Top 12 Tricky Science Questions Answered - Owlcation - Education
Updated date:

Top 12 Tricky Science Questions Answered

Author:

Rhys Baker teaches science at Arthur Mellows Village College in Peterborough, UK.

Science is all about asking questions, and some of the most interesting and thought-provoking questions come from the imaginations of children. They can be staring out of a window and then drop such bombshells as:

"How much does the sky weigh?"

The media often laments how few parents are equipped to answer these questions. Fortunately, we live in the age of information, with answers just a few clicks away. The important thing is to never dismiss or dodge these questions. This inquisitive nature passes by all too quickly. If you are unsure of an answer, seek it out with your child! Children crave parental attention, and this is a great opportunity for you to spend time together while learning something new.

Here are some of the science questions I am asked quite often, particularly by my younger students. Each question and their related questions have simple answers and, where necessary, a link for more information. Enjoy!

12 Tricky Science Questions

  1. Why is the sky blue?
  2. Why does the moon appear in the daytime?
  3. How much does the sky weigh?
  4. How much does the Earth weigh?
  5. How do airplanes stay in the air?
  6. Why is water wet?
  7. What makes a rainbow?
  8. Why don't birds get electrocuted when they land on an electric wire?
  9. Do aliens exist?
  10. Where do birds go in the winter?
  11. Why is the ocean blue?
  12. Why is the sun the only star that can be seen during the daytime?
Blue sky over a green hillside.

Blue sky over a green hillside.

1. Why Is the Sky Blue?

The sky looks blue but really it is made up of all the colours of the rainbow. Each of these colours has a different wavelength. Some of these are smoother while others are choppy. Blue light waves travel in short, choppy waves. Like each of the other colours, blue light waves are scattered and reflected as they enter Earth's atmosphere and collide with gases and other particles. Because the colour blue has the shortest wavelength, it collides with nearly everything in its path and is scattered about the sky. This is why the sky appears blue.

Blue light travels in short, choppy waves whereas red light travels in long, smooth waves.

Blue light travels in short, choppy waves whereas red light travels in long, smooth waves.

Nitrogen, which makes up 78 percent of Earth's atmosphere, is the gas that blue light mostly collides and reflects off of as it makes its way toward Earth. If not for nitrogen and the short wavelength of the colour blue, the sky might be a different colour.

Is the Sky Blue Because of the Ocean?

No, the sky is blue because blue light waves have a short wavelength, causing this colour to get caught in the sky as it collides with gases and other particles.

What Is the True Colour of the Sky?

The sky has no true colour. While most of the time it is blue, sometimes it is not. It can often be pale blue, gray, or even white. The reason for this is pollution. Below is a table listing the different colours the sky the cause of its changed colour.

The colours of the daytime sky and the causes of its varying colour.

Colour of the SkyCauses

Deep blue sky

This colour means the sky is very clean. This often occurs when a cold front brings clean air from the north, or when clean air from the ocean moves onto land.

Medium blue sky

This colour means there is lots of water vapor in the sky. It can also suggest the presence of sulfur from coal-burning operations. Lastly, it may be caused by the chemical emissions of plants and trees, such as those found in The Smokey Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee.

Pale or milky-white sky

This colour indicates considerable air pollution from coal-burning power plants or chemical power plants. This condition often occurs in the summer when the air is still. There are also natural causes, such as volcanic activity or ocean plankton.

Gray or dark gray

Smoke from forest fires or agricultural burns can cause the sky to appear this colour.

Brown or brownish orange

Emissions from cars and trucks can cause a layer of this colour to form over the horizon. The main component of this kind of pollution is nitrogen dioxide.

Is the Sky Purple?

Simply by looking up, we can see that the sky is indeed blue and not purple. This is a frequently asked question, though, because according to the general answer to the question of the sky's colour (that because blue has a short wavelength it is caught and reflected in the sky), violet should be seen too, since its wavelength is even shorter than blue's.

It is true that violet is being scattered in the sky much like blue, but our eyes are not refined enough to see every colour of the spectrum. The sky is dominated by wavelengths between 400 nanometers (violet) and 450 nanometers (blue). When mixed together, our eyes are only able to see the dominant colour: blue.

