Score
Title
868
How To Search ELI5: A Quick Reminder About Rule 7
14635
ELI5: Why do cars travel in packs on the highway, even when there are no traffic stops to create groups?
8
ELI5 Retarded Time
5
ELI5:Why is eating healthy 80% of being healthy?
3
ELI5: Why are our fingertips, ear holes and nostrils all approximately the same size?
3
ELI5: Why do animals appear to care so much for their young, but not so much when the 'children' get older?
4
ELI5: Why do our eyes lose focus after staring at something for a while?
17
ELI5: SD. SS. SA. Gestapo. Wehrmacht. Sipo. Kripo. What were they all and how do they relate to each other?
10
ELI5: How many ants does it take to make a functioning ant colony?
3
ELI5:How some stars become pulsars?
5
ELI5: Objectively, what are the limitations of carbon dating?
3
ELI5; What is the difference between a break and a fracture?
5
ELI5: Air movement in a house
4
ELI5: How can sperm cells "swim" through something as thick as seminal fluid? You wouldn't be able to swim through honey for example.
4
ELI5: Why can't there be an "universe's point of reference" in relativism?
5
ELI5: Why/how can most species of animals hold their breath underwater for far longer than humans can?
2
ELI5:What causes us to cry in real life when we are crying when we are sleeping?
4
ELI5: How are we able to track debris in low earth orbit so effectively?
3
ELI5: If I use the same amount of coffee grounds but more water, does my caffeine content change?
9
ELI5: Why are cones and pyramids exactly 1/3 of a cylinder or prism's volume?
5
ELI5: What causes exhausts to have that rasp-y sound people tend to associate with tuners? (civics, integras, etc)
2
ELI5: Why is it stated sharks will suffocate if they quit swimming, but I see examples like the white-tipped reef shark who spend the day laying on the bottom?
15
ELI5: When and why did 8 hours of sleep become the standard for a solid night’s rest?
3
ELI5: Why do you always close your eyes while sneezing?
8
ELI5: Why sliding a knife makes a better cut than just pressing it down?
1
ELI5: How a bong works
1
ELI5: Why is it easier to drink from a paper cup than from a glass mug when moving in a car?
43
ELI5: How come smart phones can run intense games without a fan and still not burn the CPU, but a desktop computer can't even load the desktop for more than a few minutes without permanent damage?
1
ELI5: Why do jet skis/jet boats work better when the nozzle is not in the water?
3
ELI5: What is "Mother's Intuition" and/or is it real?
2
ELI5: What causes us to perceive words that we use everyday as mispelled or mispronounced when they actually aren't?
1
ELI5: Why is the term "Patient Zero" instead of "Patient One?"
0
ELI5: How are glasses lenses put into and taken out of the frame without breaking them?
1
ELI5: What does it mean when the European Parliament adopts a report?
4
ELI5: Why Do Hot Things, E.G. Fire, Molten Materials Tend To Emit Light?
2
ELI5:I know from the local game magazine that elk are hunted in PA, however this map from wikipedia shows the entire state as "former" elk range. What criteria are used to determine this if there can still be elk in former ranges?
1
ELI5: Which pixel colors are shown when a high resolution video is played on a low resolution screen?
36
ELI5: Why is ?4 = -2 false?
2
ELI5: Why do bank cheques only have account name?
8
ELI5: Why do certain types of noise enhance our abilities to focus and study whereas others don't?
