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Why Do All the Planets Orbit in the Same Direction?

If you’ve ever looked at a model of the solar system, you’ve probably noticed that all the planets orbit in the same direction. But why is it the case? The simple answer is because of the conservation of angular momentum. To understand it correctly, we need to travel back in time to the beginning of our solar system, approximately 4.5 billion years ago. Before we talk about “Why do all the planets orbit in the same direction,” let us first learn what an orbit is.

What is an Orbit?

An orbit is a path that an object in space follows around another object on a regular, repeated basis. A satellite is an example of a thing that is in orbit. Earth and the Moon are examples of natural satellites. But there are many satellites that humans built. The International Space Station (ISS) is one such example.

Why Do the Planets Orbit the Sun?

Planets orbiting the sun
Planets orbiting the sun

Well, it’s not because they got a Group Rate on First Class! On a serious note, paradoxically, the Sun’s gravity holds the planets in orbit around it, just as the Earth’s gravity keeps the Moon and satellites in orbit around it. So let us go into a bit of detail.

The Sun’s gravity is powerful compared to other objects, which keeps the planets in their orbits. A body’s mass determines its gravitational pull; the Sun, with its enormous mass and powerful gravity, causes the planets it orbits to circle it as it revolves. Therefore, gravity is the reason why the planets orbit the Sun.

The fact that the planets are traveling at a specific speed that allows them to orbit the Sun (rather than spiraling into it or whirling away into space) is not a coincidence or evidence of divine intervention. Instead, it dates back to when the Solar System was just a spinning, molecular cloud of gas and dust, as previously stated. Whatever was rotating slowly in the cloud of dust became part of the Sun. At the same time, anything that turned too quickly went into outer space. Everything else remained in orbit around the Sun, gradually becoming the planets, keeping their spin speed and path (encountering little resistance in the near-vacuum of space).

Do Planets Orbit Stars?

A “planet,” by definition, must revolve around a star, which in our case is the Sun. Besides our own solar system, there are trillions, if not more, solar systems in all of the universe. According to those who get to define the term ” planet, ” if it orbits no star at all, it is not a planet, according to those who get to define the term “planet.” A star is a celestial body that emits its light and is composed of a dense mass of gas held together by its gravity.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) defined in August 2006 that, in the Solar System, a planet is a celestial body that:

  1. is in orbit around the Sun,
  2. has sufficient mass to assume hydrostatic equilibrium (a nearly round shape), and
  3. has “cleared the neighborhood” around its orbit.

If a big body orbits another star, you refer to it as an exoplanet. When a planet orbits no star at all, you refer to it as a “rogue planet.” If a planet is massive but does not fit all three of these characteristics, you refer to it as a “dwarf planet.” Pluto was earlier regarded as a planet but was later declassified as one. Pluto was declassified because it does not fit requirement #3 – Asteroids surround pluto. If asteroids surround you, you cannot be considered a “planet.” All “planets” revolve around our Sun.

How Many Planets Orbit the Sun in the Same Direction That Earth Does?

The solar system’s eight planets orbit the Sun in the opposite direction of the Sun’s spin, or counterclockwise when viewed from above the Sun’s north pole. Six of the planets rotate in the same direction around their axes. Venus and Uranus are the individual exceptions – planets orbiting with retrograde rotation. Researchers found that these discrepancies were caused by collisions later when both planets formed.

Except for Venus and Uranus, every planet in our solar system revolves clockwise, from west to east, as seen above the North Pole. All planets revolve around the Sun in the same direction the Earth does.

Why Do All the Planets Orbit in the Same Direction?

A large, revolving cloud of gas and dust, called the solar nebula, is widely believed to have generated the solar system. Even though it was only composed of dust and gas molecules, that cloud grew so large that it began to collapse and contract under the weight of its bulk.

As gravity condensed this cloud, angular momentum conservation caused a rise in rotational speed, flattening the cloud like a spinning disc. Angular momentum is a law of physics that states that things rotate faster as they shrink in size. That is precisely what happened to the very first solar system.

The Sun was formed by the gravitational attraction of most of the material. Asteroids, comets, moons, and planets form from planetesimals, once asteroid-sized particles that hit and stuck together within the disc.

The planets that originated within this disc of material all ended up orbiting the Sun in the same direction, almost precisely on the same plane, and with the same spin direction, which is consistent with the theory. It holds for all planets apart from Venus and Uranus, which were probably hit by other bodies, altering their spin.

Why Do Planets Spin?

Most scientists believe that planets similarly got their spin to stars when clumps of matter collided during the planets’ formation some 4.5 billion years ago. However, why do they all rotate in the same direction simultaneously?

