20 facts about plants - our friends and neighbors on the planet (Did you know that a cucumber is not a vegetable, a peanut is not a nut?)
The good news is that there are 300,000 varieties of plants on the planet today (and there will be more discoveries), 70,000 of which are used for medicinal purposes. For us, they are life itself: oxygen, nutrition, healing, so the importance of flora for a person can hardly be overestimated.
Dandelion wine, bluebell glue, baobab water… 20 little-known facts about the flora of the Earth.
However, not all of them are universal friends. There are those who can "bite", and someone just eat. The most common vegetable, for example, produces sulfuric acid from our tears. Some people store water well in drought - 120 thousand liters, how do you like such volumes? True, mostly for themselves ... And some people directly parasitize on their fellows, "sniffing out" what is tastier. The variety of plants is amazing: there are from 0.1 mm in diameter to 115 meters in height.
Fortunately, the most useful family of roses grows literally all over the planet and supplies us with fruits and berries. Read about our best friends, plants, in Bemorepanda's selection.
1. Magic oak
Oak has long been considered a symbol of courage and stamina: it was a sacred tree of many peoples, such as the ancient Slavs and Celts. Usually oaks do not produce acorns until they are 50 years old. An oak tree strewn with acorns is very good to see in a dream - this is for well-being and career growth.
2. Dandelion is a universal remedy
The whole dandelion plant, including the roots and petals, can be consumed as food and medicine.
Dried dandelion flowers can replace saffron. The flowers are also used to make jam, honey and wine, they are added to salads (it is the flowers that are used: all the green parts have a bitter taste).
The plant has a diaphoretic, antipyretic effect, it treats pancreatitis, gastritis with weakened secretion, liver stones, hepatitis, constipation and hemorrhoids, colitis and enteritis. Dandelion is useful for poisoning with poisons, with a sting of a scorpion, bees.
3. Grass as high as a house
Elephant grass, which grows in Africa, gets its name from the fact that it can reach a height of 4.5 meters (enough to hide an elephant).
4. Homeland of potatoes
South America is the birthplace of the potato. It was here that it was grown about 9-7 thousand years ago. The Indians worshiped this plant and considered it a living being. Today in South America you can find wild types of potatoes.
In Europe, this culture appeared only in the 16th century (first as an ornamental plant).
5. Stinging Tree
Australia has a "suicide plant" (Dendrocnide moroides). It is so named because its "bite" can have a lasting effect and cause such excruciating pain that some people commit suicide after coming into contact with it. Reaches 10 meters in height, and poisonous "from head to toe": the stem, branches, petioles, leaves and fruits are covered with burning hairs.
6. Himself a bouquet
It looks like a sunflower has one huge flower, but in fact each head is made up of hundreds of smaller flowers or inflorescences that mature into seeds. All members of the sunflower family, including daisies, yarrow, goldenrod, asters, coreopsis, and double cornflower, share this characteristic.
The spiral pattern at the centers of the sunflower is the Fibonacci sequence: impressive, since the plant has never learned math.
7. Don't drink from the cactus
The moisture that the cactus stores is not to be consumed (although in many feature films we see the opposite). Despite the fact that these plants can accumulate a large amount of water, it is unsuitable for humans. There is no poison in it, but acids and alkaloids harm the kidneys.
8. The oldest secret
Although the ancient Egyptians were the first to describe the technique of making wine from herbs and plants about 5,000 years ago, archaeologists have found evidence that grapes were grown in the Caucasus (present-day Georgia) about 8,000 years ago.
9. Air cranberry
The cranberry floats and bounces in the water thanks to tiny air bubbles inside it.
Tip: If you ever find yourself stranded on a desert island, tie hundreds of thousands of cranberries together to swim to freedom...
10. Festive, poisonous
La Fete du Muguet, or Lily of the Valley, is celebrated in France on May 1st. On this occasion, bouquets of flowers are given to loved ones with the wishes of health and happiness.
Wash your hands after picking and don't touch your eyes: these flowers are poisonous! And keep them away from children and pets.
11. Close relatives
Nectarines and peaches mainly differ in that nectarines have smooth skins while peaches have fluffy skins. Both nectarine and peach fruit can be obtained by grafting peach branches onto nectarine trees, or vice versa.
12. Tree old-timers
One of the oldest surviving tree species is the ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), which is approximately 290 million years old. Another old species is the metasequoia (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), which is about 150 million years old. Before they were discovered in nature (alive), both were identified in the fossil record.
