Oxygen Amazing Facts

50 Amazing Oxygen Facts | Amazing Facts 4U

  1. Oxygen is the third most abundant element in the universe after Hydrogen and Helium.
  2. Oxygen forms in the hearts of stars, with the fusion of a carbon-12 nucleus and a helium-4 nucleus (also known as an alpha particle).
  3. In fact on earth, oxygen is the most common element, making up about 47% of the earth’s mass.
  4. Oxygen is absolutely essential to human life, it is found in the air we breathe and the water we drink (H20). Humans inhale more than 6 billion tons of oxygen each year.
  5. Cyanobacteria, which are organisms that “breathe” using photosynthesis, take in carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen, just like modern plants. Cyanobacteria were likely responsible for the first oxygen on Earth, an event known as the Great Oxidation Event some 2.4 billion years ago.
  6. When oxygen first developed on Earth 2.4 billion years ago , it is believed that it wiped out nearly 99% of all life in simple forms mostly anaerobic organisms and paved the way for life as we know it today. The simplest animals only appeared around 600 million years ago.
  7. Oxygen (O2) is unstable in our planet’s atmosphere and must be constantly replenished by photosynthesis in green plants. Without them, our atmosphere would contain almost no Oxygen.
  8. In simple terms photosynthesis reaction is  : carbon dioxide + water + sunlight → glucose + oxygen.
  9. Green algae and cyanobacteria are believed to be responsible for the production of as much as 70% of the free oxygen found in nature.
  10. The Amazon rain forest consumes nearly all of the oxygen it produces through photosynthesis. The main contribution of oxygen to the atmosphere comes from plankton blooms fed by run off from its forest floor.
  11. While ground level ozone is an air pollutant, the ozone layer in the Earth’s upper atmosphere provides protection from the suns harmful rays by filtering Ultraviolet light.
  12. Amazingly just five elements make up over 90 percent of the weight in the Earth’s crust. Almost half of the weight of the crust comes from oxygen. Other four elements are Silicon, Aluminum, Iron and calcium.
  13. Scientists believe that there have been times when the Earth’s oceans have become completely devoid of oxygen and understandably many creatures died.
  14. Amazing fact is that almost two-thirds of the weight of living things comes from oxygen  mainly because living things contain a lot of water and about 89 percent of water’s weight comes from oxygen.
  15. Oxygen is found in virtually all vital bodily compounds, such as carbohydrates , proteins and fats.
  16. At cellular level the process is reverse to photosysnthesis providing energy to cells. In simple terms the reaction is :  glucose + oxygen → carbon dioxide + water + energy.
  17. Oxygen is about two times more soluble in water than nitrogen is making it possible for living organisms to thrive in seas, lakes and rivers. The polar oceans, being coolest, hold more dissolved oxygen and therefore sustain vast amounts of aquatic life.
  18. During the carboniferous period in earth history , due to high oxygen levels in the range of 35 % ,  insects would grow to amazing sizes with the largest being a 2.6 meter long millipede.
  19.  English chemist and clergyman Joseph Priestly isolated oxygen by shining sunlight on mercuric oxide and collecting the gas from the reaction. He noted that a candle burned more brightly in this gas. Findings were published in 1774, beating out Swiss scientist Carl Wilhelm Steele, who had actually isolated oxygen in 1771 but not published the work.
  20. French chemist Antoine Laurent Lavoisier gave the name Oxygen in the year 1777.
  21. Oxygen gas is colorless, odorless, and tasteless.
  22. Liquid and solid oxygen are pale blue.
  23. Oxygen gas normally is the divalent molecule O2. Ozone, O3, is another form of pure oxygen. Atomic Number (number of protons in the nucleus) of Oxygen is 8.
  24. It’s the most reactive of the non-metallic elements forming oxides after reaction.
  25. Oxygen was the atomic weight standard for the other elements until 1961 when it was replaced by carbon 12.
  26. Dry air is 21 percent oxygen, 78 percent nitrogen and 1 percent other gases.
  27. Oxygen molecule is very tough. A study found than an oxygen molecule (O2) can survive pressures 19 million times higher than atmospheric pressure.
