Why is Snot Green?
by Glenn Murphy
For anyone who has ever wondered what would happen if you farted in a space suit, or whether spiders have ears. This informative and entertaining read from the Science Museum answers these questions and many more.
Split into five sections covering everything from bodily functions to the big bang, you'll love dipping in and out to keep friends and family entertained with fascinating facts.
How big is the universe?
Big. Proper big. Crazy big. Billions of times bigger than the biggest thing you can imagine.
I don’t know about that – I can imagine some pretty big stuff . . .
OK, let’s give it a go. Let’s imagine the size of the universe.
Probably best to start small and work up – so let’s start with something fairly big – the Earth. The Earth is about 8,000 miles wide. If you drove a tunnelling car straight through the middle, you’d get to the other side in about 5½ days, going non-stop at an average motorway speed of 60mph.
That doesn’t sound so far.
Right – it’s not. So let’s try a longer journey. Say, from here to the Moon. The Moon doesn’t go round us in perfect circles – it gets closer and further away from us at different times of the month. But, on average, it’s about 240,000 miles away. It would take about 168 days to get there in a 60mph flying space-car. Even with rocket propulsion, the Apollo astronauts took about three days to get there (and it was a real squash in their spacecraft).
Similarly, the journey from the Earth to the Sun is about 93 million miles so would take about 176 years by spacecar.
To get right across our galaxy, the Milky Way, it would take about a million billion years (or 1,181,401,000,000,000 years to be more precise) to make the journey of 621 million billion (or 621,000,000,000,000,000) miles.
So what does that tell us?
That a space-car would be cool, but at 60mph it’d be pretty rubbish for getting about the place?
That, and that the galaxy is pretty huge in itself – let alone the universe. I’m running out of space to put all the zeros after the numbers here.
All right – what if you had a space-car that could go at the speed of light?
Now we’re talking. The speed of light is about 670 million mph, so a car that fast could do about 6 thousand billion miles (or 6 trillion miles) if it kept driving, non-stop, for a whole year. We call this distance a light year, and it’s much more useful for measuring the huge distances – between stars and across galaxies – that we’ve been talking about.
For example, the Milky Way is about 100,000 light years across, so it’d take 100,000 years for our souped-up, superfast, light-speed car to cross it. Still way too long to manage, but easier to imagine, maybe.
Go on, then – how big is the whole universe?
Well, we can only measure the universe as far as we can see it. With the best telescopes we have, that’s about 15 billion light years (or 90 billion trillion miles – I won’t even bother trying to write that out with zeros) in every direction. So at the speed of light, it’d take at least 30 billion years to cross it. That’s about 2 billion years longer than the age of the universe itself.
Ah. So it’s big, then?
Like I said: crazy big. And that’s just the bit we can see. Beyond that, we know it extends even further, because the light from the stuff we can see at the ‘edge’ has taken 14 billion years to reach us, and the universe has expanded quite a bit since then! It might even curve back on itself, like the sea does as you sail round the globe. If that was the case, you could circle the universe and end up back where you started from.
Now that would be cool.
Yes, it would. But all your friends would be many billions of years older. So even if they were still around, they probably wouldn’t know what cool was any more. Bummer.
What is Space made of?
Well, it’s not just ‘nothing’. Space is, at the very least, filled with gases spread out very, very thinly. It also bends – and possibly rips – so it must be made of something . . .
But Space is, well, space, isn’t it? No air, no gravity . . .
Well, not exactly. Gravity is actually everywhere in Space.
Its pull becomes weaker the further you move away from one particular source – like a planet – but it’s still there.
And while it is true that there’s no air in Space, there are other things spread around it. It’s only because the stuff is spread out so thin, and Space is so big, that we can’t detect it very easily.
So what is this ‘stuff’?
Mostly hydrogen and interstellar dust left over from the Big Bang.
How much of it is out there?
Well, there’s billions of tonnes of it, but it’s spread so far and wide across the universe that you won’t find more than one atom per cubic centimetre of Space in most places. You’ve probably been told that gases spread out to fill their containers, right? Well, if there’s nothing else in the container, then they do. In this case, the container – the universe – was empty and is now at least 180 billion trillion miles wide. Spread over this distance, even billions of tones of material can look like virtually nothing. It just depends on how hard you’re looking for it. It’s a bit like Marmite on toast: spread it thinly enough and only the real Marmitehaters will detect it. (You can try that one for yourself.)
OK . . . so rather than say ‘there’s nothing in Space’, you could say ‘there’s almost nothing in Space’ instead?
Exactly. That will not only be more accurate, but it will also freak people out. Which is always fun.
