest snakes, but lasting up to a month in the sack they’re also the world finest endurance sex athletes. Such a marathon requires organisation and planning. A keen female lays down a trail of…

Part 1: Sex or Death

Fact: Ferrets die if they don’t get enough sex. “I’m dying for it”. “It’s killing me.” They might be phrases you’ve said in the past, but we shouldn’t be so dramatic: for female ferrets, sex really is a matter of life and death. Sex is so important to female ferrets because of the nature of…

Part 2: A Watery Grave

Fact: It’s better to drown in salt water than in fresh water. Drowning is bad no matter which way you spin it, but you’re less likely to end up in Davy Jones’ locker if you get into trouble in the sea rather than in a freshwater source like a pool or river. We always think…

Part 1: Bananas in Pyjamas

Fact: Bananas can kill you. Bananas are great for your health – they’re packed with essential ions, full of fibre and they come with their own handy natural wrapping. They can now even be a way of getting vaccinations to the poorest areas of the world. But where pineapples and then apples were out to…

How Now Brown Cow

Fact: Mad Cow Disease was caused by cows eating other cows. Rather than the setup for a creepy horror film it’s cold hard fact: it was cow cannibalism that set off the Mad Cow Disease epidemic in the UK. ‘Mad Cow Disease’, otherwise known as BSE (or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) is quite a unique disease….

It’s in the Blood

Fact: Fuel cells can turn glucose in your blood into electricity. The biggest barrier to portable technology is the need to constantly recharge it. But in the future you might be plugging your phone into a different power supply at night – you. Canadian scientists have created a tiny fuel cell packed with yeast cells….

The Circle of Life

Fact: Elephants never get cancer. The cure for cancer? Look to the natural world for answers, as it seems that elephants have cracked the secret to eternal life. Cancer is simply uncontrolled cell division, which occurs when the DNA of a cell becomes damaged. DNA damage occurs most commonly when cells divide, and if this…

Urine For A Treat

Fact: Porcupines can piss up to 6 feet. You might have the all-time high score on that game in you local pub’s urinal, but nature can always go one better – in this case its the water cannon of the male porcupine. There’s not a lot left to the imagination here so i’ll come right…