Why Is the Sunset Red or Orange?

According to the science magazine Scientific American, the sunset is reddish because "when the sun is setting, the light that reaches you has had to go through lots more atmosphere than when the sun is overhead, hence the only colour light that is not scattered away is the long wavelength light, the red.

Further Reading: "Why Is the Sky Blue?"

2. Why Does the Moon Appear in the Daytime?

The moon does not produce its own light. We can only see the moon when light coming from the sun is reflected off of its surface. This means that whenever the moon reflects the sun's rays we can see it–even in the day time.

The visibility of the moon during the daytime also depends on its angle and its distance from Earth. When the moon and sun are on the same side of Earth, the moon is visible during the day; when the moon and sun are on opposite sides of the Earth, the moon is not visible during the day, as the Earth is blocking sunlight from reaching the moon's surface.

The reason we can see the moon and not stars during the day is because the sunlight reflected off of the the moon makes it 100,000 times brighter than the brightest star in the sky.

Can You See a Full Moon During the Day?

A full moon only happens when the sun shines on the face of the moon unobstructed by the Earth. Thus, you cannot see a full moon during the day. If there is daylight, at least part of the sun's light is shining upon the Earth, which would mean the entirety of the moon's face would not be illuminated.

What Is it Called When the Moon Is Out During the Day?

Currently, there is no scientific name for when the moon is out during the day. But, hey! There's nothing stopping you from creating your own.

How Long Is a Day on the Moon?

A day on the moon is equal to 29.5 Earth days. This means from sunrise to sunset on the moon, 29.5 Earth days would pass.

3. How Much Does the Sky Weigh?

The Earth has a surface area of 197 million square miles. Multiply that by four billion, and you have the Earth's surface area in square inches. With atmospheric pressure being an average 14.7 lbs (6.6kg) per square inch, the sky weighs roughly 5.2 million billion metric tons. Another way of looking at it, according to the United Kingdom's Science and Technology Facilities Council, is in its equivalent to Indian elephants. By that measure, the sky weighs equal 570,000,000,000,000 adult Indian elephants.

With all that weight, it's surprising we don't notice it as it presses on us evenly from all directions. That's because we've become used to it, and our bodies, having lived under the weight of the sky since infancy, have developed the necessary muscles to carry that weight. If we were to have grown up on another planet with less air, the weight of the air surrounding Earth might fatigue us. Luckily, that is not the case.

4. How Much Does the Earth Weigh?

The Earth weighs 5.972 x 10^24 kg, or around 6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg. However, the Earth technically weighs nothing, because weight depends on the gravitational pull acting on an object and the Earth is floating in space. Still, mathematicians got the number above by looking at the strength of Earth's gravitational pull on nearby objects.

How Much Do All the People on Earth Weigh?

If the entire human population stepped on a scale, the weight would be 316 million tons (or 632 billion pounds), according to a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Those who are overweight in the world carry a total of 16 million tons of extra weight, the equivalent of 242 million normal-weight people.

Airplanes abide by Newton's third law of physics to stay in the air.

Airplanes abide by Newton's third law of physics to stay in the air.

5. How Do Airplanes Stay in the Air?

Planes stay in the air because of the shape of their wings. Air moving over the wing gets forced downwards, which pushes the wing up. This push is stronger than gravity, and so makes the plane fly.

This is a very technical subject that the video below deals with very nicely. Planes take advantage of Newton's third law of physics, which states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. As air moving over the wing gets forced down, there is an equal and opposing force generated. This is a combination of the bottom of the wing getting pushed up, and the top of the wing getting pulled up.

Can an Airplane Stand Still in the Air?

An airplane cannot stand still in the air. This is a rule outlined by the laws of physics. Everything is always falling, but an aircraft can appear to stand still in the air by stabilizing its altitude. A helicopter, for example, appears to stand still in the air as its propeller pulls the aircraft up at the same rate gravity pulls it down. An airplane, too, can appear to stand still if there is a strong headwind coming towards it that keeps it in place.

Can an Airplane Go in Reverse?