This stability resulted from the fact that the entire solar system formed billions of years ago in a massive cloud of dust and gas. When our solar system was nothing more than a cloud of gas and dust, a shock wave from a nearby supernova likely collided with it and caused it to collapse. Instead, its gravitational forces dragged it into a flat, spinning disc as it collapsed. Our solar system formed from the same disc, and its momentum caused practically everything to spin in the same direction. (Notable exceptions are Uranus and Venus, whose unusual spins are likely the result of future collisions with asteroids.)

Our solar system’s giant gas planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) rotate more rapidly on their axes than the inner planets. According to the International Astronomical Union, they hold most of the system’s angular momentum. Only once a month does the Sun rotate. All planets orbit the Sun in the same general direction and almost on the same orbital plane, except Venus and Uranus.

Because of inertia, our planets have continued to revolve. Because no external force has been applied to halt them, spinning objects maintain their velocity and direction in space. That is why our planet, along with the other planets in our solar system, will continue to revolve.

Which Planets Rotate Clockwise?

In truth, there are two planets, Venus and Uranus, that revolve about their axes in the Sun’s direction from east to west. Venus spins from east to west on its axis. Uranus is tilted so far over that it appears to be rotating on its side.

But you might think that since all the planets’ origin was from the same cloud of gas and dust, they should all be spinning the same way. Venus and Uranus rotate in a reverse direction from the Sun, a phenomenon known as retrograde rotation.

Although there is no consensus among the scientific community why this happened, a long-held idea holds that Venus formerly rotated in the same direction as the other planets but was struck by a planet-sized object billions of years ago. The impact and its aftermath shifted the planetary axis in a new direction.

In 2011, computer simulations revealed that a series of more minor collisions, rather than a single enormous impact, may have caused Uranus’ rotation to change direction to a 98-degree angle. Furthermore, it might explain why all of the planet’s moons rotate at the same angle — something that would be highly implausible if there was only one massive impact.

Astronomers proposed an alternative theory in 2009, claiming that Uranus formerly had a big moon, the gravitational pull of which caused Uranus to lie on its side. The big Moon must have been pushed out of orbit by another planet present.

Scientists believe that Venus, our nearest neighbor, began revolving counter-clockwise, then slowed to practically a standstill before starting to rotate clockwise as it does now. But, for the time being, no one knows for sure what makes Venus and Uranus the exceptions in our Solar System’s family of planets.

Final Words

The mysteries of the Universe are endless. Although science has discovered many of them, the great extent of the Universe is such that this feat is not easy to achieve. The sheer brilliance with which everything follows an order in the Universe is mind-blowing! Next time you look at the night sky, don’t fail to admire the colossal work going on up there.

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Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

Has your dog or pup been chewing on grass lately? Well, a dog eating grass is not normal. But why do dogs eat grass? We’ve got the answer right here.

Top veterinary medical science specialists around the world answer this question almost daily. Therefore, you can imagine how many dogs eat grass and worry their pet parents.

To be honest, most dogs don’t eat grass. Even if they do, they vomit afterward. However, as dog owners, you must know the reason behind this odd behavior.

What if your dog eats grass and ends up consuming toxic chemicals such as pesticides and certain herbicides sprayed on plants. What if your dog has some underlying illness or stomach problems that are making your dog sick? Grass eating behaviors are uncommon in dogs. Read further to know more on why do dogs eat grass.

4 Reasons Why Your Dog May Be Eating Grass

1) Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal Parasites in Dogs
Intestinal Parasites in Dogs

Wolves eat grass to get rid of intestinal parasites in their stomach, such as roundworms. The same may be the case with your dog, especially younger dogs. However, it’s also important that parasites are not commonly found in a dog’s gut.

Per an article in DogHealth, in the case of dogs, grass can enhance the movement of the small intestines, envelop the intestinal parasites and eliminate them from the digestive system. Wild chimpanzees also show similar behavior when they are trying to remove parasites from their intestines.

So, the next time you see grass eating behavior in your dog along with an upset stomach, you can rest assured that it is trying to clear its gut.

2) An Upset Stomach in General

Upset Stomach
Upset Stomach

Sometimes it is completely natural for dogs to eat grass when they are feeling nauseous or sick in their stomach. In such cases, the grass eating behavior is a sign that your dog is eating grass or other plants to induce vomiting.

Therefore, if you see your dog chewing more grass and vomiting afterward, it’s time to check your dog’s diet and other bodily functions.

Moreover, if you notice an increase in grass consumption, rapid weight loss and loose stools during potty breaks, you should consult your vet immediately. Do not self treat. Your vet will collect your dog’s stool samples and advise further tests, if required.

