The world is full of strange and beautiful facts about everything we see, hear, and experience daily. Electricity, for example, is something we rely on daily without giving it much thought. However, as you might expect, there is a slew of fascinating and entertaining facts about electricity that you’ve probably never considered!
Did You Know These Electricity Fun Facts?
Electricity is, in its most basic form, a form of energy that accumulates in one location and then flows to many others. Almost everything you use in your daily life, including your body, need electricity, from turning on a light to powering your oven. If you’re as curious as we are to learn more, we’ve compiled a list of our top 8 facts about electricity that you might not know.
1. Light travels at the speed of electricity.
It has been established that electricity travels at the same speed as light, a staggering 670,616,629 miles per hour. To put it another way, 670,616,629 mph is equivalent to 300 million metres per second!
So, how does electricity travel at such a fast rate? It all boils down to an electric current and a mixture of electrons. Many microscopic particles, sometimes known as electrons, make up an electric current. The electrons travel extremely slowly when they are motionless. When you use an electrical gadget, however, it will have a wire attached to it, which allows electrons to go from your power supply to your device.
2. Lightning is an electrical discharge in the atmosphere.
Lightning is triggered by a massive electric current. While the clouds appear to be gliding quietly over the sky, they are actually becoming more active. Warm air currents pull water and ice up into the atmosphere, which is subsequently forced back down by gravity, due to the ever-changing weather conditions. The two become crushed in the clouds during their journey, travelling not only around but also inside.
An electric charge builds up inside the clouds over time, similar to how static electricity is created by rubbing a balloon against a surface. Positive electric charges are now piling up towards the top of the clouds, while negative charges are resting along the bottom. In an attempt to neutralise, they then try their hardest to reach each other.
This isn’t a problem on a regular day; however, on a stormy day, the turbulent winds separate the electric charges. The negative charges then begin to move towards the earth, forming a stepped ladder, as scientists call it. Meanwhile, on the ground below, an upward leader forms, driving positive charges into the air. When these collide, a massive electric current is created, which shoots up into the cloud and is known as lightning!
3. Electricity Was Discovered In 600 BC
There are a plethora of reports that claim different dates for the invention of electricity. According to Universe Today, electricity was first used by the Ancient Greeks about 600 BC. The Greeks came to the conclusion that rubbing fur against amber formed from fossilised tree resin may produce their own type of static electricity.
Apart from the Greek discoveries, the Romans are supposed to have employed electricity to make batteries. Archaeologists discovered a pair of pillars in the 1930s that were fashioned with copper sheets buried inside. The Romans may have used these pots as batteries to power their lights, according to experts.
4. Electric Cars Date Back As Far As 1932
While many people think of electric vehicles as a recent development, they have been around since 1932. Robert Anderson, a rising innovator, created the first electric car in the early 1930s. The car did not become ‘driveable’ and capable of transporting passengers from point A to point B until the 1870s.
The electric car began to gain popularity more than 60 years after its invention. Models were now comfortable to drive and did not emit a harsh odour of pollution. They were especially popular with women who desired a fashionable vehicle to get around town in. Electric cars are expected to account for up to one-third of all vehicles on the road by the next century! Check out Energy.Gov for a complete timeline on the history of the electric automobile.
5. Coal Is The World’s largest Source Of Electricity
According to the World Coal Association, coal is responsible for around 38 per cent of global electricity production. Renewable energy and natural gas come in second and third, respectively.
The process of generating energy from coal is rather simple, and it all starts in a thermal power plant. Coal is first burned in a boiler, which turns water into steam. The steam then passes via a turbine, which ignites a shaft attached to a generator. The generator is made up of wrapped wire coils that generate energy utilising a strong magnetic field when fast turned.
6. Electric Eels Can Shock You With 500 Volts
While this fact may appear odd, it was far too interesting to leave out of our post! Electric eels are frequently depicted in movies, yet they can be quite harmful. Each eel is born with 80 per cent of its body made up of cells, also known as electrolytes, which can generate a shock of more than 500 volts. 330 D-cell batteries are equivalent to this. Fortunately, the eels only use their massive charge when they are hunting or spotting a predator. On MNN, you can learn more about this strange creature.
Also Read: 20 Unbelievable Facts About Ocean
7. 54% Of Electricity Is Wasted
Why are we continually told to strive our hardest to get the most out of the energy we consume? According to a recent analysis by The Association Of Decentralised Energy, the UK wastes 54 per cent of its energy each year, amounting to a staggering £9.5 billion. When broken down further, the cost per household may be as high as £354, which is more than half of the typical electricity bill in the UK.
While this is a startling statistic, there is a slew of quick and easy solutions to start conserving energy in your house. You may start saving money right away by disconnecting appliances when they’re not in use and washing clothes at a lower temperature. More information can be found in our previous article on the top 10 energy-saving tips!
8. An Electrical Shock Is Caused By Water In The Body
After several years of working as an electrician in Milton Keynes, you’d be shocked at how many emergency calls we get from customers who have accidentally given themselves an electric shock. While we all take precautions when working with electricity, did you know that the cause of a shock is actually the water inside your body?
Because up to 60% of our bodies are made up of water, we are excellent conductors of electricity. When we come into contact with high-powered electricity, it is always looking for the path with the least amount of resistance. This means it goes right to the water running through your body, causing you to receive an electric shock. As a result, the muscles contract and the lungs narrow, causing you to have an immediate reaction.
There is always something new to discover, from the astounding speed of electricity to the body’s own electrical system; there are millions of truths we have yet to discover.