Counterintuitive truths

Here is a great catalog of counterintuitive truths, collected in a Reddit thread called "What fact do you accept intellectually, but still feels 'wrong' to you?" For example: "How automatic transmissions work. No matter how much I read about it, it still seems like magic." (ohsballer)

Notable Replies

  1. mikea says:

    Even pilots have a hard time grokking how variable pitch propellers work.

    Then there are long hangar conversations about to set pitch and RPM... and most old timers have it wrong.

  2. As was mentioned early in that thread: radio waves, especially as applied to wireless data transmission. I've read the theory, I observe it applied about a bajillion times a day, and yet some part of me is still blabbergasted that megabytes of data can be transferred to my phone, in order, without error, in seconds, from a gadget on a shelf in another room.

  3. Death is something that once I began to obsess over it in the 7th grade I have never stopped. Fricking On A Pale Horse did not help. It was too late anyways. I had begun my poseur-suburbia-wanna-punk-goth-shennanigans. I talked about death, dying, corpses, the ever-after and the lot until the end of the 11th grade.

    Thank you kindly, Mudhoney.

    But death is still something I contemplate multiple times a day. It has never stopped clicking-clicking-clicking the top of my spine.

  4. I feel this way about gravity. Thankfully, gravity is actually a confusing thing once you get into the nitty gritty.

  5. phuzz says:

    Don't most things become intuitive once you learn about them? The quantum physics I learned at uni seems like common sense to me.
    For example; of course a sub-atomic particle is going to exist as a supposition of states, that's just what they do right?
    You want to know why? Well, that's the best bit about science, nobody has worked that out yet, exciting no?

Continue the discussion

6 more replies