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Math in Nature

Here's a beautiful short film demonstrating mathematical principles as they appear in nature: Nature by Numbers. In the video, illustrator Cristóbal Vila demonstrates how the Fibonacci Sequence is visible in a Nautilus shell, and proceeds through the Golden Ratio, Golden Angle, Voronoi Tessellations, and the Delaunay Condition. (Yeah, I hadn't heard of those last two either.) For more details about the math behind this film, and how the Nautilus example is actually a bit flubbed, read Vila's explanation of the film (in both English and Spanish).

Recommended for: people who like neat animation, easy-to-understand math, and/or something to divert them on a day when not much else is happening online.

Nature by Numbers from Cristóbal Vila on Vimeo.

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Sylke Rohrlach, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0
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Animals
These Strange Sea Spiders Breathe Through Their Legs
Original image
Sylke Rohrlach, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0

We know that humans breathe through their lungs and fish breathe through their gills—but where exactly does that leave sea spiders?

Though they might appear to share much in common with land spiders, sea spiders are not actually arachnids. And, by extension, they don't circulate blood and oxygen the way you'd expect them to, either.

A new study from Current Biology found that these leggy sea dwellers (marine arthropods of the class Pycnogonida) use their external skeleton to take in oxygen. Or, more specifically: They use their legs. The sea spider contracts its legs—which contain its guts—to pump oxygen through its body.

Somehow, these sea spiders hardly take the cake for Strangest Spider Alive (especially because they're not actually spiders); check out, for instance, our round-up of the 10 strangest spiders, and watch the video from National Geographic below:

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iStock
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Food
How to Make Perfect Fried Chicken, According to Chemistry
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iStock

Cooking amazing fried chicken isn’t just art—it’s also chemistry. Learn the science behind the sizzle by watching the American Chemical Society’s latest "Reactions" video below.

Host Kyle Nackers explains the three important chemical processes that occur as your bird browns in the skillet—hydrolysis, oxidation, and polymerization—and he also provides expert-backed cooking hacks to help you whip up the perfect picnic snack.

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