13. Battle of the Peppers
The claim to be the hottest chili pepper in the world is still controversial. The Carolina Reaper has already supplanted Ghost Pepper, which is 401.5 times hotter than store-bought hot sauce. The search for the hottest pepper in the world continues...
Camellia sinensis (tea bush, aka Chinese camellia) is the source of all teas, including black, green, and white. Processing technologies are the only thing that distinguishes them.
Not exactly: it depends on the country. In France, the name (the) is reserved only for products from this plant family. Everything else is a "decoction" or "infusion". In other countries, they can be labeled as herbal tea, so in Switzerland, for example, you will find chamomile or mint tea from the same product.
15. Amazing Bamboo
Bamboo is the fastest growing woody plant in the world. In one day, it can grow up to 88 centimeters.
It is less environmentally friendly and has a lower carbon footprint than cotton. It also doesn't need pesticides, fertilizers or water to grow. In addition, it is resistant to insects and pathogenic bacteria. Bamboo fabric also has antibacterial and many other properties that cotton does not have.
16. Deadly Beauty
Oleander (Nerium oleander), a beautiful flowering shrub endemic to the Mediterranean, is deadly in all forms. If oleander leaves are ingested, the effects on the cardiovascular, neurological, and gastrointestinal systems can be fatal.
17. Can eat at dinner ...
A carnivorous plant native to the Philippines can "eat" a rat from nose to tail! Our advice is to keep your fingers to yourself when you are around him.
Do you think it will take root in my house? Seems more natural than mouse traps! "Has anyone seen Fluffy?"
18. Bell glue
The sap of the bluebell flowers was used to make glue. Its bulbs were crushed to make starch for collars and cuffs in the Elizabethan era, and their sticky sap was once used to bind books and glue quills to arrows.
70% of the bluebells in the world grow in the UK.
19. Is orange better?
Carrots were originally purple, not orange. Her new color is the result of centuries of crossbreeding.
By the way, many people like the taste of purple carrots more: it is softer.
20. Great fruit
Pineapples are the only edible members of the bromeliad family.
The English name for pineapple (pineapple) came from European explorers who believed it had an apple-like flesh and a pine cone appearance. The word ananas comes from the Tupi language, where nana means "excellent fruit".
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Today, 34 years have passed since the tragical accident at the Chernobyl power plant. How it all happened
The destruction of the reactor led to terrible consequences: in the first three months after the explosion, 31 people died, 134 liquidators were faced with radiation sickness, radionuclides of iodine and cesium were distributed throughout Europe. For residents of Ukraine, the homeland has become an exclusion zone.
Local residents of Pripyat and employees of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, this hell began at 1:24 on April 26, 1986, when the reactor of the fourth power unit was destroyed, accompanied by a huge emission of radiation.
People were dying in terrible agony: the station operator was the first to die from the explosion, and in the coming days, firefighters who bravely fought with the flame died from severe exposure.
The full picture of what happened did not immediately open to the world: at first, people who took part in the events themselves did not realize the scale of the disaster. In addition, the Soviet government desperately wanted to hide the truth about the disaster: documents on the causes of the accident were classified, as were the results of medical examinations of the victims and information on the degree of radioactive contamination.
On the anniversary of this tragic event, we recall the chronology of those terrible days and heroes who sacrificed their lives to save the people.
On April 1986, the fourth power unit was prepared for the next scheduled repair. This practice has existed for years and did not cause concern among NPP employees.
However, equipment was always tested during stops, this time checking the “turbine generator rotor run-out”. This mode would allow the use of the stored kinetic energy in the event of a blackout of the station. Until 1986, the experiment was carried out three times, but it had never been successful.
So, from the night of April 25, station workers began to reduce the power of the generator. Allegedly violating safety precautions, employees turned off automatic protection - the reactor emergency cooling system.
However, later it turned out that this action was not a mistake: in tests of abnormal operating conditions of reactors, they always did this. But then the readings of sensors and devices began to jump, and without an experienced chief nearby the operator did not understand what to do in an unusual situation.
Why, then, was there no tightened control by the physicists-designers and chief engineers? These questions were repeatedly mentioned in court records several months later ...
April 26, 0:28: the reactor power “failed” to 30 megawatts, and the test program clearly indicated - keep the level at 700-1000. Manually, the staff tried to eliminate the imbalance in the system, and at one o'clock in the morning the indicators suddenly jumped seven times to the level of 200 megawatts.
Something obviously went wrong, but the station staff continued the test: after all, it was necessary to carry out the order ...