127
ELI5: If we breathe in O2 and use the oxygen, how do we release CO2? The same ammount of oxygen we took in, just an added carbon atom
26 taeish Oxygen content in the air. They don't have developed circulatory system and uses diffusion to get their cells oxygenated. Bigger the body, more complex the network of oxygen transfer needs to be and they cannot support their body with current oxygen contents in the air
20 DaMysteriousMustache The cool answer is the Square-Cubed law. Think of it as this. We hypothetically discovered a cube shaped insect. It's 2 cm tall by 2 cm wide by 2 cm long. It's surface area would be 2 cm times 2 cm multiplied by 6 since it has six sides. **A = 6(2cm*2cm)** **A = 24 cm²** It's volume would be 2 cm cubed. **V = 2^3** **V = 8 cm^3** The ratio of area to volume is **24:8** or **3:1**. High surface area is great! The only way for oxygen to enter cells is through diffusion from the environment directly to the cell. Larger animals have circulatory systems to help bypass this limitation. Blood acts as the middle man carrying food and oxygen to other cells in your body. Also the blood vessels add surface area on the inside of your body, but enough about blood vessels, we want to see this gigantify this bug. Now, let's ask your question. Let's make this bug the size of a car and see what happens. Let's make is a smallish cube car. 4.0m or 400 cm for each side. Plugging it back into the equations give you: **A = 6(400 cm * 400 cm)** **A = 960,000 cm²** Pay attention to what happens to the volume. **V= 400cm^3** **V = 64,000,000 cm^3** The area to volume ratio is now **1:66.666 repeating**. As you increase in size, the surface area of your bug won't be able to sustain the metabolic needs of its volume. And this just keeps getting worse the larger you get. The skeleton needs to support more weight, otherwise it just collapses from its own weight, so the obvious answer is to make the exoskeleton thicker and heavier, which then makes it harder for oxygen to enter and makes it harder to move it's huge bulky legs. Then since the skeleton is heavier, you need more muscles to move the skeleton, but then you need more muscles to move the extra muscles you've added and this just goes on and on. There are a few ways to bypass the square cubed law. Aquatic creatures don't need to worry about fighting gravity as much as we do since increases in ~~mass~~ volume add buoyancy. That's why whales don't crush themselves by their own massive weight. And as the other redditors have mentioned, the amount of oxygen in the environment is definitely a limiting factor in the size of your bugs.
6 Call_me_caution Man I just want to see some huge bugs
2 Haven_Stranger Hmm. Lots of answers that (quite correctly) explain that a beetle the size of a VW couldn't breathe. Not a lot of answers that address the exoskeleton itself. Growing is expensive. Growing with an exoskeleton is more expensive. Our endoskeletons are cheaper, at least in part because we don't have to throw them away and start over. Most creatures with exoskeletons molt. They grow in spurts, shedding their old skeletons when the beginnings of their new skeletons are still soft and stretchy. This comes at the opportunity cost of being more vulnerable than usual while waiting for the new skeleton to harden, as well as the metabolic cost of getting the new skeleton to harden. There are other possibilities, of course. You're carrying an example around inside your head in the same way that turtles carry one on their backs. Instead of throwing away a whole skull or a shell, you can have pieces of it grow separately. There's no physical reason that the same method would fail, if applied to an entire exoskeleton. There doesn't seem to be anything in the laws of physics that prevents, say, beetles from eventually evolving into car-sized descendants. However, the number of changes that have to occur to support that kind of growth -- developing a way to breathe at that size, to support its body weight at that size, to grow its skeleton to that size, to manage its metabolism at that size, and so on -- with every tiny, independent change in its genes along the way producing a viable and successful creature that passes its genes to the next generation, is more than enough to boggle my poor little mind. The laws of physics might shrug and say "meh, why not?", but the laws of statistics say "don't hold your breath". And, of course, if the *only* thing that changes is the beetle's size, and on that drastic a scale, then the laws of physics whips out its tricorder and declares "it's dead, Jim -- split open like a rotten pumpkin".
