Wonder No More, Ernie! – Part 2


Jarrod Fairclough – Last week we started answering the questions Ernie pondered in the Season 41 song ‘I Wonder’, with explanations on shooting stars and bumble bees!  Today we’re taking on the second half of the song, so get your pencils sharpened, because there’s gonna be a test!

How Does A Bunny Hop Hop Hop?
From Wonderopolis:  Rabbits boast back legs that are long and quite strong. They can leap forward great distances with a single push from their back legs. They usually land on their front legs, which help them balance while their back legs spring forward into position to push off for another leap forward.  Humans call this particular way of moving hopping, and it’s simply the natural way rabbits were born to move given the way their bodies are made. If your legs were built like a rabbit‘s, then you would hop instead of walk, too!

What Makes Popcorn Pop?
From Wonderopolis:
 Inside each kernel of popcorn is a tiny droplet of water surrounded by a hard shell called a hull. As the popcorn is heated, the water turns into steam, which builds pressure inside the kernel. When the hull can no longer contain the pressurePOP! — the kernel explodes and a fluffy new piece of popcorn is born.

Ernie I wonder thunder.jpg

Why Does The Rain Fall Drop By Drop?
From Reddit’s Ask Science:
 Once a droplet reaches a certain size it starts falling, so there’s limited time for a droplet to grow and merge with other droplets. There are some environmental properties which cause droplets to vary in size, but they can’t grow indefinitely.

(Why Does The) Lightning Always Come Before The Thunder?
From Science Made Simple:  We see the lightning before we hear the thunder because light travels faster than sound. The light from the lightning travels to our eyes much quicker than the sound from the lightning. so we hear it later than we see it.

What Makes A Tiny Little Ant So Strong?
From ToughtCo:
 An animal’s weight is related to volume, which increases in proportion to the cube of its length, or by a factor of 3. But its strength is related to surface area, which only increases in proportion to the square of its length, or by a factor of 2. Larger animals have a greater disparity between mass and strength. When a large animal needs to lift an object, its muscles must also move a greater volume, or mass, of its own body.  The tiny ant has a strength advantage because of the ratio of surface area to volume.  An ant need only lift a small measure of its own weight relative to the strength of its muscles.

Ernie I wonder birds

Does Every Bird Sing A Different Song?
From All About Birds:
 Just as humans have regional accents, some bird species develop distinct, area-specific dialects. Such variation in song often arises when populations of the same species are isolated by geographic features such as mountains, bodies of water, or stretches of unsuitable habitat. These local dialects are then passed on to the next generation of young birds, which hear the songs being performed by their father and other local males. After many generations, the birds from one area can sound quite different from those the next mountain over.

Do You Wonder Why?
From Me:  I can’t say I ever did until this song, Ernie.  So thank you for inspiring me to do some research and discover the answers!