Airplanes can in fact go in reverse. They a "thrust reverser" which changes the direction of the spinning blades in the thruster so that air is thrust forward instead of back. Airplane pilots usually only use this function for stopping once they land. When an airplane backs out of a gate at an airport, it relies on the use of tow cars to push it onto the runway. If the pilot were to engage the thrust reverser while parked in the gate, the amount of force coming from the thrusters would damage the airport as well as the people and vehicles on the ground.

Further Reading: "NASA: How Do Planes Fly?"

Water is not wet. "Wet" is just a term people use to describe the feeling of water.

Water is not wet. "Wet" is just a term people use to describe the feeling of water.

6. Why Is Water Wet?

"Wet" is ultimately just a word that applies to water. What we feel as wetness is actually coldness as the water evaporates. Below is an experiment from the Institute of Physics to test the feeling of "wetness" between two different liquids:

"The feeling of wetness is actually coldness. You can test this by comparing water with another liquid such as cooking oil, which doesn't evaporate so freely. Fill two small cups: one with water, and the other with cooking oil. (Young children should ask an adult to help.) Let both liquids come to room temperature for a day, or overnight. Dip one index finger in each liquid, lift them out, and then observe for a few minutes."

Liquids make surfaces wet (i.e. they stick to many solid surfaces) due to the electrostatic (opposite charges) forces between molecules. Water is polar—it has an uneven spread of electrical charge—which makes one end of the molecule positive and the other end negative. This causes water to be attracted to many surfaces and also explains many other properties of water.

Is There Dry Water?

Yes. Dry water is an unusual form of powdered liquid. It is a water-air emulsion in which liquid droplets the size of a grain of sand are surrounded by a silica coating. Dry water consists of 95 percent liquid, but the silica coating prevents the droplets from combining and becoming a bulk liquid. The result is a white powder that looks similar to table salt. It is also sometimes called "empty water."

Rainbows consist of the seven colours of the visible spectrum.

Rainbows consist of the seven colours of the visible spectrum.

7. What Makes a Rainbow?

White colour is actually a mix of several different colours. Each constituent colour of a rainbow is caused by a specific wavelength of light. When light hits a medium that forces it to slow down, the light ray bends, but not equally. Each wavelength bends by a certain amount, which causes the different coloured rays of light to exit the raindrop in slightly different directions. This results in the colours fanning out. When sunlight goes through droplets of water, the beam of light is split into the different colours that make up light. The same effect can be seen if you shine a light through a glass prism.

What Makes a Rainbow Curved?

A rainbow is curved because it reflects the round shape of the sun. Because you are on Earth, part of the sun is blocked, which why rainbows appear as a half or a quarter circle. If you were in an airplane and saw a rainbow below you, it would appear as a full circle.

Why Are There Only Seven Colours in a Rainbow?

There are only seven colours in a rainbow because only seven colours are included on the visible spectrum. While there are many more colours that are refracted when sunlight passes through a raindrop or glass prism, only seven can by seen by the human eye. These are:

The Colours of a Rainbow

  1. Red (outermost)
  2. Orange
  3. Yellow
  4. Green
  5. Blue
  6. Indigo
  7. Violet (innermost)

Can You See a Rainbow at Night?

Although rare, it is possible to see a rainbow at night. For this to happen, there must be rain, mist, or moisture in the air, and the moon must be reflecting the sun's light very brightly. When a rainbow occurs at night it is called a lunar rainbow or a "moonbow."

Further Reading: "Frequently asked questions about the rainbow."

Birds safely sitting on a wire.

Birds safely sitting on a wire.

8. Why Don't Birds Get Electrocuted When They Land on Electric Wires?

To be electrocuted you must be part of a complete circuit. This means you must touch both a positive wire, and a negative or neutral wire (or "ground"). If a bird was touching the ground while touching the wire, the ground would act as a neutral wire and the current would flow through the bird, electrocuting it. If the bird sat on a wire and touched the metal of the pylon or another wire, it would also complete a circuit and get electrocuted. Because the bird's only sits on one wire, it is safe.

The same would be true if a person were to jump onto and hang on a wire without touching anything else. As long as the current of electricity does not have a means of escape, you become incorporated into the wire and the electricity runs through you without causing any damage.

