An avalanche is a huge mass of ice and snow that breaks away from the side of a mountain and slides downward at great speed. Most avalanches result from weather conditions, such as heavy winds and earth tremors, that cause snow on a mountain slope to become unstable.
A large avalanche in North America might release 300,000 cubic yards of snow—the equivalent of 20 football fields filled 10 feet (3.3 meters) deep with snow. Wintertime, particularly from December to April, is when most avalanches occur.
All living things need water to survive. Without water, the human body stops working properly. Water makes up more than 50 percent of your body weight and a person cannot survive for more than a few days without it. Water flushes toxins out of your organs, carries nutrients to your cells, and provides a moist environment for ear, nose, and throat tissues.
Water is also in lymph, a fluid that is part of your immune system, which helps you fight off illness. You need water to digest your food, to get rid of waste, and to sweat. Too little water in your body leads to dehydration, and it can make you tired and unable to function. Your body gets water from drinking it, but lots of foods, such as fruits and vegetables, contain water too.
Internet search engines are like computerized card catalogs at libraries. Viewed through a Web browser with an Internet connection, they provide a hyperlinked listing of locations on the World Wide Web according to the requested keyword or pattern of words submitted by the searcher. Search engines use computer software called “spiders” or “bots” to search out, inventory, and index Web pages automatically.
The spiders scan each Web page’s content for words and the frequency of words, then stores that information in a database. When the user submits words or terms, the search engine returns a list of sites from the database and ranks them according to the relevancy of the search terms.
Scientists often compare Earth to an onion because the planet is made up of many layers of rocks of different densities. On the outside, there is a think crust of hard, cold rock, which is about 4 miles (7 kilometers) thick under the oceans and 22 miles (35 kilometers) thick under the continents. The crust—the layer we live on—surrounds a hard, rocky surface that marks the top of the mantle, called the lithosphere. Most of Earth is made of its mantle, Which goes almost halfway down to Earth’s center.
At the very center is Earth’s core, which has a center of solid iron and nickel about the size of the Moon (called the inner core) and a molten exterior (called the outer core). The temperature of Earth increases about 36 degrees Fahrenheit (2.2 degrees Celsius) for every 0.62 miles (1 kilometer) down you go, reaching temperatures as high as 11,000 degrees Fahrenheit (6,093 degrees Celsius) at its center.
There is no way specific way to place an order for a baby brother or a baby sister. The gender (boy or girl) of a baby is determined by whether the father’s fertilizing sperm has an X or a Y chromosome. An X chromosome will lead to a girl, and a Y to a boy. (Mothers always contribute an X chromosome.) Although scientific methods are available to help parents organize their chromosomes and take advantage of the fact that the “boy” sperm has less DNA than “girl” sperm, they can be expensive and unreliable. One method, called the Shettles method, recommends that if parents want a girl, they should plan to make a baby right around the time of ovulation.
At this time, the egg is as far away as possible from the incoming sperm so the long-distance runners of the sperm world, the X sperm, have a better chance of making it to the egg. For a boy, the method suggests that parents plan to make a baby about two to four days after ovulation. That way, the short-distance sprinting Y sperm can make it to the egg first. Many doctors say that although this method is based in science, it is no guarantee that a couple will have a baby boy or a baby girl.
Living species of sequoias are some of the biggest and widest trees in the world. The tallest trees are the coastal redwoods of California, while the widest ones are the giant sequoias, which have much larger trunks and branches. These trees grow in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Central California at elevations of about 6,500 feet (1,981 meters). The trees have survived for 2,000 or 3,000 years. Some of the largest sequoia trees measure 35 feet (10.6 meters) in diameter and up to 300 feet (91 meters) in height.
Their bark can be 4 feet (1.2 meters) thick! Many are found in California’s Sequoia National Park. The General Sherman, for example, is one of the tallest giant sequoias in the world, with a height of about 275 feet (85 meters).
Living creatures need oxygen to survive, and fish are no exception. Human beings 68 use their lungs to take in oxygen, and fish breathe using their gills. A fish’s gills are full of blood vessels that absorb the tiny particles of oxygen from the water.
The fish sucks the water in through its mouth and squirts it out through its gills; during this process, the gills take the oxygen from the water into the blood vessels. A fish’s gills are not constructed to take oxygen from the air, so they cannot breathe on dry land.