3) Natural Instinct

Dog Eating Grass
Dog Eating Grass

According to research conducted by members of the School of Psychology, the University of New England, grass eating in dogs is influenced by satiety and time of the day.

Per their research, a healthy dog may see grass as a source of food and is likely to eat grass when it is hungry, mostly before consuming its regular food. According to them, pet owners should not stop their dogs from eating grass. However, a sudden increase in grass consumption should be assessed and evaluated by a vet.

They suggest, “Do not stop your dog from eating grass. It’s completely natural for dogs to eat grass when they are hungry, especially younger dogs.”

Another study published by Benjamin L Hart (DVM, PhD, DACVB, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California) concludes that the tendency of cats and dogs to eat grass is fairly typical.

Per him, eating grass is not a psychological need or a change in taste for dogs. Also, in the case of dogs, eating grass should not always be considered a digestive illness. He adds, “Dogs eat grass because it’s a trait they’ve inherited from their wild ancestors.” He also advises dog owners to keep their dogs and other dogs away from plants with pesticides sprayed on them.

4) Dietary Deficiency

High Fiber Diet for Dogs
High Fiber Diet for Dogs

Per a study published on the National Library of Medicine website, a dietary deficiency such as a low fiber diet can lead to dogs eating grass.

The study mentions an 11-year old male Miniature Poodle dog who was referred to experts due to daily grass eating, followed by vomit, for almost 7 years. Each time the owner took the dog for a walk, he ended up chewing grass and throwing up. The more frequent walks, the more grass eating and falling sick.

After a thorough evaluation, experts suggested a food upgrade for the dog. They advised the pet parents to provide the Poodle dog with a high fiber diet. Soon after the dietary modification (about 3 days), the dog vomit and eating grass stopped. Therefore, the experts concluded that more fiber in a dog’s diet may be the key to stop eating grass. They call it “positive reinforcement.”

According to them, all animals in the entire animal kingdom exhibit abnormal behavior when their diet lacks the required nutrients, even true carnivores. They do not behave abnormally to relieve boredom.

Why Is My Dog Eating Grass and Coughing?

Dog Coughing
Dog Coughing

If your dog is consuming long, sharp-edged grass, it’s normal for them to cough.

Long, dry and sharp-edged grass can cause throat abrasions and esophageal irritation. Both these issues can lead to coughing. Therefore, if you notice your dog coughing for long periods, take them to a vet immediately.

Why Do Dogs Lick Grass?

Dog Licking Grass
Dog Licking Grass

Some dogs like to lick grass instead of eating it. Yes, that’s true. Your dog may be licking grass because it finds the grass or something on the grass tasty.

How to Stop My Dog From Eating Grass?

Even though eating grass is normal behavior for dogs, the grass they’re ingesting may have toxic chemicals, such as herbicides and pesticides.

Also, while plucking grass from the roots, your dog may end up consuming non food items such as worms and other parasites. However, preventing your dog from eating grass may not be an easy solution. Therefore, instead of stopping your dog from eating grass, you can do the following:

  • Avoid spraying herbicides and pesticides in your lawn
  • Carry dog treats when you take them for a walk or potty break
  • Ensure your dog is regularly checked for intestinal parasites and other stomach contents that can lead to indigestion
  • Provide your dog with a fiber-rich diet
  • Schedule regular appointments with your vet to ensure your dog is healthy and fit
  • Inform your vet that your dog eats grass regularly
  • Remember that almost all dogs vomit after eating grass

Should I Allow My Dog’s Grass Eating Behavior?

Dog With A Vet
Dog With A Vet

As discussed in the previous section, dogs eat grass instinctively. It comes naturally to them. However, sometimes dogs also eat grass and vomit when they’re unwell. The reason can be an illness prior to the grass eating behavior too.

So, if your dog ate grass recently, don’t panic. Take it easy! Eating grass is a part of their normal behavior. Nevertheless, if your dog is obsessed with eating grass and vomits soon after the grass meal, we highly recommend you visit a vet immediately.

We sincerely hope you found our article on why do dogs eat grass insightful. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please feel free to share them in the comments section below. We would leave to hear from you.

“The bottom line is that the majority of grass-eating dogs are not sick beforehand and do not vomit afterwards.”

This research by Whydo is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission when you purchase through our links. Learn more

Why Do Cops Touch the Back of a Car?

You might have wondered why do cops touch the back of a car, after it is pulled over? Is it to see if the paint is dry yet?