So far, we have not been able to prove or disprove the existence of extraterrestrial life.

So far, we have not been able to prove or disprove the existence of extraterrestrial life.

9. Do Aliens Exist?

The short answer is we don't know. We don't have any proof to state that aliens do exist, but we also don't have any proof to state that they do not. While we know there are planets orbiting stars at the right distance for liquid water to exist, we have no idea if there is any form of life beyond our planet.

Further Reading: SETI Institute

The only bird's that fly south for the winter are those whose food supply disappears in the winter months.

The only bird's that fly south for the winter are those whose food supply disappears in the winter months.

10. Where Do Birds Go in Winter?

In areas with colder climates, some common bird foods (such as insects, nectar, small animals, small reptiles) disappear for the season. The birds that rely on these foods fly south for the winter months, where they are more likely to find their favorite foods. Other birds, such as those that feed on subterranean insects or bugs that burrow within the bark of trees, stick around for the winter months, as their supply of food is constant.

How Do Birds Stay Alive in the Winter?

The birds that do not migrate in the winter utilize certain survival techniques to make it through the cold months. First, they grow extra feathers in the months leading up to winter so they can keep warm. Birds can also fluff up their feathers to make air pockets that keep them even warmer.

In the months before a spell of cold weather, birds also increase their fat intake. With more fat, they are able to generate more heat when they need it. Some birds even feather flock together, which is when they pack together in a tight huddle and share body heat.

And, of course, when the sun is out, birds sunbathe to keep warm. Even the coldest winters have a few sunny days.

The ocean is blue for the same reason the sky is blue: the shortness of blue light waves.

The ocean is blue for the same reason the sky is blue: the shortness of blue light waves.

11. Why Is the Ocean Blue?

The ocean is not blue because the sky is blue, but it is blue for the same reason the sky is blue: The ocean is blue because the wavelength of blue light is easily captured, whereas the wavelengths of colours like red and orange are absorbed by the water and allowed to pass through it. In the words of the science magazine Scientific American:

"The ocean looks blue because red, orange and yellow (long wavelength light) are absorbed more strongly by water than is blue (short wavelength light). So when white light from the sun enters the ocean, it is mostly the blue that gets returned. Same reason the sky is blue."

The sun is brighter, and closer, than any start within our view.

The sun is brighter, and closer, than any start within our view.

12. Why Is the Sun the Only Star That Can Be Seen During the Day?

Stars glow during the day, but they are impossible to see because of the brightness and closeness of the sun. Also, the light coming from the sun is scattered into the bright blue colour that we are familiar with as being the colour of the sky. This blue-tinted atmosphere plays a part in blocking out the stars, which in fact shine very faintly.

On the other hand, if you lived on the moon, its lack of atmosphere would allow you to see the stars both day and night.

The Hardest Question?

Sources for Finding Answers

  • BBC - BBC One Programmes - Bang Goes the Theory
    Bang is the BBC's guide to popular science. Watch videos and do real experiments at home.
  • The Big Question
    A Blog set up after the 2008 UK National Science and Engineering Week. Some great headscratchers answered here, including the all-time favourite: Which came first? The Chicken or the Egg

© 2012 Rhys Baker

Comments

PRIYANSH PATEL on August 31, 2020:

these are intresting questions and because of solution i solve my curosity,,,,THANKS

Aaqib on August 15, 2020:

Best intrest questions

ugly god on April 17, 2020:

what is matter made of?

BRIGHT OWUSU ANSAH JUNIOR on April 08, 2020:

THE QUESTIONS ARE FANTASTIC

Mamnoon on November 29, 2019:

Interesting questions

Jettesha.M on August 22, 2019:

It is so amazing...

Katie Johnson on June 18, 2019:

Yeeet

Phyzzi on May 23, 2019:

Um, the only time the Earth is blocking the sun's rays from reaching the Moon is during a lunar eclipse. All other times you can't see the moon during the day are because the Earth is blocking the Moon's rays from reaching your eyes, or because it is a New Moon and the light from the Moon is being reflected away from the Earth*.

*Or because the Sun overpowers the reflected light of the moon, or because something else like a cloud, mountain or building is blocking the reflected light of the Moon.

