Category Archives: Learning

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The Vsauce Jurassic World Special

Have you seen Jurassic World? Are you a fan of the old Jurassic Park films?

Vsauce invites special guests Chris Pratt and Jack Horner for this Jurassic World special. Jack Horner is a famous palaeontologist studying dinosaurs; he’s also the technical advisor for the Jurassic Park movies and inspired the character Dr. Alan Grant. Actor Chris Pratt asks the questions. Take a look below.

People sure love dinosaurs, or maybe they just love Chris Pratt! Jurassic World has broken the record for the highest grossing box office opening weekend.

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Fun facts:

  • The first dinosaur to be named was the Megalosaurus in 1824.
  • Birds descended from a type of dinosaur called the Theropod.
  • No one knows exactly how long dinosaurs lived but scientists estimate some lived up to 200 years.
  • The difference in time between when Tyrannosaurus Rex and Stegosaurus lived is greater than the difference in time between Tyrannosaurus Rex and now. The t-Rex lived closer in time to us than to the Stegosaurus!

For more videos from Vsauce, check out their YouTube channel.

Source(s): Vsauce

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Teenagers Didn’t Always Exist

Teenagers aren’t just the future, but the present.

Teenagers all around the world are making a difference, changing the world for the better! Let’s take a second to celebrate that.

Last year, an awesome film came out about teenagers, called Teenage. Take a look at the trailer above. The documentary explores what it means to be a teenager and revisits the time when the term “teenager” was starting to become a thing.

The origin of the word “teenager” goes back to 1922. The word “teener” existed from 1894 but wasn’t commonly used.

It’s strange to think that there was a time when no one used the word “teenager”. People were children, and then they were adults. There was no need for a word that marks the transitional phase between the two. But then things started to change. Adolescents were starting to become more independent, staying in school for longer and generally living the way they wanted. The teenager was born!

As the film’s website says: “Teenagers didn’t always exist. They had to be invented. As the cultural landscape around the world was thrown into turmoil during the industrial revolution, and with a chasm erupting between adults and youth, the concept of a new generation took shape.”

Watch the clip and enjoy. It’s fascinating stuff!

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John Nash: A Beautiful Mind

It’s important to celebrate people who achieve great things. If for no other reason than to inspire us.

On this occasion, we visit the world of mathematics to pay tribute to John Nash, who recently passed away. John Nash is considered one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century. He was a key proponent of game theory (ask your maths teacher!) and left an indelible mark on the world of academia. They even made a film about him, called A Beautiful Mind.

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John Forbes Nash, Jr. was born on June 13th in West Virginia. From an early age, he showed signs of his great intellectual ability. He received a scholarship to study at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, where he begun a chemical engineering major, but eventually switched to mathematics. When he was applying for Princeton University, one of his former professors wrote him a recommendation that consisted of one line. It said:

“This man is a genius.”

John Nash excelled in the field of mathematics, coming up with new theories and angles from which to view previously unsolvable mathematical problems. His work won him numerous awards and acclaim. Although he was a mathematician, his theories apply to lots of different subjects, including biology, computing, artificial intelligence, politics and economics.

However, in the 1960s, it became clear that John Nash suffered from mental illness. Nash started experiencing severe paranoia, believing that there were people plotting against him. His illness drastically affected all aspects of his life, including his work. In 1959, when speaking at the American Mathematical Society at Columbia University, it was noted immediately that his lecture was incomprehensible. He was hospitalised and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

After around 30 years, Nash began to overcome his mental illness, having been in and out of psychiatric wards and mental institutions. In the 1980s, he  managed to continue his work in mathematics and game theory.  In 1994, John Nash was awarded the biggest prize of them all, the Noble Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

On May 23rd, 2015, Nash died in a  car crash, but his work and legacy will live on forever. If you’re interested in this spectacular man’s life, then why not read A Beautiful Mind, a book about his life authored by Sylvia Nasar, or watch the movie of the same name.

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The History and Future of Everything

Does anybody have a friend who thinks they know everything?

Now you can hit back with the knowledge you will pick up from watching the awesome videos on YouTube channel, Kurzgesagt.

Translating from German to English as “In a Nutshell”, Kurzgesagt offers up spectacular videos on an an array of topics, ranging from time to the immune system to war.

Here are a couple of their best videos for you to sink your teeth into.

The History and Future of Everything — Time

In this ambitious video, Kurzgesagt take us on a trip back to the beginning of the universe and then fast-forwards to its final moments. What does all this mean for us? Well, that the present moment is precious. They pick out some fascinating facts along the way.