We all try to follow traffic rules and that one time when we do a traffic violation, we get pulled over by a cop. If you’ve been unlucky enough to be pulled over by a cop, you may have noticed police officers do something strange, which is tail-light tapping. You might get nervous when a police officer touches your vehicle and takes his own sweet time to write you a ticket. This isn’t a superstitious practice. There is a very good reason and history behind the infamous tail-tapping done by law enforcement officers during a traffic stop.

Why do Cops Touch the Back of A Car?

Cops touching the back of a car
Cops touching the back of a car

Touching the back of the car is a standard procedure, so there is no reason to be concerned if it happens at your next traffic stop. It is done to leave an officer’s fingerprints on the glass. The thumbprints stick fast to glass and can be used to identify the vehicle involved in case the officer become incapacitated. If the safety of the law enforcement officer is compromised by the driver, or the car fled the scene, the police officers track the fingerprint to the perpetrator in question. This practice dates back to the early days when police officers first began patrolling the streets and there were no dash cams.

When police officers conduct a traffic stop, they need to follow various protocols. They have dual responsibility for the safety of the offender as well as the police officer involved. One is to prove that the officer was with that car, so they touch the rear of the vehicle when they approach it. They also need to make sure the trunk of the car is closed.

They use this tactic to startle the driver. The driver is not expecting the tap on the tail light of the vehicle. This gives the police officer additional time to find out what the driver is hiding.

Can a Police Officer Pull You Over for No Reason?

Cops pulling over a car
Cops pulling over a car

Police Officers can’t read minds. They have to ensure everyone’s safety. If they find reasonable suspicion to believe that you were, are, or about to commit a crime or violation, they can pull you over to investigate. But in this age of video cameras, if an officer makes a traffic stop without adequate probable cause, he will be soon out of a job.

It has always been believed that red cars get pulled over most often. A research done by American Auto Insurance tells us we’ve been wrong all this time. White-colored cars get pulled over more than any other colored car! You might not want to get a white-colored call after all, eh?

Can Cops Take Your Car?

Car being detained
Car being detained

The cops can detain your car if they find any contraband, illegal substances, drugs or violation of the law of the land. If you are not carrying your license, or insurance policy they can take your car as evidence. If they have a suspicion that you are fleeing after committing a crime, they can detain both the vehicle and you.

Why You Should Not Let Cops Touch Your Tail Lights?

Cop touching the taillight of a car
Cop touching the taillight of a car

You don’t have a choice in this matter. So, when an officer approaches you, remain calm. A driver getting all worked up about being approached by an officer can raise the level of suspicion of police officers. If you try to stop law enforcement officers from conducting their duty and try to stop them from touching your car by exiting or getting aggressive, you are likely to put yourself in a dangerous situation. Do not try to stop an officer from touching your vehicle at a traffic stop or other police officers to conduct their routine investigation unless you want to be apprehended.

Why Do Cops Ask Where You are Going?

Cops asking questions
Cops asking questions

This is a trick question. Although it seems like an innocent question, it is a critical part of the investigative process. Officers ask this and many other questions to check for intoxicated drivers, nervous attitude and general behavior of the driver of the vehicle.

Suppose an officer pulls over a driver and he is in an inebriated state and if the person says they are coming from brunch, a bar, or a club, you can now expect the cop to be on high alert. This will prove to be detrimental for the driver.

Why Do Cops Ask for Registration?

Vehicle Registration Number
Vehicle Registration Number

Cops have every right to ask for your vehicle registration. The police officer needs your registration paperwork to check whether the car is properly registered by comparing the VIN number of the car, which is used when completing registration. Some criminals steal license plates that they use. By asking to see the registration, the police officer can see if the license plate and the registration they are presented with match, thereby confirming the owner of the car. If the driver’s license is for someone other than the car’s owner, you are probably in for deeper questioning.

What Do Police Use to Stop Cars?

Cops pulling someone over using sirens and lights
Cops pulling someone over using sirens and lights

Mostly police officers get behind the speeding car or the car they want to stop with sirens blazing and blue lights flashing. Police cars are equipped with sirens, loud speakers, and light-bars that either rotate or flash. These devices are used by the officer to get the attention of the suspect and to signal that they are expected to move over to the emergency stopping lane and stop. 

This is because Police Officers need to be properly secured in case of an emergency. In the case of traffic stops, the officers pull the patrol vehicle behind the subject vehicle as it stops instead of proceeding past as they would during other emergency responses.

What Are My Rights When Getting Pulled Over?

Know your rights!
Know your rights!

It is critical that you remain calm if you are pulled over by the police while driving your car. Pull over to the side of the road as soon as it’s safe to do so, making sure you’re not blocking traffic, and turn off your engine. If you’re the driver, turn on the interior light, open the window partially, and place your hands on the steering wheel. Passengers should keep their hands visible at all times.

