Rumor Flies

We got the sauce

Rumor Flies comically addresses the origins, evolution, and veracity of your favorite rumors, myths, and misconceptions. Tune in for more research, stories, and unsolicited commentary! Participation encouraged.

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Snap Judgment #33: DEM BONES!

SNAPPLE FACT #1388: Human thigh bones are stronger than concrete

Snap Judgment 05032018.jpg

Verdict: True

As with most of our facts here, this requires a caveat. The straight and simple is that the strength of a femur, the longest and most durable bone and our body, depends on the angle of the pressure that is applied to it. At its weakest, the average femur will break from about 20 lbs. of force applied to it at a 90 degree angle. Not much.

This is why car crashes and failed trampoline tricks usually result in the majority of femur breaks. However, at its most ideal load-bearing condition, which is top to bottom of the bone, the femur can withstand 899 pounds of force. This is one of the reasons some extremely morbidly obese people can still move freely. The femur has tons of weight accounted for. This is mainly due to the femur’s light-weighted fibrousness (lots of pores) and flexiblity. These factors make it 12x stronger than a proportionally sized piece of concrete. But that’s not all…


Femur are stronger than steel!

Proportionally by weight, at least. This is actually why a lot of structures like bridges and building frames aren’t just solid walls of metal. Bones are so efficient at staying light weight and yet still durable that some of our own infrastructure is built upon their properties. It’s efficient, cost effective, and arguably aesthetically pleasing. Though, I do kind of want to see a bridge of bones. That weird?


Snap Judgment #12: Deliver us from Shell!

#455: Lobsters can live up to 50 years.

Pictured: The Crustacean Elder Council

Pictured: The Crustacean Elder Council

Verdict: True

I am, well, disappointed. For so long, I have touted my offhand knowledge about how lobsters have no shortage of a particular enzyme called telomerase, which causes them to not “age” in the style that most other animals do. Telomerase is an enzyme that lengthens the segments of DNA called telomeres, whose degradation is a well-known cause for many diseases, particularly cancer. In easier terms, telomerase is a spell-checker for your DNA that tries to keep up with your atrocious genetic grammar as you grow older. However, as one ages, eventually the editorial staff decides that this work isn’t worth the pay and starts quitting one by one. Welcome to old age and the eventual transformation into a delicate human card tower in the wind.

Lobsters pay their editors better. There is little to no decrease in telomerase present in lobsters as they grow older. So, this means they don’t reap all the hinderances of old age, right? Well, yes and no. While you won’t be seeing a chemo clinic for lobsters any time soon, they still have their downfalls. Most lobsters die from complications during molting, which is the process of shedding its previous shell as it grows into a new one. This process takes up tons of energy for lobsters, and the energy required grows as they grow. It’s like starting with a marathon on your 26th birthday, then adding a mile every birthday.

At some point, you would die from exhaustion, just as lobsters die from exhaustive molting. Now, these critters have a nice workaround to avoid molting death: don’t molt. However, this just leads to the shells being more prone to damage, infection, and eventual death. Generally, though males can live on average 30 years and females 50 years before the molting issues catch up to them.

Pretty good.
Now that we know lobsters aren’t immortal, what is?
Drum Roll….


This Fucker.

Meet Turritopsis dohrnii, otherwise known as the immortal jellyfish. Most jellyfish live only a few months at best. This one found a strange workaround. The three main stages of the jellyfish lifecycle are larva, polyp, and medusa. Most of us are familiar with the medusa stage, since it is generally the largest and fanciest looking. Turritopsis dohrnii can literally cycle its stages in a single life.

When things are starting to look bad, such as conditions of starvation of inhospitable environment, the medusa can revert back to polyp and start over again when better conditions arise. Sometimes they revert back just for the hell of it. It’s the non-metaphorical born-again Christian of the sea. In human terms, it’s like realizing you made a serious of fuck-ups in your career and adult life, so you decide to hit reset and go back to the first day of high school, then you fuck up again and keep trying to fix it.

This jellyfish’s process effectively can cause it do skip death. As great as this sounds, consider this: this jellyfish will never die a natural, peaceful death. There is no slow fade into the abyss as an old jellyfish on its little jellyfish rocking chair surrounded by its polyp children and larva grandchildren. It pretty much has to get eaten or starve before it can slide back into an early stage. So, score one for every other animal.