 

Are You Alone? (In The Universe)

In this video, Kurzgesagt  explains how we are all intimately linked to the rest of the universe. It discusses where all the tiny pieces that make up our bodies have come from, as well as where they had been before they came together to create the things we now know as you and me.

Source(s): Kurzgesagt

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What if Superpowers Were Real?

Life would be so much easier if we could fly or read people’s minds right?

We all dream about having super powers. But would it actually be beneficial to have super strength, invisibility or the ability to dance really well (does that count as a superpower?). These TED videos poke fun at some of the most popular super powers, exploring the possibilities of each one and what could go wrong if we actually had those powers.

Immortality

Want to know what it would be like to live forever? Well it may not be as pleasant as you may have once thought.

Super strength

Crushing cars with your bare fists and being able to break just about anything imaginable. Here’s why super strength won’t be as straightforward as first expected.

Super speed

Imagine being able to travel to wherever you want in a matter of seconds, Your power is transportation! Only joking; it’s super speed. Here’s why being as fast as Usain Bolt might be the ideal limit of human speed.

While classic super powers may not work, Iron Man and others who rely on technology may not be so far-fetched. This video is of an Iron Man super fan showing off his crazy glove creation. He can shoot lasers that make quick work of balloons.

The glove features 2 lasers, a blue 700mW that shoots from his palm and a red 300mW that shoots from the top. His invention makes quick work of balloons; although, we’re not sure how it’ll hold up against Ultron.

Source(s): TED-Ed, LaserGadgets

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10 Highly Intelligent Animals

Scientists believe there may be from 2 million to 50 million different species of animals alive today.

Here is our list of the most intelligent non-human animals.

Chimpanzees

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Not only are chimpanzees closely related to humans, they also have the capacity in some ways to think like humans. They utilize tools in the environment around them in order to help accomplish certain tasks.  They are often considered to be the smartest primate and therefore one of the smartest animals in the world.

Pigs

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Pigs have the ability to learn new skills easily which helps them adapt to complex environmental situations. It is thought that a middle aged pig can be as smart as a three year old human.

Dolphins

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It’s a well-known fact that bottlenose dolphins have one of the highest brain to body mass ratios in the animal kingdom. They can recognise themselves in a mirror, as they are self-aware, and have excellent communication skills.

Octopuses

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In terms of intelligence, our 8 legged friends are known to rule the invertebrates. They use incredibly well-devised strategies in order to hunt for food and are known for their amazing problem solving skills.

Squirrels

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When it comes to gathering and storing food, squirrels are pretty accomplished creatures. They are skilled at deducing  how to obtain their food and also have an incredible memory, so they remember where they have put it.

Crows

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Among one of the most intelligent birds, crows can solve complicated problems. They can adapt to tricky situations, working out how to use the resources around them to meet their goals.

Elephants

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Elephants are thought of to be incredibly intelligent by non-human standards. They have been known to be empathetic and are very good at processing complex social interactions.

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Parrots

Contrary to popular belief, parrots cannot talk. What they can do is mimic, which is still pretty impressive for an animal. Regardless, they are still good problem solvers with excellent memories.

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Dogs- It’s not because they are man’s best friend that they make it on this list; however, dogs do have high emotional intelligence and the ability to pick up lots of new skills through training.

Orangutans

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Orangutans are quite similar to chimpanzees in their intelligence. They are incredibly good at imitating human actions.

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Snow Dragon Vs Frozen Minotaur

Exploring the world of ice caves!

How cool would it be if you stepped out into your garden or were walking around your local park and discovered an untouched cave, a whole new world that nobody had ever laid eyes on before? Imagine being the first to explore such raw natural beauty.

Eddie Cartaya and his climbing partner Brent McGregor were the first to explore three caves in the Sandy Glacier on Mount Hood in Oregon. They named the caves Snow Dragon, Pure Imagination and Frozen Minotaur.

The caves and tunnels inside Sandy Glacier are constantly changing and morphing due to the warm water above and warm air below causing the glacier to slide down Mount Hood. The entrance to the cave is 2000ft wide and slowly being sealed up with a wall of winter snow around 30ft tall.

Snow Dragon, Pure Imagination and Frozen Minotaur are connected by 7000ft of passages. They may comprise of the longest glacial cave system in the US outside of Alaska. It’s believed that the the glacier has retreated by at least 40% over the last 100 years and the ice used to be 200ft thicker.

