One Second Science

By Zoë Gamble

Science is incredible. Here are some of the surprising and crazy things that can happen in just one second, along with our favourite one second experiment.

Facts about you

File:Ongle du doigt de la main - Fingernail hand.jpg

CC-BY-SA Bierenard

In one second…

  • The blood leaving your heart can travel up to 3 feet,
  • Your fingernails and hair grow about one nanometre (one billionth of a metre!),
  • Your hand can detect a hot surface, the information is sent to your brain, your brain decides to remove the hand, and information is sent to the muscles in your arm to remove the hand. This is called a reflex arc and it actually all happens in actually LESS than one second!

That one second is just one, of the 2 and a half billion seconds that you’ll be alive for (on average).

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CC-BY-SA Jürgen Schoner

Facts around us

In one second…

  • A midge can beat its wings about 1000 times,
  • A snail can travel 1 cm (in the rain),
  • A woodpecker can hammer its beak into a tree 20 times.


Facts around the world


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In one second…

  • About 4 babies are born and 2 people die,
  • A lightning bolt can travel 3,700 miles (and 6 strikes of lightning happen every second somewhere on the earth),
  • There are nearly 50,000 Google searches around the world!
  • 11 trees are cut down in the Amazon rainforest,
  • Light could travel around the Earth 7 times (light travels at 299 792 458 m/s).

During that one second, the Earth travels nearly 30 km in its orbit around the sun.


One Second Science Activity

There are lots of experiments that happen within a second, but here’s one of our favourites. 6-year-old Zach explains nitrocellulose with help from his Mum, science made simple presenter and manager Becky!

*Cute alert*



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Posted in Biology, Exploring Science, Physics, Space
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