Chemistry Facts



Modified: 10 Jan 2022

chemistry facts

Chemistry is a subject most students often loathe. But while it might seem boring, it is quite an interesting field. Here are a couple of interesting chemistry facts that you may have missed out on during your last chemistry lesson. Take note of these chemistry facts!

  1. DNA is a flame retardant.
  2. Vitamin B12 is the toughest total synthesis.
  3. Helium and hydrogen account for 98% of all matter.
  4. There is no phosphorus in the head of matches.
  5. The idea of Friedrich Kekulé’s dream helped form the benzene structure.
  1. Theine is the term used to refer to the caffeine in tea.
  2. Vanadium oxide is not a heat source but a conductor of electricity.
  3. Olympic gold medals are 95% made of silver and only have around 6g of actual gold.
  4. Nucleation is the term used to describe the reaction when you add mentos to coke.
  5. Onions release propanethial s-oxides when cut which is what causes your eyes to water.
  6. Table salts can adopt other stoichiometry than sodium chloride.
  7. The Churchane, Housane, and Padogane structure resembles real constructions.
  8. Copper has higher electric conductivity than gold.
  9. The Scoville scale measures spices that contain the capsaicin molecule.
  10. The only pure elemental compound that is liquid at room temperature is mercury.
  1. You can put out a candle with homemade carbon dioxide.
  2. Alloys are a combination of two or more different kinds of metals.
  3. Carbon atoms found in graphite can absorb high amounts of kinetic energy.
  4. Research on NanoPutians was first published in the Journal of Organic Chemistry.
  5. The Amazon rainforest produces 20% of the world’s oxygen.
Table of Contents

Fluorine is often added to drug molecules.

This is mostly due to its ability to increase its selectivity.

Ozonolysis is the process in which disrupts rubber polymer in elastic materials.

It is an organic reaction where the unsaturated bonds of alkenes, alkynes, or azo compounds with ozone severing it.

The colors in fireworks are made possible by using different salts with different metals.

Lithium salts produce red fireworks. Iron produces yellow or gold colors. Magnesium forms white.

Glow sticks are from a basic catalyst and dye mixed together when cracked.

A small cylinder crystal stored this inside the glow sticks.

glow sticks
Image from Adobe Stock

Basic soaps use a form of fatty acid carboxylates when made.

Stearic acid is a saturated fatty acid that contributes to the hardness and stable lather in soap making.

People use soap for cleaning because its molecules trap dirt in the center of its compound when in water.

Soap cleans by acting as a surfactant and emulsifier. It can surround oil, making it easier to rinse it away with water.

The density of ice is 10% lower than that of water.

This explains why ice can float on water.

Only 25% of the population can smell the effect of asparagus in urine.

Your digestive system breaks down the mercaptan from the asparagus which causes the smell.

It is possible to turn lead into gold.

To make gold, you need to change the atomic number. To achieve that, physics comes into play for this process.

The pain we feel from the venom of wasps and bees is due to the enzymes in the venom breaking down our cells.

Wasp stings are common, most especially during the warmer months.

The proteins found in meat denature when exposed to heat.

This causes a color change and the moisture inside the meat to escape.

Dissolving salt in water can make its melting point go down up to -20 degrees Celsius and lower.

A thin film of liquid water usually coats ice.

You need to exceed temperatures of 1000 degrees Celcius to burn a diamond.

Diamonds don’t evaporate at high temperatures since they are under atmospheric temperatures. But they can oxidize. If you heat a diamond hot enough, it will turn into vapor.

burning diamond
Image from Adobe Stock

The sun’s heat comes from continuous nuclear fusion reactions.

Hydrogen atoms get compressed and fuse which creates helium.

Uranus is rich in flammable gases.

These gases do not burn due to the lack of oxygen.

If you increase the pressure enough, you can cool liquid water below 0 degrees Celsius.

We call water in this condition Supercooled.

The ozone layer handles the absorption of most of the ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

This layer is a high concentration of ozone molecules about 30-50km altitude.

An atom is more than 99% plain empty space.

This means that all matter is also hollow.

Cleaning your hands with bleach turns the fatty acids on your hands into soap.

However, bleach can also cause burns on your skin.

Atomic force microscopy techniques make the viewing of atoms possible.

This has a demonstrated resolution 1000 times better than the optical diffraction limit.

There are more water molecules found in a bucket than the estimated number of grains of sand on the planet.

This number is around 4000 times larger.

Pail on sand, Chemistry facts
Image from Unsplash

The human body is the cause of metallic smells found in coins and other metals.

Upon contact with some metals, Oct-1-en-3-One is the result of the decomposition of oil present on the skin. This is what causes the metallic smell from metal.

The estimated number of moves possible in a single game of chess is greater than the total number of atoms in the universe.

Now, the universe doesn’t seem so complicated.

The use of chemical processes is in use since 1000 BC.

This process was also called alchemy.

Gallium has a crystal structure that is more abnormal compared to most metals.

This metal has an unusually large liquid state range.

Most metals do not absorb photons that are on the visible light spectrum.

Instead, they reflect all visible light which gives its typical silver glint.

There are an estimated 170,000 metric tons of gold available on the planet.

This amount would fit a cube-sized at 21 by 21 meters.

The first nature-made elements have formed after the Big Bang.

This resulted in the elements helium and hydrogen.

Mosquitoes are more likely to bite women.

This is because females emit more heat which attracts insects.

Hydrofluoric acid is the least acidic but remains the most dangerous.

This can be fatal when swallowed or breathed. It is also dangerous when coming into contact with the skin.

Astatine is the least abundant element found on earth.