Snow Dragon entrance

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Pure Imagination lower entrance

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Frozen Minotaur entrance

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So, Snow Dragon Vs Frozen Minotaur Vs Pure Imagination. Which do you think looks the most impressive?

Click here to go to IDEAS.TED and find out more about these amazing ice caves.

Source(s): TED, IDEAS.TED

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Parasites: Nature’s Brain Hijackers

What do you know about parasites?

Here is another brilliantly fascinating video from TED-Ed. This one explores the deeply interesting — if somewhat frightening — world of parasites, calling them “brain hijackers.”

The definition of a parasite is: an organism that has sustained contact with another organism to the detriment of the host organism. Check out the video below to learn about 5 parasites and the methods they use to hijack the brains of their hosts to continue their life cycles.

Facts about parasites

  • Parasites are often said to be the most common form of life on Earth. Some scientists believe that 80% of all living things are parasites.
  • Malaria, which is caused by the parasite Protzoa Plasmodium, is the deadliest disease of all time. No disease, including the plague or smallpox, has killed more people. It has also killed more than all wars, famines and natural disasters combined.
  • The Meguro Museum of Parasitology in Tokyo, Japan, only displays parasites, exhibiting 45,000 specimens. Museum visitors can even have their picture taken with a 30-foot-long tapeworm that has been extracted from a man’s intestine.
  • Most parasitic infections happen in warm climates, such as South-east Asia or other tropical regions.

Source(s): TED-Ed

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Anzac Day Centenary

On Anzac Day we remember all the soldiers who have died fighting for the Australian and New Zealand armies.

Anzac Day is held annually on April 25th to commemorate the date in 1915 that the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) and Allied forces started their fight against the Ottoman Empire on the shores of Gallipoli, Turkey. This year it’s the 100 year anniversary.

The main objective was to capture the Ottoman Empire’s capital, Constantinople (now Istanbul), as the Ottoman Empire was a powerful ally of Germany during the First World War. However, the might of the Ottoman forces held back the Allied and Anzac troops for a gruelling and bloody 8 months. Both sides suffered a heavy number of casualties, totalling over 100,000 dead, and a further 220,000 wounded.

There are positives that can be taken from this conflict, however. Anzac Day is a day of great honour and respect. It’s also celebrated in many other countries outside of Australia and New Zealand, such as the UK and Turkey, as an international day of peace.

Here is the first few lines from a speech made by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a key commander of the Ottoman troops at Gallipoli and first President of Turkey, given to the first Australians, New Zealanders and British to revisit the Gallipoli battlefields. He said:

“Those heroes that shed their blood

And lost their lives.

You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.

Therefore rest in peace…”

ANZAC Day and other remembrance days like it should not be used to celebrate war, but instead to remember the troops that sacrificed their lives for their country and for freedom.

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Fun Facts About the English Language

TED-Ed present another brilliant video!

This time it’s one about the evolution of the English language, describing its origin and how it has changed over the years.

Learning about history is one of our favourite things here at Vivo. We love finding out how the things we use everyday have developed over time. This is why we found this video so interesting and wanted to share it with you!

Fun Facts about English

  • 11% of the entire English language is just the letter E.
  • Xenoglossy is the apparent ability to speak a language that you’ve never actually learned.
  • In mediaeval Europe, a “moment” was precisely defined as 1/40th of an hour, or 90 seconds.
  • In the 18th century, teachers were often called the “Haberdashers of Pronouns.”
  • “I am.” is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
  • The following sentence contains seven different spellings of the sound “ee”: “He believed Caesar could see people seizing the seas”.
  • English is the official language of the sky! It doesn’t matter which nationality pilots are, they all communicate in English on international flights.
  • If you were to write out every number name in full (one, two, three, four…), you wouldn’t use a single letter B until you reached one billion.

Source(s): TED-Ed

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All You Need to Know About Planet Earth

In the video above, created by the YouTube channel “Kurzgesagt”, the narrator explains everything you might need to know about our home planet.

Did you know?

  • Antarctica contains about 70% of Earth’s fresh water and 90% of its ice.
  • Humans have only explored 5% of the ocean. The ocean makes up 70% of the earth’s surface.
  • It’s thought that in 140 million years, the length of a day will have increased to 25 hours as a result of our decelerating rotation.
  • Earth’s hottest temperature ever recorded was in El Azizia, Libya, where it reached 136°F (57.8°C) on September 13, 1922.
  • The driest spot on Earth is the Atacama Desert, in Chile and Peru, where there are places that rain has never been recorded.
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Humans Are Weird!