To explain what happened in the next few minutes, you need to understand how the reactor is build. Inside is a two-ton graphite cylinder pierced by 1700 channels through which water flows, slowing down the speed of neutrons. In the event of an accident, the liquid heats up and evaporates, and the reactor literally "brakes" itself, preventing an explosion.
And here there is a small “No”: the engineers did not take into account that there is too much graphite in the equipment, the material slowed down the processes, and when the water began to boil, at the critical moment, the reactor acceleration could continue.
This error could not be known to simple engineers who worked at nuclear power plants that night. At 1:07 in the morning, they connected two more working pumps, hoping in the future to provide cooling of the system.
The amount of fluid in the channels decreased, then the water level stabilized. At 1:22, the staff saw that the reactivity margin was critically small, which meant that you had to turn off the engine.
But the test continued and entered the active phase of “run-out”, although the thermal power was steadily growing. At 1:23, the shift supervisor of the fourth power unit gave an urgent command to press the emergency button of the A3-5 reactor: the rods from the material absorbing neutrons were supposed to sink to the bottom of the reactor.
However, the design of the rods was far from ideal: displacing water, they accelerated, rather than slowed down the reaction.
The rods stuck at a height of two meters, the temperature soared, and self-acceleration of the generator began. At 1:24, two explosions thundered at the station, destroying the reactor. Multi-ton debris buried underneath the pump operator of the MCP Valery Hodemchuk.
A fire started…
Through the eyes of witnesses
A minute later, the fire station number two received a signal about the ignition of a nuclear power plant. The group was led by 23-year-old lieutenant Vladimir Pravik, and soon he was joined by the guard of Lieutenant Viktor Kibenok. Nobody knew yet that the reactor has vanished, and instead there was place a column of ethereal white-blue light shining, streaming into the night sky ...
Deputy Chief Engineer Anatoly Dyatlov believed that the reactor was intact, you just need to supply water and cool it. The real picture was opened to Alexander Yuvchenko, who came down from his workplace a couple of floors below. On the way he met cameraman Viktor Degtyarenko: bloodied, in blackened clothes. The victim assured that everything was fine with him, but help was needed for people left in the pump room.
The tragic events of that night were quite accurately described in the episode of the HBO series about Chernobyl.
Yuvchenko, along with his colleague Yuri Treguba, went to the cooler tanks and through the slot covered with debris of the door he saw the destroyed walls and tanks. There was no roof, and in the place of the reactor there was only a glow caused by radioactive ionization of the air.
But back to the firefighters, who were in the center of events. They did not have any special protective equipment, only canvas suits, mittens and helmets. They couldn’t get through to the dispatcher’s manager to find out the details of the incident, so they just got to work. At two in the morning, fighters who fought with fire at the station began to be sent to clinics with signs of radiation sickness. Looking ahead, we note that the brave lieutenants Pravik and Kibenok died on May 11 ...
“I got a call from the Chernobyl medical unit just home, the phone is always near my bed: here, they say, Angelina Konstantinovna, a strange story - there was a fire at the station, some explosions and patients with a reaction very similar to radiation.
Then came such information: a typical reaction - vomiting, redness, weakness, one has diarrhea. What to do?
The first patients are still arriving. I say: “It is very similar to radiation sickness,” recalled Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor Angelina Guskova. “But, you know, all the technicians say that this is simply not possible.” Calls continue: they say there are more and more people. Already 80 people, 120 ... ".
By six in the morning, the fire in the fourth power unit was under control, but this was only the beginning. To assess the scale and eliminate the consequences of the disaster, in the morning of April 27 in Moscow they created a Government Commission led by Boris Scherbina.
At 13.10 local residents of Pripyat announced the evacuation of residents. Preparations for transporting people were carried out the night before, and now, in three hours, 47 thousand people were able to take them out. They threw houses, land, dogs and cats ...
Against the background of the evacuation, military helicopter pilots began to dump sand, clay and boron into the explosion site to stop the spread of fire and fuel leakage. People died or ended up in hospitals with serious exposure, but it was not until April 28 that the media broadcast the first official report of the disaster.
“One of the reactors was damaged. Measures are being taken to eliminate the consequences of the incident. The victims received the necessary assistance. A Government Commission has been created to investigate what happened, ”the announcement said briefly.
LIE AND RESCUE
On May 2, the Government Commission began to evacuate the population of villages within a radius of 10 kilometers from the accident, and on May 3, work began under the “body” of the fourth power unit: there was a threat of burnout of the lower part of the reactor. Without injuring themselves, the miners worked in terrible radiation fields.
Two days later, people have been evacuated from Ukraine and Belarus, who lived 30 kilometers from the nuclear power plant. 135 thousand people were forced to abandon their land, which received the name of the "exclusion zone".