Do not make any unexpected moves as the cops are ready to respond if they believe they are in some kind of danger. Keep your hands visible to the officer and offer any relevant documents upon request, but only after they have asked for them. Reaching into your pocket or glove compartment without permission could lead to a confrontation.

If you suspect your rights have been violated, memorize or write down badge or patrol car numbers, as well as witness contact information. It is legal for you to record video in order to do so. Although the legal notion of “qualified immunity” which states that officials can only be held liable for activities that violate “clearly established” federal law, makes it difficult to hold police accountable.

Final Words

Don’t get all worked up when officers approach your vehicle. Getting pulled over is very common. There is absolutely no reason to get yourself in knots if you haven’t committed any crime. The police officers touch the tail light of the car to leave evidence in the form of fingerprints on the vehicle, in the event the driver decides to take off.

A police stop is an anxiety situation for you and for the police officer. You feel you are going to be accused of doing something wrong. The officer doesn’t know if you are going to try and harm them in any way.. The best way to handle this situation is to try to act calm; speak slowly; and not make any sudden movements. So, the next time you’re pulled over and a police officer taps your tail light, don’t freak out! It’s just a simple and standard procedure.

This research by Whydo is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission when you purchase through our links. Learn more

Why Do Golfers Yell Fore?

Why do golfers yell “FORE!” when they hit a golf ball in the direction of other players? Wouldn’t it make more sense for them to yell “DUCK!”. Why not say “Hey! Watch out. I just hit a wayward shot that is probably about to hit you?”

“Fore” is the shortened version of a Scottish warning, “afore,” which means, to look ahead. It allows golfers to be forewarned in case of an errant shot. A study by golfsupport suggests that injuries are more common in golf, than in rugby! Although you may have heard golfers shout fore many times, most people do not know its meaning or where it came from. Let’s try to unravel the mystery of why golfers yell fore and what historians have to say about it.

Where Did Fore Originate in Golf?

Golfer trying to duck
Golfer trying to duck

Beginner golfers learn to yell “Fore” after a bad shot as a warning before scoring their first shot in golf.  They also learn ducking and taking cover from an incoming ball early on.

But why “fore”? Why that word? How did “fore” become a warning cry in golf? Nobody knows for sure actually. However, there are three theories floating around. Let us go through them one by one.

Before doing that, let’s first establish where the word originated. According to golf historians, this word dates back to the 16th century.

Golfing in the 19th Century
Golfing in the 19th Century

The website, a golf glossary published in 1857, included the word fore. This suggests that it was in use a couple of decades before. The British Golf Museum gives evidence of 1881 reference to “fore” in a golf book, which gives the clue that the term was already in use at that early date. The Merriam-Webster dictionary says that the word fore came to be used in golf in 1878.

So, “fore” has been part of the game of golf “fore” a long time. (Pun intended)

1) Ware Before! – The John Knox Theory

John Knox
John Knox

Although this is a far-fetched possibility, still it deserves a mention here. It relates to 16th century Scottish protestant reformer John Knox. John Knox’s story tells us about the strategies employed to defend the city of Leith. The defenders of the city of Leith cried out “Ware Before!” when any enemy soldier approached. This gave the warning to their fellow fighters to lay down so they remain unhurt.

So “Fore!” could have been derived from an artillery term warning gunners to stand clear. This  explanation means, firstly, that the term ‘Ware Before!’ (Beware Before!) was foreshortened to Fore! rather than Ware!) and, secondly, it must have been sufficiently well known to be used by golfers.

2) From “Forecaddie!” to “Fore!”

A forecaddie
A forecaddie

Historians at the British Golf Museum and many others believe that the word “fore,” as a warning in golf, evolved from “fore caddie.” Because golf balls were expensive, golfers employed “Forecaddies” to stand where the ball might land and reduce the number of lost balls.

In the early days of golf, golf balls were handmade, always custom-ordered and hence costly. Losing a golf ball was a real hit to the pocket of the golfers. The role of the forecaddie was very important to the players in olden times.

A forecaddie is a person who accompanies a group of golfers around the golf course, going forward on each hole to be in a position to pinpoint the locations of the group members’ shots. If a member of the group hits an errant shot, the forecaddie tracks down the ball and lets the golfer know its location.

It is probable that golfers shouted to their ‘Forecaddie!’, who would always be some distance ahead to draw attention to the fact the ball was coming and could hit them in the head and, in time, this was shortened to ‘Fore! The start of usage of the terms caddie, fore caddie and fore, further strengthens the validity of this theory.

