Gigglebit: 5 scientific concepts explained with GIFs

12 Sep 2014

Image via Kiselev Andre Valerevich/Shutterstock

Gigglebit is Siliconrepublic’s daily dose of the funny and fantastic in science and tech, to help start your day on a lighter note.

With Gigglebit, we turn the spotlight on humorous and/or amazing content about science and tech, because sometimes the lighter side should be taken seriously, too.

Today, we bring you a new way of looking at five scientific concepts you’re likely already familiar with. In fact, you may be so familiar with them that you take them for granted and have never examined the wonderful, beautiful, amazing science at play behind them.

Thankfully, there are a multitude of animated images online that illustrate theorems and reactions in ways you may have never seen them before.

Let’s start with some Junior Certificate mathematics. Pythagoras’ Theorem states that the square of a right-angled triangle’s hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the square of the other two sides – this GIF explains why.

Pythagoras theorem

In biology class, you will have learned that our white blood cells fight off infection. As this GIF shows, these cells literally chase down bacteria in the blood stream in order to engulf and destroy them.

White blood cell engulfs bacteria

Sure, we know that molecules we can’t see have vastly differing properties, such as density, but this demonstration with sulphur hexaflouride, a gas that’s much denser than the air around us, makes it clear even to the naked eye.

Sulphur hexaflouride

A bit of engineering ingenuity here with a GIF to demonstrate how a key works, which is incredibly satisfying to watch.

Key and lock

And, finally, one thing we never get tired of is a scientific reminder of how miniscule we really are. Incredible!


Science education image by Kiselev Andrey Valerevich via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.