Only 30 grams of this element is on the planet.

The heaviest element is osmium.

This is the heaviest element in terms of density.

Image from Adobe Stock

Diamonds are the hardest material found on earth.

Diamonds are hard because they have crystallized in a particular atomic shape that resulted from heat and pressure on earth.

Talc is the softest material found on earth.

This is a mineral made of hydrated magnesium silicate.

Approximately 20% of the human body is carbon.

If the average adult is 70kg, that makes them about 14kg worth of carbon.

Goldfish are capable of seeing a fourth primary color which is tetrachromate.

This is also the case for zebrafish.

Organisms with tetrachromacy are called tetrachromats.

This is a special vision that they rely on for finding food.

Lightning can reach temperatures exceeding 30,000 degrees Celsius.

This is 5 times the temperature of the surface of the sun.

Frogs are able to absorb moisture from their skin.

As a result, they do not need to drink water.

The hardest chemical found in the human body is enamel.

This is the external tissue that covers your teeth.

You can find helium underground.

We can extract it with the same process that we use to get natural gases from mines.

The only known substance that cannot freeze at atmospheric pressure is helium.

This is the second most abundant element next to hydrogen.

Forest fires spread faster uphill.

This is because there is more oxygen present at higher grounds.

Image from Adobe Stock

Mole day celebrates the Avogadro constant.

It occurs on October 23rd at 6:02 am and pm. The Avogadro constant is the number of particles (molecules, atoms, or ions) in one mole.

Rotten eggs float in water.

This is due to the large air cell that forms during its decomposition process.

Copper and some other metals have antibacterial properties.

Apart from copper, other materials include zinc, nickel, and titanium.

Plants release a growth hormone called Ethylene.

This speeds up the ripening process in fruits.

Different flame colors can also mean different degrees of heat.

The temperature and color of a flame are dependent on what is being combusted.

Glass is an amorphous solid.

This means that it does not have a definite geometric or crystalline shape.

Mars appears red to the human eye due to the iron oxide particles that suspend its atmosphere.

Sometimes it can also appear orange or orange-red color.

Image from Adobe Stock

It is extremely difficult to achieve to have two atoms of the same elements that are exactly the same.

This refers to both elements’ molecular, atomic, electronic, and nuclear states.

You can burn metals such as thermite.

This material is also found in fireworks.

Water is blue for a reason.

This is because it has a weak absorption band in the red part of the visible spectra.

Glass is an amorphous non-crystalline solid.

Crystals present an ordered arrangement of its microscopic components. These definitions thus make these two materials different.

Balloons will only float when they are filled with gases that are lighter than air.

Helium is an example of that.

Nature can create ozone by natural occurrences of lightning and sunlight.

Ozone has a particular smell that we can pick up after rain and thunderstorms.

The hydrogen atoms in our bodies are approximately 13.7 billion years old.

Hydrogen and helium atoms were created right after the Big Bang.

Human blood is red due to the hemoglobin in our bodies.

Vertebrates and most animals also have red blood.

Dry ice is the term we use for frozen carbon dioxide.

It has a surface temperature of -78 degrees Celsius.

Inhaling helium will cause your voice to travel through your vocal cords quicker.

This causes your voice to sound higher.

Dmitri Mendeleev created the periodic table.

This allowed, not only prediction and understanding of properties but also to predict the discovery of empty blank spaces in his original periodic table.

Dmitri Mendeleev, periodic table
Image from Adobe Stock

If you were to pee in space, it would vaporize and turn into gas immediately.

This is due to the lack of air pressure in space.

In its normal state, oxygen is colorless, odorless, and tasteless.

When frozen, oxygen becomes a pale blue color.

Without saliva to dissolve food molecules in your mouth, you would not be able to taste anything.

Our taste receptors only work by detecting dissolved substances.

Adding salt to water increases its density levels.

This happens due to positive interactions between water molecules and Na+ and Cl– ions.

The composition of diamonds was discovered during the 18th century.

This is attributed to Antoine Lavoisier, a French chemist.

Water expands during freezing due to the hydrogen bonding in the water.

Water will contract when heating.

You can freeze air using liquid helium.

You can achieve this by setting its temperature below -220 degrees Celsius.

Robert Boyle pioneered the idea of absolute zero.

This is a theoretical minimum in which atoms would stop moving.

Sweating is our body’s natural way of cooling itself.

Evaporation of sweat from our skin takes up energy from our bodies which cools us down.

sweat, chemistry facts
Image from Pixabay

Drinking approximately 6 liters worth of water in a short amount of time can cause injuries or death.

The large amount of water can cause your blood concentration of sodium to drop drastically.

Sodium Azide is a toxic substance that can be found in the airbags of cars.

Airbags are filled with about 100 grams of sodium azide.

A rubber tire is made up of only one molecule.

It is a polymer with a large molecular weight.

Chalk contains trillions of microscopic skeleton fossils of plankton.

It is essentially a very fine-grained, uncompacted bioclastic limestone.

A common ingredient used in making lipstick is fish scales.

This is also known as pearl essence.

Lemons contain more sugar than strawberries.

A lemon has 70% sugar where a strawberry has 40%.

Air can become liquid at -190 degrees celsius.

This condenses into a pale blue liquid.

Peanut oil is a common ingredient in making dynamites.

It can produce glycerol, which then can make nitroglycerine.

Lobster blood is colorless until exposed to oxygen.

Once exposed, its blood will appear blue.

Freezing saltwater or seawater will result in freshwater ice.

When seawater freezes, the ice will only contain very little salt.

Sound travels 4.3 times faster than air.

Sound also does not travel through a vacuum.