Seriously bro on May 14, 2019:

This is boring not interesting, way too easy

Mirka Momcilova on April 08, 2019:

That’s so interesting

oh yeah yeah on February 25, 2019:

oh yeah yeah

Joy on February 24, 2019:

This is really amazing!

fan tyagi tyagi on February 13, 2019:

Thanks

Scarlett on February 11, 2019:

It was a good impression ,in fact I love these answers that help me in the future

pankaj on January 09, 2019:

why wont water in ocean increase? same explanation as of potential ... Theoritically earth has a potential of 711uF but practically it can have infinite amt. of charge likewise sea can have infinite amt. of water

Issak Abraham on November 20, 2018:

The most questions are simple. Some are unanswerable..

stupid man on October 18, 2018:

answer my question where do babies come from

Covley on September 25, 2018:

nice

dikshant chandra sharma on September 10, 2018:

Why won't the water of ocean increase?

Don't say due to evaporation the cycle goes on and there water don't rise.If it is due to evaporation give with full proof and with the facts that should be clear to all of us. I have been searching answer from long time but no one was able to answer about this. Hope you will help to find the answer...

waiting for your answer

alamin on August 11, 2018:

A very tricky and nice question

why is the space dark in colour

why is the space called space

Partha on July 31, 2018:

Too intersting...

XYZ on July 30, 2018:

Nice and Amazing

khushi on July 27, 2018:

Amazing.

zara qureshi on July 05, 2018:

The most beneficial question for me is that as to 'why water is

wet'?

Bhumi on June 23, 2018:

Niceeee! Very tricky n interesting

Paras on June 22, 2018:

So easy and intresting question please upload and send more question

Tejasvini Wagh on June 20, 2018:

Nice I love science therefore ...i love all this questions

Vishal prabhakar on June 04, 2018:

I like you hard question.

ayushi on June 03, 2018:

I like to solve hard question

Khushi on May 29, 2018:

This quiz is nice

Lucky on May 25, 2018:

Quiz is broken

anonymous on April 30, 2018:

um hi

bob the builder on April 25, 2018:

the are you a master test does not work i tried different answers each time and it gave me the same results

ayisha on April 23, 2018:

your answer for why is the water wet was very helpful to me

thankyou

Jhon on April 17, 2018:

I love how you explained about the moon during the day. VERY helpful

Rohit on April 15, 2018:

Excellent

&&& on April 11, 2018:

the are you a master test does not work i tried different answers each time and it gave me the same results

Sunil on March 28, 2018:

Which thing is called “environmental detergent”?

Gargi on March 21, 2018:

Great questions & interesting

….….….… on March 09, 2018:

Not tricky at all these are amateur questions. I knew every answer immediately. They need to up their game.

Amesha on March 07, 2018:

Interesting

Aastha Acharya on February 27, 2018:

they were tricky and interesting....

Sneh Barvadia on January 25, 2018:

very nice question.....

Qin Fu on December 28, 2017:

yes very nice

parina on December 11, 2017:

very nice

mind blowing

Firdous Ali on December 07, 2017:

Thanks for giving this information

Fhcfc on December 06, 2017:

Thanks for the information

really on December 04, 2017:

The question test gives the same answer no matter what :/

GUEST on November 28, 2017:

cool answers

Lynsey on November 06, 2017:

I know most of the answers to these questions

Dbone on October 30, 2017:

Nice questions

abi on October 05, 2017:

interesting

Abhay on September 19, 2017:

Nice

Angela on September 06, 2017:

I really hope that questions I picked out can stump Mr. Science 1 and Mr. Science 2. Thanks for your help

Prajwal on August 31, 2017:

I will absolutly ask this questions to my science teacher

Ayush Kumar on August 25, 2017:

Salute the person who make these questions

beulah on June 21, 2017:

interesting but boring

and why isn't my comment coming up

beulah on June 21, 2017:

not good or funny

tiger brown on May 28, 2017:

i love this owlcation

Arsema Ayana on March 31, 2017:

This is an incredible page in order to test our knowledge. I got answers for all my questions that come to my mind. Thank you! what I suggest you is to add more scientific questions with their answers and also to dig out about unanswered natural events. That's what I am curious about! keep up the good work!

samuel bailey on March 29, 2017:

thank you so much.That means that i can ask my science teacher these hard questions.