Psychology is a science aimed specifically at understanding all that is weird and wonderful about the human mind. Over the years, psychologists have discovered some really strange things about us.

Following the crowd

Think that your brain is a fortress? Not easily influenced? That you are fully in control of your actions at any given time?

You may be surprised to realise that this might not be the case. Psychologists have found that people will do extraordinarily weird things just because other people around them are.

 

Walking in a straight line

It’s quite easy to walk in a straight line, right? Well, how about blind-folded?

Experiments have shown that human beings, once blind-folded, have a profound inability to walk in a straight line. What’s more is that, as hard as we might try to walk straight, we end up walking in spirals.

Spirals!?!

 

Recognising faces

Have you ever failed to recognise someone you didn’t know very well?

Check out this video of an experiment where close to 50% of the test subjects failed to recognise someone they had just met seconds earlier.

 

Split-brain syndrome

This is the strangest of the bunch.

The corpus callosum is the part of the brain that connects the two sides of our brain – it basically enables both sides to communicate.

In the past, people living with severe cases of epilepsy would undergo an operation where doctors severed their corpus callosum. These operations were effectively a success – in that it stopped their epilepsy – however, it left these people with some of the most peculiar symptoms known to science.

Because the two sides of their brain could no longer communicate, some found that their left arm would do things of its own will. For instance, they would try to open a door with their right hand and their left hand would slam it shut all on its own. Spooky stuff!

Source(s): NPR, WYFFT, NOVA PBS, Science in Seconds

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Iconic Moments from the Past Reborn

Check out these amazing GIFs, which transform iconic photographs from the past into moving images.

What an awesome way to learn about historical events. Feast your eyes on these cool GIFs and read the facts to find out what’s going on. It’s almost like being there. Almost.

Empire State Building

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  • The building has 103 floors and the roof height is 1250ft (381m). The height including the antenna is 1454ft (443.2m).

  • Around 3,400 workers were involved in the construction of the Empire State building. Official records show five workers died.

  • It took just 410 days for the Empire State Building to be built.

  • The building cost $24,718,000 to build. With the land included, the cost was $40,948,900.

  • There are 6514 windows in the building.

 

Moon Landing

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  • The first American flag planted in the moon was knocked down just hours later by the rocket blast of Aldrin and Armstrong leaving.

  • Some of the artifacts left on the moon include a golden olive branch, an American flag, an Apollo 1 patch and a memorial disk.

  • The first spacecraft to reach the moon was a Soviet craft launched by the USSR. It passed within 5995km of the surface of the moon before going into orbit around the Sun.

  • NASA intend on returning to set up a permanent space station. They hope to walk on the moon in 2019 if all goes according to plan.

 

V-J Day

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  • This photo was taken on V-J Day (Victory over Japan) in Time Square. V-J Day is the day Japan surrendered, ending World War II.

  • The formal signing of Japanese surrender took place on board USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2nd September, 1945.

  • The Japanese surrendered after the US dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

  • The photo was taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt, who went to take photos of the celebrations. When he saw the nurse and the sailor kissing, he took four photos.

 

Albert Einstein

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  • Einstein won the 1921 Nobel prize in Physics for his work on theoretical physics.

  • Hitler considered Einstein public enemy number one.

  • Einstein wasn’t a fan of socks and got away with not wearing them at the University of Oxford.

  • Even though he was a pacifist, he wrote a letter to President Roosevelt alerting him to the potential development of an extremely powerful bomb.

  • His first inspiration to learn physics was a compass. He was fascinated by the fact that the arrow would always stay in the same place.

Source(s): Alan Pun

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8 Huge Impacts of Climate Change

You might think climate change is just for future generations to worry about. You might think that, because no one else seems to be worrying about it, it doesn’t concern you. However, the fact is that climate change is affecting our planet now, and, if we don’t do something about it, the effects could be much worse.

Take a look at these 8 impacts of climate change and see how they could affect your family, friends and community in the future.

Higher temperatures

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Living in a warmer climate will mean:

  • Less fresh water.
  • More illness.
  • Higher sea levels.

Storms, floods and hurricanes

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More heat will affect the weather where you are, meaning:

  • There is more energy for storms to feed off, making them stronger.
  • Bad storms will cause more damage to people, property, plants and animals.
  • The changes in wind pressure will bring more hurricanes and typhoons.

