August 25, 2013

Why Your Joints Crack & Answers to Life’s Other Important Questions.

Let’s cut to the chase—we’ve all wondered why our joints snap, crackle and pop.

So here’s the answer to that excellent question, as well as to those other trivialities that you’ve often wondered about (just call this the elephant-wiki edition):

Why your joints crack: 

One explanation is that it’s actually the sound of released gases—such as oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide—that are contained in your synovial fluid. Another reason could be that you’re hearing the sound of your tendon popping back into place after its position was changed when your joint moved.

In short, there are a few good possibilities, and there is no definitive proof that this sound is harmful (although if you feel pain, you should probably see your doctor).

What are those tiny, nasty, white-ish balls that you sometimes cough up?

I didn’t say this article would be pretty.

You might not experience this and, if not, then congratulations, because even though no one likes to talk about it, many, many people experience it—those horrible smelling tonsil stones (which is actually one name for them).

The more correct term, though, is tonsillolith, and they are small pieces of mostly calcium that form in the crevices of your tonsils.

More accurately, tonsilloliths form when food gets lodged there and then is digested by bacteria, turning them into this, the most disgusting thing you’ve likely read about on elephant journal. You’re welcome.

 How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Answer: 361.9237001 cubic centimeters of wood per day, if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

Yep—for real—some scientists actually decided that even though woodchucks don’t actually eat wood, that if you replaced the word chuck with chew, and then got a dozen woodchucks together, you could research this very question—and that’s the number they came up with. (I know—and we can’t even properly fund music and gym classes in schools.)

Why is the sky blue?

Light energy travels in waves, and different colors have waves of different lengths.

The sky is usually blue because the color blue travels in shorter, smaller waves than the other colors, scattering more blue waves.

Read more about it here because my physicist husband is now cringing at my explanation and because I studied chemistry in college, not physics.

 What would Jesus do?

Hmmm, well, that one I couldn’t find just one answer to, but I did find an awful lot about compassion and not to worry about judging others so much, because there’s actually someone way more important who will do the judging anyways. I also heard some talk about taking planks out of your own eye and turning the other cheek instead of an eye for an eye. You know, that kind of a thing.

What the heck is Amazon’s phone number?

Seriously, if you’ve ever tried to call amazon, they do not exactly plaster their phone number anywhere that you can find it, but I did and I’ve actually called it: 866-216-1072.

Who was the best James Bond?

Duh, Roger Moore (I will be getting a lot of hate mail from this one, won’t I?)

How long would it take to walk across The United States? 

 About six months, and, yes, people have actually done it. 

Does more crime occur during a full moon?

Basically, no good evidence exists to prove that more drama happens during a full moon, but some people suggest that we are more likely to notice and be informed of such strange occurrences during this time. 

Did Sherlock Holmes ever actually say, “Elementary, my dear Watson?”

No. No, he didn’t. This line never appears in any of Arthur Conan Doyle’s books, but Holmes does come close a few times.

These are just a few of life’s big questions that I came up with, but if you’re wondering what the meaning of life is or anything like that, then, unfortunately, I can’t help you there.

(Although, I have heard on fairly good authority something along the lines of “Try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.”) 

I will, however, leave you with this:

“If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is “God is crying.” And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is “Probably because of something you did.””

~ Jack Handey

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Ed: Bryonie Wise

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