3) Shoot Over Their Heads!

Soldiers with muskets
Soldiers with muskets

Another popular theory given by USGA(United States Golf Association) derives from the military battle craft of musket days. When infantry advanced in their formation in the 17th and 18th centuries, artillery batteries fired behind them shooting over their heads. An artillery man about to fire would yell “beware before”, so that the infantry would know to avoid the shells that would be coming at them. Thus in golf, fore was used as a shortened term of “beware before”.

Muskets took an especially long time to reload. After the front row of soldiers fired their weapons, the rows behind them would take turns firing. Historians speculate that soldiers used fore as a warning to those in the front to protect their heads while the back-ranks fired.

So when a golfer misfired and sent his golf ball off the tee, an errant shot in the golf course, “beware before” was shortened to “fore” and then became a term widely used in golf.

Why Do Golfers Yell Fore on the Golf Course?

Golfer being hit by the ball
Golfer being hit by the ball

To put it simply, to warn others. If a golfer hits a wayward shot and it is heading to other golfers, he must yell fore. This gives them the chance to duck and cover. If he doesn’t yell fore, he is likely to be penalized and sued for damages. A shot should also never be hit if others are in range. Shouting the word once is usually enough although it’s acceptable to shout it repeatedly if the shot is sailing toward another group of golfers.

Final Words

“Watch out ahead folks, a golf ball is coming your way.” So, now if you happen to be in a golf course and hear “Fore”, don’t turn towards the person shouting fore and start looking for the ball. You might get hit in the face or somewhere else. Instead duck and cover by getting behind a tree, golf bag or golf cart etc., and cover your head with your hands and arms. So, now we we know the answer to “Why do golfers yell fore?”

Alternatively, while playing golf, always yell fore if you’re unsure where your ball will land. Just give others golfers a fair heads up!                                                                                                           .

This research by Whydo is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission when you purchase through our links. Learn more

Why Do Americans Drive on the Right?

How do different countries across the world decide which side of the road to drive on? How did they distinguish between preferring left hand traffic versus right hand traffic? We are sure that, like many of us, you have pondered on this thought before as well.

A number of British colonies and a majority of Europe, except for only four European countries, drive on the left side of the road, while, on the other hand (pun intended), the United States of America and several other countries adopted driving on the right. So, why do Americans drive on the right side of the road? We are sure, like everybody around the world, you have probably pondered on this question too.

Our team of experts decided to do their research on the difference between left hand travel and right hand travel, and why the United States of America decided left hand driving wasn’t their cup of tea. Continue reading to find out more.

Why Do Some Countries Drive on the Left?

People driving on the left
People driving on the left

Statista suggests that 76 countries drive on the left and the rest of the world sticks to the right hand side (obviously). So, why did countries across the world choose to drive on the left side?

Our experts found that left hand side driving started off as a driving practice predominantly in Eastern Europe. Initially, almost all of the world’s countries drove on the left side of the road. However, over time, some countries changed their way of travel and switched to right side driving. Archaeological studies show that British colonies and the majority of the British Empire drove large wagons on the left hand side from the early days, as this made it easier for those drivers with a dominant right hand to steer their way around.

During the time of the French Revolution, it was easier for soldiers and knights of Great Britain, and for the majority of the world population, to keep their hand free. Many used their dominant right hand to attack and defend themselves, and so left side driving became a practice and was used during the Second World War as well. Along with this, it was easier to hop down from a horse from the left side.

The History of American Driving

Cars in Colonial America
Cars in Colonial America

From the time of Colonial America, right hand driving became the way of travel. The British government, however, decided to stick to left hand driving and even had an Act put into motion to motivate drivers to stay on the left. As a result, many countries that were under the British influence, picked up on the English driving customs.

In America, though, from freight wagons to pedestrians, everyone incorporated the common practice of right hand side travel. Big wagons were pulled by horses and the wagon driver would ride the left rear horse, and use his right arm to whip the horses to move on ahead. As the driver sat on the left side, they naturally wanted for the rest of the wagons or vehicles, and oncoming traffic, to pass them on their left as well. For this reason, the drivers adopted right side travel. These large wagons pulled and transported farm products. Because of right hand driving, traffic on the road would make its way to the right, to prevent any crashes.

Henry Ford and the Model T

Ford Model T
Ford Model T

Henry Ford introduced his iconic Model T to the public in 1908. The Model T had the steering wheel situated on the left side. Of course, because of this design of the driver’s seat, other vehicles were forced to drive on the right. This, however, brought with it a lot of change in the way a lot more countries decided to drive. Driving evolved in many countries like Canada, Italy and Spain – they switched to the same side as America.