  28. Too much oxygen can be dangerous. Breathing 80 percent oxygen for more than 12 hours irritates the respiratory tract and can eventually cause deadly fluid build-up or edema in lungs.
  29. Amazing fact is that Oxygen does not burn by itself! It does, however, support the combustion of other substances. If oxygen itself actually burnt, simply striking a match would be enough to burn all of the oxygen in our planet’s atmosphere in one go.
  30. The Northern and Southern Lights ,  the green and dark-red colors in the sky are caused by oxygen atoms. Highly energetic electrons from the solar wind split oxygen molecules high in earth’s atmosphere into excited high energy atoms. These atoms lose energy by emitting photons, producing awe-inspiring light shows. They are usually seen in the polar regions.
  31. Venous (oxygen deficient) blood is in fact not blue, but a dark red. The reason your veins appear blue is because of light scattering.
  32. Because of the cornea’s need for transparency, it lacks blood vessels and oxygen must diffuse directly into cornea from air. This is why our eyes dry out in areas with low oxygen concentration.
  33. Amazingly every mammal has an oxygen-saving reflex triggered specifically by cold water on the face. The reflex, which slows down heart rates in humans up to 25%, is only triggered by water colder than 70 °F (21 °C), and does not trigger when any other part of the body is submerged.
  34. Horseshoe crabs’ blood carries oxygen with copper instead of iron.
  35. Amazing fact is that liquid oxygen is magnetic, and it can be moved around and even picked up with a powerful magnet.
  36. The reason for the lump felt in our throat when you are stressed or crying  is the expanded glottis (the opening in the trachea) when we are under heavy stress for increased oxygen intake.
  37. Nuclear submarines actually create breathable air by using an electric current to split the hydrogen and oxygen molecules of ocean water. This allows them to stay submerged for months at a time.
  38. Oxygen therapy is used to treat emphysema, pneumonia, some heart disorders, and any disease that impairs the body’s ability to take up and use gaseous oxygen. It is also commercially produced for a wide variety of industrial uses.
  39. Oxygen is commercially used in the production of steel, where it removes carbon-based impurities by forming carbon dioxide.
  40. Oxygen can be liquefied at -183° C (the boiling point of oxygen) and solidified at -219° C (the melting point of oxygen). The solid form has been discovered to have enormous potential as an efficient rocket fuel, due to its superior oxidizing ability.
  41. Amazing fact is that in aviation history hardly any life has ever been saved by emergency oxygen masks in commercial airplanes, nor has any life ever been lost due to their absence.
  42. The Diving Bell Spider lives almost its entire life in a web that can replenish its oxygen supply by acting as a gill, drawing oxygen from the water itself.
  43. There is a fish called “Climbing Gourami” that can exit water, breathe oxygen, climb and even walk.
  44. Oxycyte, a perfluorocarbon which has high density of oxygen, can bypass blood clots and swollen vessels to deliver oxygen to the brain because of its smaller particle size.
  45. If a dead body winds up in a cold humid environment that is devoid of oxygen, it will degrade into a crumbly, waxy material with the consistency of a soap.
  46. The reason wine is stored on its side is to keep the cork moist so it doesn’t shrink and thus preventing oxygen from seeping into the bottle and ruining the wine.
  47. Phrase “standing in the limelight’ originates from the fact that an intense light could be created from burning lime mixed with hydrogen and oxygen which was then for spotlights at the theater.
  48. On his deathbed, Steve Jobs refused to wear his oxygen mask because he did not like the design of it
  49. In 2003, Disney launched a short lived rental program to rent movies on self destructing DVDs which were not to be returned. The discs worked perfectly to view for a two-day window after taken out of the package. Then the exposure to oxygen turned the coating black and made the disc impenetrable by a DVD laser.
  50. Tropicana Orange Juice is owned by Pepsico and Simply Orange is owned by Coca Cola. They strip the juice of oxygen before packaging for better storage which essentially strips the juice of its flavors. The companies then add other flavor and fragrance to make it “fresh.”

 By Amazing Facts 4U Team


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