Tag Archives | Mental Floss

How Much Does a Cloud Weigh?

Photo by Michael Jastremski

Photo by Michael Jastremski

How much does a cloud weigh?

via Mental Floss:

First, figure out how dense the cloud is. Scientists have measured the water density of a typical cumulus cloud (the white, fluffy ones you see on a nice day) as 1/2 gram per cubic meter—about a small marble’s worth of water in a space you and a friend could comfortably sit in. The density will be greater for different types of clouds.

Next, figure out how big the cloud is. By measuring a cloud’s shadow when the sun is directly above it, you can get an idea of its width. LeMone does this by watching her odometer as she drives under a cloud. A typical cumulus, she says, is about a kilometer across, and usually roughly cubical—so a kilometer long and a kilometer tall, too. This gives you a cloud that’s one billion cubic meters in volume.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

49 Hoaxes People Actually Believed – Mental Floss (Ep.12)

A weekly show hosted by John Green, where knowledge junkies get their fix of trivia-tastic information. This week, John looks at some of history’s greatest hoaxes including “Balloon Boy” (the boy, by the way is now in a metal band), “Lonelygirl15″ and “War of the Worlds” (you didn’t think we could do an episode on hoaxes and NOT include it, did you?).

Read the rest

Continue Reading