Only on May 6, the reactor was completely under complete control, thereby stopping the release of radioactive substances. But not only the flame was the main problem of the liquidators. The Black Wind carried radiation in the form of a plume from the ashes to Russia, Finland, and Sweden, then turned south, sending nuclear dust to Asia and North Africa, and then to the United States.
According to Professor Goldman, a deadly cloud descended in the Florida area. According to rumors, worried farmers killed all the cows that could get infected through grass covered with nuclear waste, and received financial assistance from America for this.
Despite the critical situation, on May 9, the Minister of Health of the Ukrainian SSR Anatoly Romanenko announced on the radio that the level of radiation was declining and was currently in line with international standards. What kind of "norm" was discussed, if now nuclear pollution is compared with 400 Hiroshima?
According to official figures, eight and a half million people were affected one way or another, 23% of of them are from Belarus, 10% of Ukraine and 15% of Russia. For the first time, Gorbachev spoke on television on May 14.
In those days, the emergency zone was continued to be treated with a sorbent, and the next step of the liquidators was the construction of a rampart to prevent harmful substances from entering the rivers. In August, at an IAEA expert conference in Vienna, Academician Valery Legasov, who led the commission to investigate the causes and consequences of the accident at a nuclear power plant, presented a five-hour report on the analysis of the Chernobyl tragedy. His utmost honesty and an indication of the shortcomings in the design of such reactors did not please the Soviet leadership: subsequently Legasov was not elected to the scientific and technical council and was awarded the title of Hero of Russia only after his death, in 1996.
In record time, in only five months, a sarcophagus was created that covered the fourth power unit - the so-called Shelter. Building it turned out to be very dangerous: in some places of fuel accumulation, radiation reached a huge level of 3,000 x-rays per hour, despite the fact that a dose of 400 is lethal. But even so, civilian and military people did not back down and sacrificed their health for the sake of saving humanity.
The world's insatiable demand for clean, sustainable energy has led to innovations in renewable energy sources, and one sector that's making waves, quite literally, is the floating power plant market. As countries strive to reduce their carbon footprint and transition away from fossil fuels, floating power plants are emerging as a versatile and eco-friendly solution to meet their energy needs.
What Are Floating Power Plants?
Floating power plants are essentially power generation facilities that float on water bodies such as rivers, lakes, and oceans. These innovative structures harness the energy potential of water bodies to produce electricity, making them a valuable asset for regions with limited access to traditional power infrastructure. The floating power plant market is likely to rebound at a promising CAGR of 9.2% over the forecast period.
Advantages of Floating Power Plants
- Location Flexibility: Floating power plants can be stationed in a variety of locations, allowing for proximity to areas with high energy demand or to remote regions where grid connections are challenging.
- Renewable Energy: They primarily utilize renewable energy sources like solar, wind, or hydropower, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to a greener energy mix.
- Reduced Land Use: Unlike conventional power plants, they don't require large tracts of land, which can be a significant advantage in densely populated areas.
- Quick Deployment: Floating power plants can be constructed relatively quickly, helping to address energy shortages in emergency situations or during rapid urbanization.
- Less Environmental Impact: Floating power plants have a lower environmental impact compared to some land-based energy sources, as they don't disrupt ecosystems or wildlife habitats.
Key Market Trends
The floating power plant market has been steadily growing in recent years, driven by several key trends:
- Increasing Investment: Governments and private investors are recognizing the potential of floating power plants, leading to increased funding for research, development, and deployment.
- Technological Advancements: Ongoing innovations are enhancing the efficiency and reliability of floating power plant technologies, making them more competitive with traditional power sources.
- Offshore Wind Expansion: The offshore wind segment is a significant driver of this market, with numerous offshore wind farms adopting floating platforms for turbine installations.
- Energy Storage Integration: Floating power plants are increasingly incorporating energy storage systems to provide a stable supply of electricity, even during adverse weather conditions.
Challenges and Future Prospects
Despite the promising growth, the floating power plant market faces challenges such as high upfront costs, regulatory hurdles, and potential environmental concerns. However, as technology continues to improve and environmental regulations tighten, these challenges are expected to be mitigated.
In the coming years, we can anticipate the floating power plant market expanding further, playing a pivotal role in the transition to sustainable energy sources. With advancements in energy storage, enhanced grid integration, and increased investments, floating power plants are poised to become a crucial component of the global renewable energy landscape. As countries strive to meet their clean energy targets and combat climate change, the floating power plant market will be at the forefront of this transformative journey.