About the author
Glenn MurphyGlenn Murphy is the author of around 20 popular science books. He received his masters in Science Communication from London's Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine. He wrote his first book, Why Is Snot Green?, while managing the Explainer team at the Science Museum, London. In 2007 he moved...
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I think this book was good because it was very scientific about the facts in this book. it is probably the funniest book i have read. :-)
"Why is Snot Green?" Is a very easy going book that I found good but already knew many of the facts from "The Last Word" series editied by Nick O'Hare. A good look at many intriguing facts for the quintessential fact reader.If you are serious and prepares for a very scientific look at many of these questions, try the "The Last Word" series.
it was a bit unpleasant
this book is awesome this book is funny and people who read this you should buy this book today
This book is really funny and WEIRD!! But I love It and loads of boy and girls will too. Age 8-13
THIS BOOK IS A VERY GOOD BOOK FOR SCIENCE PEOPLE WHO LIKE THEIR FACTS OVER ALL IT IS VERY GOOD IN FACT I WILL RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO MOST PEOPLE - EVEN MY DAD READS IT.
I really think that this book might be interesting because the question is '' WHY IS SNOT GREEN?"
I really liked this book. I don't usually read books like this but it was really good and full of very interesting facts!
it is so fun and snoty
it was a very funny book and Glenn Murphy is a very good author!
This book was very funny but interesting
I thought the book I chose was very interesting and factual, but I also thought it could be quite immature and a bit younger than my reading age. I would recomend it to boys and girls of an age range of 7-11 but definately not older, overall I liked the book, my favourite part was about the human body and anatomy.
This book was a great joy to read! In this book there are many wierd and wacky fun facts about The planets, Earth, Animals,space and humans life (to name a few), but the only dissipointment was there is not as many pictures as I expected
I think this book is amazing!!! There are loads of interesting (but maybe a bit random) facts that I found really liked. Also, I like how the book is set out in a conversation style. It really makes you feel involved with the book!!!!!!
I think my book is verry good and you can learn a lot from it I didnt know about some animals including us don't have bacteria living in their guts that release more gasses as they too break down the food .
To be honest I didn't like the book because they were useless facts, but I recommend it to kids at the age of 4-9. But for the older generation you might like it but I do not.
it is really cool
The front cover of this book looks really appetising (not to eat) but as soon as opened the book I found that the inside was not as good as the front cover as it is black and white and does not have many pics inside very disappointed :( :( :(
Great book even though I haven't read it yet. Full of facts.
This book is a non-fiction book so it isn't made up. It is full of interesting facts and I think it has very interesting facts about the universe and space and humans etc. This book has suprised me a bit because it is not about snot it is about lots of interesting facts.
when I had this book I was kind of excited because I wanted see what type of interesting facts they would tell you and as I was reading I thought omg this is an epic book! however I think people who like facts about stars and planets wild animals robots would prefer this book ! :)
An amazing book lots of information also funny it doesn't fill your head with facts a very good book I would recommend this book to all the people getting a free book !!
'Why is snot green?' is a fantastic, fun-packed fact book. Reading it was like a journey into the unknown solar system. The book was about facts on the earth. So interesting! I loved learning about random facts about the galaxy. Sometimes it went on a bit, the facts are good but no one really needs to know them! Why is snot green?
It was ok.
this book is awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This book has a person asking a question and some one answering the question it has loads of facts i didn't know.
Wow this book is awesome!!!!!! It also helps you with science:].
This story just tells you about things like the universe, space, flying cars and how many miles the sun is and the moon and how big the universe is you ask a question and it will be in the book like do rabbits fart, how big is space and why is SNOT GREEN?!
This book is great for people who want to know something they didn't or is to embarrassing to say to anyone but this is a book which totally blows your mind. a book with a lot of comedy would be this so if you have a had a rough day this will sure make it a lot better overall a great book 100% recomended
i don't like it
I think it was good
This book is full of loads of interesting facts and it really sucks you in to the book so overall I think this is a very good book!
A very interesting wacky book
The book was interesting and had lots of funny facts
I think that Why is Snot Green? is a great book for people who want to be full of facts to tell all their friends .This book is non fiction book in which the author answers the question in the book and then describes them in a interesting way. I think it is a amazing book because it tells you about all the the questions a boy or girl would want to know .
My brother has it at home, there are some funny facts but apart from that there isn't much else to it!
Awesome! it has so many facts that I didn't know.
This book is really enjoyable as it has lots of facts that loads of people don't know.
its so great
Why is snot green is a very good book for it tells you all you need to know about things that you would not ask in an ordinary lesson at school.I think it's a really cool cover for the book although I would put more in the background.
A brilliant factual book with everything you need to know!
Its the most incredible book ever read and just get it for £5.00 (see coool and cheap) and the last thing its amazinggggggggggggggggg!!!!!!!
