10 Earth Shattering Facts About Gravity

Gravity is one of the greatest mysteries in science. How does it work? Although we know it exists and can see its effects science has a hard time explaining the exact mechanism. At first we thought we understood it. At least after Newton formulated his laws and we believed we had the universe figured out. But then Einstein came along and completely changed our view of the cosmos and of physics. Since then we have discovered some crazy things about quantum mechanics and how the world works on a microscopic level. Unfortunately, while Newtonian models do a good job of describing things like gravity between large objects, they don’t do very well describing forces between atoms. And while Einstein’s theory of relativity gives us insight into the microscopic world of the molecule, it doesn’t really do a good job in other areas. So it seems that we have several ways of describing the same thing but no real understanding of why or how it works. Over time, numerous theories have been put forth, and most of them have been found lacking. So, although we cannot fully describe it, gravity causes some crazy things to happen. It’s not as simple as just pulling things towards each other. Did you know that gravity affects time? Let's go over these 10 Earth shattering facts about gravity!

10. In space, astronauts don't have the urge to pee until their bladder is basically exploding.


9. Einstein's most revolutionary equation wasn't E=mc2 (unless you are designing nuclear bombs).

His most important equation was G = 8 π T, which basically stated that space-time is curved and not flat.


8. Humans could successfully colonize and live on planets with up to 3 times the gravity of Earth.

At 4 times the gravity, however, blood flow to the brain would be impaired.

Humans could successfully colonize and live on planets with up to 3 times the gravity of Earth

7. Earth's gravitational pull makes it impossible for mountains to be taller than 15km (in theory).


6. Birds cannot be taken into space because they require gravity to swallow.


5. Jupiter's gravity will eventually either push Mercury out of the Solar System or send it crashing into the Sun.

the Solar System

4. Due to gravity on a neutron star, the tallest "mountain" can only be a measly 5mm.

neutron star

3. Liquid helium has no viscosity and it can flow up walls against gravity.

Liquid helium

2. The Gravity Research Foundation has devoted itself to fighting gravity and since 1948 people have even sat upside down at meetings to show their defiance.

upside down

1. The weightless scenes in the movie Apollo 13 were filmed over the course of 612 parabola flights.

These are flights where a plane repeatedly climbs and then nose dives to simulate zero gravity.

a plane