Which Countries Drive on the Right?

Countries that drive on the right
Countries that drive on the right

Twenty countries which drive on the right are:

  • Abu Dhabi
  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Egypt
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Madagascar
  • Netherlands
  • Switzerland
Countries that drive on the left
Countries that drive on the left

Twenty countries which drive on the left are:

  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Channel Islands
  • England
  • Fiji
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kenya
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Nepal
  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Scotland
  • Singapore

Switching Sides – What if America Decides to Drive on the Left?

Right to left?
Right to left?

Switching from driving on the right to driving on the left could cost billions of dollars to America, believe it or not. Having said that, suppose the United States of America decides to one day go back to driving on the left side of the road, how could we go about doing this?

Well, for starters, to drive on the left would mean changing:

  • Road signs
  • Traffic lights
  • Pedestrian crossing
  • Traffic rules
  • Roundabouts
  • Cycling lanes
  • Restaurant drive-through
  • Steering wheel position – and the list goes on!

It will also take a lot of time for drivers to get used to the new driving side and a lot of brainstorming would be needed to make the switch.

An Ending Note – Why Do Americans Drive on the Right?

And that’s a wrap! We are quite sure that prior to reading this article, you may have thought that America decided to adopt right hand driving just for the sake of it – trust us, we thought the same thing! Driving on the left made sense in the Medieval days and the time of war for knights and soldiers since they were able to use their dominant free hand to protect themselves, as well as attack. Thankfully, since times have changed, we don’t need to be defending ourselves in the same way.

Clearly, a lot of thought has gone behind deciding whether to drive on the left or on the right by every country. At the same time, switching to the opposite side will also take the same amount of effort and time, if not more.

If you have any questions, doubts or queries, feel free to drop a comment in our comments section below, and our experts will get back to you with an answer in no time. 

This research by Whydo is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission when you purchase through our links. Learn more

Why Do We Never See Baby Pigeons?

Why do we never see baby pigeons? Um? Anyone? Is there like a secret baby pigeon school that we don’t know of like Hogwarts or should we say, “Squabwarts.”

Go to any park and you may spot baby ducks following their mothers around. Goslings can be seen grazing alongside their geese parents in waterfront parks. Baby birds can be heard chirping in their nests. But where are all the baby pigeons? Pigeons  pigeons everywhere and not one baby pigeon spotted.What is the mystery behind this phenomenon?

In towns and cities, there’s always an abundance of feral pigeons (rock doves). Wood pigeons can be found in droves out in the countryside and urban areas. It might seem to city dwellers that pigeons multiply magically, and they are fully justified in thinking so. So, why do you never see baby pigeons?

What are Baby Pigeons Called?

Baby Pigeons are Called Squabs
Baby Pigeons are Called Squabs

Baby pigeons are called squabs or squeakers! The young are referred to as squabs until they leave the nest (fledge), which usually takes about 30 days from hatching. Squabs grow relatively large before fledging and are popular as food for humans. (Sad but true)

What do Baby Pigeons Look Like?

What Do Baby Pigeons Look Like?
What Do Baby Pigeons Look Like?

They are not a pretty sight to behold so it’s best that we don’t see baby pigeons. Young pigeons must be thinking that humans will make fun of how they look. So they never come out of their nests! No, this is certainly not the reason.

They are often dark-skinned and don’t have all of their feathers. Their bodies are covered in the beginning of what will become feathers later. They can be yellow or white in color, though you might see other colors from time to time.

The beak, feet and wings are proportionally much larger than the body; however, they grow into these features as they get bigger. The beak is mainly pinkish but can also be a darker color. The feet are a slate gray color. Pigeon babies are usually around 5cm in length when newly hatched.

Why Do We Never See Baby Pigeons?

Pigeons Nest on Rooftop
Pigeons Nest on Rooftop

There is a good reason why you are not seeing pigeon chicks. It is partially due to where adult pigeons build their nest. Pigeons, also known as Wild Rock Doves, build their nests in places that mimic caves and cliffs. In cities, pigeon nests can be found on any opening on window sills, on rooftops of the buildings, under bridges – some place they find protected. They prefer privacy!

The other reason why squabs are rarely seen is because they spend a long time in their nest and do not venture out till their feathers are fully-grown.

Moreover, pigeons tend to nest in places that are completely out of the way. This usually means places like church towers, under bridges, chimneys, and abandoned buildings in towns and cities. Generally, we’ll never see a pigeon’s actual nest and, in turn, never see pigeon babies.

This tendency to nest up high comes instinctively from descending from rock doves. As the name suggests, rock doves usually nest on cliff edges to keep themselves safe from prying eyes and safe from any predators.