Krish Gupta on February 11, 2017:

Well exoplanets (planets outside solar system) are more likely to have life as many of them are habitable zone & many has water on its surface. Thanks for such questions.

kushagra singh on May 25, 2016:

Which came first ?

1. Space

2. Time

Haybae on September 25, 2015:

I know the answer to where do babies come from but it is hard to explain it to a five year old. So I tell them they are tadpoles who swim into mama's tummy through a river. It keeps them quiet until they figure it out on there own. :)

raymans on September 17, 2014:

Hi, This is great hub and I came across it while looking for answers to my kid's questions.

About the blue sky, Nitrogen refelcts blue so we see blue sky. What color does oxygen reflect? that's what my son asked me and I couldn't find the answer elsewhere too so came back here.

I understand nitrogen makes up most of the atmosphere so we will only see blue but just to answer my kid I would like to know what color/s other gases in atmosphere reflect...If you have the time.

Thanks

jimmy

Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on September 15, 2013:

Fun and interesting hub ! :) Thank you for the explanation of science that we don't think about every day. Have a great week.

Jaffer on January 18, 2013:

Nice hubs ANd Thnx

Ankita on September 24, 2012:

Great job :) :)..........

Pablo 245 on September 21, 2012:

I asked my mother were do babies come from once....(Ps I knew)

She told me they come from God.

cheetah786 on September 20, 2012:

great explantions, the wet water questions is answered greatly..

alexandria shinn on September 18, 2012:

What is a kind of digestion where food is broken down by chemicals produced by the body.

Rachel Koski Nielsen from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota on September 14, 2012:

Great hub! I love the parts about the sky and the weight of the earth, especially. Congrats on Hub of the Day!!!

Hui (蕙) on September 13, 2012:

Children are much smarter than adults. They always have pure, simple but meaningful, and adults may feel ridiculous, questions out of imagination about nature and humans. They ask in an absorbing voice and a unique, while adults may feel bizarre, way of thinking, which is actually where the science begins.

This is a great hub, meaningful and educational.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on September 13, 2012:

Stopping back to say congrats on HOTD!! ;-)

jessefutch from North Carolina on September 13, 2012:

Incredible hub. My oldest son is only 7 and he is asking questions like "What would happen if we find dinosaur DNA and splice it with a lizard's DNA then create a clone with it?" and "What would happen if the Sun suddenly started to rotate the other way?" Maybe a future hub "Questions ahead-of-their-class kids ask and how to answer them" is in order? I really need help with these! Keep up the good work!

Renz Kristofer Cheng from Manila on September 13, 2012:

This is a wonderful hub that is so much informative. I enjoyed reading this because it somehow refreshed some memories. Great job!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on September 13, 2012:

Nice Hub. I enjoyed reading it. I use to drive my grandmother crazy asking where babies came from.....all she would tell me is from the cabbage patch!

Jenn from Pennsylvania on September 13, 2012:

This is a great hub! I've wondered myself why birds don't get electrocuted on wires, and now I finally have the answer. :-)

JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on September 13, 2012:

Well done on the HOTD. Just try talking to kids and you'll never run out of difficult questions to answer. :)

KDuBarry03 on September 13, 2012:

Congrats on the HOTD! Well deserved and straight to the point :) Consider being a science teacher?

wayseeker from Colorado on September 13, 2012:

Congrats, TFT! Couldn't have happened to a better scientist! Now there's more for my kids to read, though I might wait a bit on that last question.

Great work,

Bert

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on September 13, 2012:

I'm so glad to see this as a Hub of the Day - it is so full of interesting Information, and it answers all those questions our kids ask in the car, or when they're eating dinner, etc. Congrats on the HOTD - so deserved!

Oilersmyth from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on September 13, 2012:

Amazing hub! I'm following you right now!

v1p3r on September 13, 2012:

Excellent hub

An AYM on July 18, 2012:

Thumb up, for I adore science.