Drought

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Heat sucks up water from the earth. Lack of water means:

  • You can’t grow crops to provide food, causing widespread hunger.
  • We need water to keep ourselves and other things clean. Without it, we become ill and diseases spread quickly.
  • Drought also causes fires. These fires can destroy people’s homes, as well as animal and plant life.

Loss of wildlife

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Many animals need cool climates to survive, so climate change means:

  • Polar bears and penguins won’t survive without snow and ice.
  • Birds will migrate to other countries and look for cooler climates.
  • Some animals have already become extinct, like the Golden Toad.

Increased illness and disease

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Heat also helps to spread disease, a warmer climate means:

  • Insects such as mosquitoes will flourish in warm weather, and their bites can give you malaria.
  • People and animals get de-hydrated in the heat. If they can’t get enough water to drink, they will become seriously ill.
  • Heat also affects your skin and other parts of your body. Really hot weather can make your arms and legs swell, your skin itch and can cause fainting.

The landscapes we know will change

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This means:

  • Plants and trees will grow in different areas. If you have nice green forests where you live now, in the future they might no longer exist.
  • In extreme heats, wildlife will either become extinct or go somewhere else. The animals and birds you can see now, might completely disappear.
  • Drought in some areas will make the land too dry for plants or animals. Landscapes will become ugly and empty.

The sea level will rise

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This means:

  • More floods.
  • People will have to abandon their homes forever, because the sea will swallow up small islands and low-lying land by the coast.
  • Agricultural land will be ruined.

Money problems

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This means:

  • Many fishermen are already finding it hard to catch as much seafood or fish, as the climate affects the creatures that live in the sea.
  • Tourism, which creates a lot of money, will decrease. A good example is ski resorts, which need snow.
  • Governments will need money to rebuild homes, roads, railways and ports that are affected by the climate, due to increased water levels and severe storm damage.

“That all sounds pretty bad. What can I do to help?”

We can all help to slow down the process by being energy efficient. If everybody makes a small change, it will amount to a big difference, and together we can save our planet!

Source(s): The Nature Conservancy

 

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Are Drones the Future?

Everything you need to know about drones

Originally used by the military for spying, but now regularly used by civilians. Drones, although controversial, have become a handy tool because they can be put to so many uses. They have been used for filmmaking, counting wildlife and delivering supplies to remote areas. Amazon has plans to introduce Amazon Air Prime, a delivery service which uses drones to deliver your DVDs and last-minute birthday gifts in 30 minutes or less.

Check out these videos about drones

Over 1 billion people in the world do not have access to decent roads. Drones can be used to supply these people with important goods, medicine and food. It could be a life-saver.

Drones can be a lot of fun. Watch these drone enthusiasts race theirs through a forest, just like Star Wars.

Everyone loves fireworks, but one man loved fireworks so much that he flew his drone straight into a huge firework display. Apparently, it came out unscathed. The footage is amazing.

Source(s): Joe Stiglingh, jab1a, TED

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10 Facts about WW1

This year is the 100th anniversary of WW1. What better way to remember the Great War than to read these 10 facts, one of which is about Jelly Babies.

1. Many young soldiers lied about their age in order to fight for their country. The youngest person to fight for the British was Sidney Lewis, who was 12 years old. However, the youngest overall was Momčilo Gavrić, who was only 8!

 

2. A secret operation was conducted to place explosives under the enemy trenches in France. When they were detonated, the explosion was so loud that it was heard 140 miles away by the British prime minister in Downing Street.

 

3. World War 1 actually led to the first use of plastic surgery, due to the fact that there were lots of injuries sustained to the faces of soldiers by shrapnel.

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4. On Christmas Day 1914, British and German troops held a ceasefire on the front line and played a football match. Germany won 3-2.

 

5. 9,000 British women served in France as part of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. They had roles such as drivers and cooks, playing a vital part in the war effort.

 

6. The worst casualty toll in history for a single day was at the Battle of the Somme. The Allied forces suffered 60,000 casualties, 20,000 of which were fatalities.

 

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7. Private George Edwin Ellison was the last British soldier to die in WW1. He was on the front line for 4 years and was shot at 9.30am on 11th November 1918, even though the armistice had already been signed at 5am.

 

8. 37 million people died during WW1, around 700,000 – 900,000 of these were British soldiers.

 

9. In 1918, Jelly Babies were produced by Bassett’s to commemorate the end of WW1. Originally, they were named “Peace Babies”.

 

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10. 65 million men from 30 different countries fought in what was at the time the bloodiest conflict in history.