Here are 18 GIFS that will teach you more about science than any textbook can

How many gifs do you see that actually show you how the world works – all in just a few seconds? That exactly what these 17 do.

The Internet is flooded with funny gifs of cats dozing off, people nearly getting themselves killed, and other examples of human beings doing incredibly stupid things.

But how many gifs actually show you how the world works – all in just a few seconds? That exactly what the 17 we’ve assembled below do.


1. This is how a Slinky absorbs energy as it’s dropped:



2. This is how the internal mechanism of a key lock works:



3. Watch how bean tendrils search out things to grab hold of:



4. This how small earth is compared to NML Cygni, the largest known star:



5. Watch how the outer sac protects this egg yolk as it floats in water:



6. This is how it looks when you dump boiling water in -41C weather:



7. Watch a ladybug’s wings blossom and take off in slow-mo:



8. This is how camouflage is applied to military helmets:



9. Watch how a dog cups its tongue when drinking water:



10. Watch how a cheetah uses its tail to balance itself and counteract force as it chases its prey:



11. Watch the chrysopelea, or flying snake, glide through the air:



12. Watch what an arctic summer looks like when the sun never sets:



13. This is one theory on how the statues at Easter Island were transported:



14. This is how a human face is formed in the womb:



15. This is how a chain is assembled:



16. This is why snake venom is so deadly:



17. This is what happens when sulfur hexaflouride, a gas much denser than air, is “poured” into a boat floating on it:



18. See how an octopus’s camouflage skills are almost magical:




  1. Avatar

    Pixie Stix

    May 12, 2014 at 3:37 am

    Number eight is completely bogus. They are attempting to show how a DIGITAL pattern is somehow acquired from a liquid medium. Not going to happen. Additionally, the camo pattern isn’t directly printed on the helmet anyway. You use a fabric helmet cover that can be changed out to match the current uniform pattern – a much more economical alternative. Because of that, I find myself doubting the veracity of three or four of the other gifs.

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    May 13, 2014 at 3:20 am

    Are you saying the process in 8 isn’t real or that it’s not the process used for applying the pattern to these specific helmets only?

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    Suzy Samford Weber

    May 13, 2014 at 5:29 am

    Check around, this painting technique actually works quite well and is used in many areas.

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    May 13, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    What is happening in the snake venom gif?

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    May 15, 2014 at 1:53 am

    It’s applied to blood (liquid) which then begins to coagulate and form a solid.

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    May 19, 2014 at 5:58 am

    The snake venom causes the blood to clot up. Imagine your arteries trying to pump that through your system – not gonna happen.

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    May 19, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Olan, the venom causes the blood to coagulate (clot) and become solid.

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    May 19, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    They are demonstrating a new technique on how to coat wheels and anything you want with any print you want. We use cloth overs for our helmets.

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    Joshua Smith

    September 7, 2014 at 5:25 am

    actually that is a painting technique, it just isnt used by the military. you are half right.

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    Diane Gordon

    September 7, 2014 at 6:17 am

    Oh my, the person who wrote this has obviously never cracked open a science text book. Not even a vague comparison to what one finds there.

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    Richard McCutchen

    September 7, 2014 at 7:38 am

    If #8 is bogus, then please explain this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CA0DR4GSQg

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    September 7, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    You’re wrong. This is a technique used to apply graphics to many items.

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    April 22, 2015 at 3:12 am

    Geez. How stupid do you have to be, to be incapable of learning these principles from a textbook?

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    William Lanteigne

    April 22, 2015 at 10:57 am

    I’ve used that technique for decades: oil paint on water.

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    April 23, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    my son in law uses this method to apply any number of patterns to things ranging from helmets to frisbees to car parts. so yes this is an actual process.

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    April 24, 2015 at 5:28 am

    Wow, how rude do you have to be? You have no idea who this person is or how hold they are. Slow your roll, captain.

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    April 24, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Teach you more about science that any textbook can? I hope that’s just a bad joke, that is a slap in the face to any author. You’re doing everybody a disservice if you think you’ve taught anybody anything with these gifs. Entertaining, but not educational. Congrats on helping dumb down the internet.

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    April 25, 2015 at 6:29 am

    Except I learned more from books, because they explain why those things happen instead of “Watch this” and “This is what (this) looks like.” The GIFS were cool, yes. But they didn’t teach me anything.

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