Rhys Baker (author) from Peterborough, UK on June 16, 2012:

These are questions asked by 10 year olds. I am equating the sky to the atmosphere...I thought that was obvious.

I didn't say water was wet - I said there was no such thing as wetness. You didn't read that very well now did you?

Thanks for the patronising 8/10. I give your comment 6/10 as there were many irrelevent points and you did not read the hub thoroughly before commenting.

coelocanth on June 16, 2012:

I'm sorry but water is not wet. Water makes things wet but it is not wet in and of itself. Saying that water is wet is like saying that the film Love Story was sad. It wasn't; it made it's audiences sad, but the film itself was merely the projection of shades of colours designed to form images themselves designed to produce feelings of sadness in those viewing.

Also, the sky does not weigh anything because it has no physical entity. The answer you have given, imaginatively, in terms of Indian elephants, is, in fact, the weight of the atmosphere, which is an answer to a completely different question.

As for the rest of your hub, well done, 8 out of 10.

Dan Reed on June 08, 2012:

What a great hub. Every one of these questions are ones that children ask and many don't have the answer to. Ups and bonuses!

janmejay on April 02, 2012:

its good

Rhys Baker (author) from Peterborough, UK on February 03, 2012:

Thanks to all! I am blown away by the positivity shown to this hub. I am trying to collate questions for a follow up hub - so if there are science questions that are bugging you, let me know!

anuramkumar from Chennai, India on February 03, 2012:

Great hub. Will use this hub to teach my kid science.

Moira Durano-Abesmo from Sagay, Camiguin, Philippines on February 03, 2012:

If I were still a science teacher I'd surely make this an assignment for my students.

BlissfulWriter on February 02, 2012:

I always liked reading about science. This is good.

Jennifer Essary from Idaho on February 02, 2012:

Great Hub with excellent explanations! Voted up, useful, and sharing.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on February 02, 2012:

Ah, yes--very well written! My own kids are now adults, but I did strive not to dodge any questions, and help find the answers if I did not know.

On the baby question--the answer must fit the age of the child.

Airplanes--ah, yes--because my father worked in the aviation industry, and my ex-husband was into R/C planes, I've known that answer for a long time. But how much does the sky weigh? WOW! I'm glad I never had to field that one! "The sky," can be anything--our own atmosphere--but up to what altitude? Or it can be the entire vastness of space, which ends...who knows where?

And rainbows. They usually only happen when it is still raining...and are always opposite the direction of the sun. The common wisecrack in our (New England) family upon seeing a rainbow was, "Ah--the devil is fighting with his wife."

Voted up, interesting, useful, awesome and shared.

(P.S.--love your profile picture!)

Robin Edmondson from San Francisco on February 02, 2012:

You have made the explanations so clear! I'm going to read this Hub to our 9 year old. She just asked us this morning, "Why if Mercury is closer to the sun is Venus hotter?" We had a great discussion about the sizes of the two planets and their atmospheres. She's only in 3rd grade, I know there will be a lot of questions that I can't answer and we'll have to look up very soon! I really appreciate this Hub!

Rhys Baker (author) from Peterborough, UK on February 02, 2012:

@Sun Pen: I'm sure you will still find some use for a couple of these facts - grandchildren tend to ask grandparents the tricky questions too!

@chrisand: Maybe you can settle your nerves now you know that planes get both a lift and a pull up :)

@Simone: I'm glad you enjoyed it

Thank you all for the positive comments!

chrisand on February 02, 2012:

Wow, I really enjoyed these science facts. It was interesting to find out exactly what makes a plane stay up in the air, especially for someone like me who gets a little nervous when a plane I'm in is taking off :)

Sun Pen 50 from Srilanka on February 01, 2012:

"Each question has a simple answer, followed by a slightly fuller explanation and, where necessary, a link for more information. Enjoy" Yes,dear Scientist, I enjoyed the hub a lot. Pity that i do not have children of that age and grandsons are just passing that inquisitive stage. The granddaughter living faraway. Wish I had this info three four decades back. Thanks for a nicely designed and well explained hub up/awesome

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on February 01, 2012:

What an enjoyable read this was! I had been told many of these explanations but enjoyed reading them again. Fabulous Hub!