1 robynflower They breathe through spiracles tiny holes in the abdomen and this only enables the oxygen to diffuse a short distance along the body, so you could have a long thin insect like a stick insect but it couldn't be that wide - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7OPV3QZWfs
26 0 taeish Oxygen content in the air. They don't have developed circulatory system and uses diffusion to get their cells oxygenated. Bigger the body, more complex the network of oxygen transfer needs to be and they cannot support their body with current oxygen contents in the air
19 0 DaMysteriousMustache The cool answer is the Square-Cubed law. Think of it as this. We hypothetically discovered a cube shaped insect. It's 2 cm tall by 2 cm wide by 2 cm long. It's surface area would be 2 cm times 2 cm multiplied by 6 since it has six sides. **A = 6(2cm*2cm)** **A = 24 cm²** It's volume would be 2 cm cubed. **V = 2^3** **V = 8 cm^3** The ratio of area to volume is **24:8** or **3:1**. High surface area is great! The only way for oxygen to enter cells is through diffusion from the environment directly to the cell. Larger animals have circulatory systems to help bypass this limitation. Blood acts as the middle man carrying food and oxygen to other cells in your body. Also the blood vessels add surface area on the inside of your body, but enough about blood vessels, we want to see this gigantify this bug. Now, let's ask your question. Let's make this bug the size of a car and see what happens. Let's make is a smallish cube car. 4.0m or 400 cm for each side. Plugging it back into the equations give you: **A = 6(400 cm * 400 cm)** **A = 960,000 cm²** Pay attention to what happens to the volume. **V= 400cm^3** **V = 64,000,000 cm^3** The area to volume ratio is now **1:66.666 repeating**. As you increase in size, the surface area of your bug won't be able to sustain the metabolic needs of its volume. And this just keeps getting worse the larger you get. The skeleton needs to support more weight, otherwise it just collapses from its own weight, so the obvious answer is to make the exoskeleton thicker and heavier, which then makes it harder for oxygen to enter and makes it harder to move it's huge bulky legs. Then since the skeleton is heavier, you need more muscles to move the skeleton, but then you need more muscles to move the extra muscles you've added and this just goes on and on. There are a few ways to bypass the square cubed law. Aquatic creatures don't need to worry about fighting gravity as much as we do since increases in ~~mass~~ volume add buoyancy. That's why whales don't crush themselves by their own massive weight. And as the other redditors have mentioned, the amount of oxygen in the environment is definitely a limiting factor in the size of your bugs.
8 0 Call_me_caution Man I just want to see some huge bugs
2 0 Haven_Stranger Hmm. Lots of answers that (quite correctly) explain that a beetle the size of a VW couldn't breathe. Not a lot of answers that address the exoskeleton itself. Growing is expensive. Growing with an exoskeleton is more expensive. Our endoskeletons are cheaper, at least in part because we don't have to throw them away and start over. Most creatures with exoskeletons molt. They grow in spurts, shedding their old skeletons when the beginnings of their new skeletons are still soft and stretchy. This comes at the opportunity cost of being more vulnerable than usual while waiting for the new skeleton to harden, as well as the metabolic cost of getting the new skeleton to harden. There are other possibilities, of course. You're carrying an example around inside your head in the same way that turtles carry one on their backs. Instead of throwing away a whole skull or a shell, you can have pieces of it grow separately. There's no physical reason that the same method would fail, if applied to an entire exoskeleton. There doesn't seem to be anything in the laws of physics that prevents, say, beetles from eventually evolving into car-sized descendants. However, the number of changes that have to occur to support that kind of growth -- developing a way to breathe at that size, to support its body weight at that size, to grow its skeleton to that size, to manage its metabolism at that size, and so on -- with every tiny, independent change in its genes along the way producing a viable and successful creature that passes its genes to the next generation, is more than enough to boggle my poor little mind. The laws of physics might shrug and say "meh, why not?", but the laws of statistics say "don't hold your breath". And, of course, if the *only* thing that changes is the beetle's size, and on that drastic a scale, then the laws of physics whips out its tricorder and declares "it's dead, Jim -- split open like a rotten pumpkin".
1 0 robynflower They breathe through spiracles tiny holes in the abdomen and this only enables the oxygen to diffuse a short distance along the body, so you could have a long thin insect like a stick insect but it couldn't be that wide - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7OPV3QZWfs