An amazing book! Funny and interesting
We have not read this book coz the front cover looks gross! It's all green and snotty! (is it meant to be like that)
Heya guys, I haven't read the book yet but it looks... interesting I guess, but I would probably read it. xx
I think this is a really good book and this book describes and gives answers easy to understand
The best book EVER!!!!!!! It's made in a conversation-type format. Very random questions. Very good.
I found the book very enjoyable. It was very funny and made me laugh. The book was very factual and told me things that I never new before ! I recommend it to everyone.
It was a really good book and I learned a lot too! It inspired me to read another book by Glenn Murphy which was "How loud can you burp?" It's really good too!
I really enjoyed reading why is snot green, it was really cool and gross
I think that this book is truly and utterly disgusting. I really felt like I needed to go to the toilet and throw up quite a few times. Glenn Murphy is a very good author, but I just didn't like the content of it, sorry! :)
I thought this book is very good and has loads of interesting facts. It is a great book for scientists and Glenn made it very fun to learn facts
Why is snot green is a fun but factual book. If you are struggling with lessons this is the book you need, it has helped me loads. I have really enjoyed reading it, especially the parts about evolution, there is a things you might be suprised with. So if you are looking for a fun factual enjoyable book this is the one!!!
I like this book because it is really interesting
Why is snot green is a fact book and you can learn lots by reading it.
The book has a lot good science answers to weird and wacky ideas very enjoyable
this book is good
This is a super book, it is so very funny, cool and awesome.I absolutely LOVED this book,it is EPIC you should definitely read it. GO GET READING!!!
I think this book is really good and quite funny and I think that some of the facts are really good and the book is really good
Why is snot green is a funny book and I enjoyed it
It's got lots of gruesome facts
Why is snot green is a brilliant book
This book was okay but it was not that funny. I was a little disappionted with the book it wasn't talking about snot it with other things.
Very funny book, the best I've read, gives me loads of discusting info. I would recommend it to anyone.
This book is amazing
i would recommend this to anyone who likes science or just likes reading! I think that it was funny but a bit too funny but either way I enjoyed very very much
It is good.and I liked it. It is very interesting I would recommend it. This book is also like an encyclopedia.
This book is uber
Why is snot green is a really interesting book about everything. It's got stuff about the universe the world the sun and other galaxies. This book has also stuff about the future, like flying cars, 3d tvs and floating chairs. Overall I would give this book 5 stars!!! :)
This is a very interesting book and scientific.It has a very good piece of information, I liked the part where it involved the planets and the amount of humour it has
A really good book who ever does not like the book is a big fool. People think it is all about snot but it is not.It is a funny scientific book that tells you all about space and other things that you need.I read every night.
oh my gosh I can not believe that I made that when I read the book I actually really enjoyed it oh and yes this is the real Leigh-Anne no lie so if you have any questions about the book please don't be afraid to ask
This is a very good book and it has got a lot of information about why snot is green.:):):):)
I like this book becuase it helps me with science. Also I've never heard of his name so this is my first time.
This book is very good because some facts you would of never thought you would see before like you can find out all the space and even the size of all the space. Some random things as well like do spiders have ears? Great book I advise you to read on through the book.
It was good
I think it is a good book because there are some interesting facts
I think this is going to be a good and hilarious book. It's about snot COOL :)
I've never read this book but from the reviews it is amazzzzzzinggg!:)
When I read this book blurb I was loving it. The best part was when I saw the book cover. Can't wait to read this book.
It's a well good book, I would recommend it to anyone
Very funny and informative.
I have read this book before it is really interesting, I thought it was really fun to read and it kept me entertained for quite a long time. I have read it twice before and when I saw it as one of the options, I thought whoever choses this book will be really happy they have. Enjoy it guys like I did.xx
I haven't really read this book yet, but it seems familiar. This book sounds amazing
can't wait to read it xxxx
wow, so good!!!
Brilliant, best book ever !!!!!!!!!!!!!! xx
IT IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!
I can't wait to read this it looks so good, also you can keep reading it and reading it because it is a fact book.
I am picking this one
As soon as I saw this book I said, I'm having this. I love this book it's amazing... I would give it a rating of 10/10!
This book looks really good I'm getting this one. I can't wait to read it.
So you look at the book cover and think 'hmm, I guess its all about snot?' No! It's not just about snot, it's all the funniest, weirdest and strange questions you could ever ask. It's AWESOME, five stars from me.
This book has loads of good facts.
It is a good book. It has good, funny stuff
Great facts and funny science. Fun and funny answers are very useful.
This book is for anyone who likes science and who likes finding out about a lot of things to do with science and it is funny, it will make you laugh so read this book
wicked and humerous
this book looks awesome I can't wait to read it!