How Long do Baby Pigeons Stay in the Nest?

Baby Pigeons in their Nest
Baby Pigeons in their Nest

A female pigeon lays 2 to 3 eggs, 8 to 12 days after mating. The eggs hatch between 16 and 19 days after they have been laid. Hatching occurs any time of the day and takes roughly 24 hours to complete. After the chicks emerge from the shells, parent pigeons remove the empty eggshells from the nest.

The amount of time young pigeons spend in the nest depends on the time of year. It is usually between 25 and 32 days in summers, but in winters can be up to 45 days . They stay in the nest as squabs and leave it after they fledge.

Adult birds come back to the nest to feed their babies either crop milk, seeds or whichever part of the diet they are on between 3 and 4 times a day. Pigeon-parents take shifts during the entire nesting process.

Babies are fed regurgitated crop milk by both the male and female birds. This is regurgitated to the baby birds within 2 hours of hatching for the first 4 days. After this, they will continue to be fed crop milk along with seeds for another 5 days.

Baby pigeons are pretty helpless. They are cute, tiny and can’t fend for themselves for a while after being born. Just like human babies, baby pigeons need the safety and care provided by their parents in order to survive.

When do All the Baby Pigeons Leave Their Nest?

Baby Pigeons Growing Up
Baby Pigeons Growing Up

Baby pigeons grow up very quickly! The time between when they hatch from the egg to when they fly away from their nest is usually less than 4 weeks. Squabs do not step out or leave the nest before they grow enough to take their first flight. If wood pigeons ever visit your garden, you can recognize them by looking at their neck. You will see a white flash on the necks of the baby birds.

The first flight is taken under the guidance of the father who is responsible for nudging the young bird on the course. Parent pigeons are extremely supportive during the learning process and encourage the squabs to move around.

When can Baby Pigeons Feed Themselves?

Baby Pigeon being Fed
Baby Pigeon being Fed

Baby pigeons can feed themselves at 20-25 days old. The birds need to eat foods that are easy to digest. They will start to pick on food when they are 3 weeks old but the parents will keep feeding them. They start drinking at 6 weeks of age.

No two birds are the same. Some learn to feed themselves early on, while others may need more time.

Final Words

The reason why we do not see baby pigeons is that they are distinct from other birds of different species. They are spending time growing up in their nest which is the reason why they aren’t visible. They are busy growing feathers which will give them the appearance of an adult pigeon. Cocooned away from nasty birds and in the protective custody of their parents, they are learning to take on the world!

This research by Whydo is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission when you purchase through our links. Learn more

Why Do Wolves Howl at the Moon?

Whether you’re a Twilight fan or a nature enthusiast, you probably wonder why do wolves howl at the moon. It’s common knowledge and we’ve studied the topic in detail for you.

Imagine you’re enjoying a family adventure in the center of a dense forest in the Yellowstone National Park and a sudden loud howl on a serene night sends shivers down your spine. In case you didn’t know, approximately 528 wolves live in the Yellowstone National Park. Therefore, there’s a high chance these nocturnal animals were howling at the moon while you were enjoying your dinner and drinks!

Is it a myth or do wolves howl at the very sight of the moon? In case you didn’t know, not just wolves but even dogs, both domestic and wild, howl at the moon sometimes. That’s just one fact. We’ve got a lot to tell you about wolves howling. Read further to know more.

Do Wolves Howl at the Moon?

Wolves Howl at Night to Communicate With Each Other
Wolves Howl at Night to Communicate With Each Other

Well, let’s begin with a clear answer — wolves do not howl at the moon. Wolf packs howl at each other to establish communication. In simpler words, if you’ve heard howling if you’re on a camping or hiking adventure, it’s possible that a wolf pack or other animals such as domestic or wild dogs are communicating with each other.

Since the Neolithic age that marked the population explosion of African wolves and even before that, ancient people have always believed that a wolf howls at the moon.

Wolves Communicating With Each Other
Wolves Communicating With Each Other

You may hear howling at night but it’s not “howling at the new moon” or “howling at the full moons.” WOLVES HOWL TO COMMUNICATE! They even howl when the moon is covered by a thick sheet of clouds.

Moreover, their favorite time to howl is when the sun is down and the silence of the night is deep. Wolves typically howl between 7 PM and midnight, depending upon their location.

Why Do Wolves Howl?

A Howling Gray Wolf
A Howling Gray Wolf

Almost all animals produce different sounds and voices. As mentioned in the previous section, wolves howl to communicate with other pack members, other lone wolves, other packs and rival packs. Also, there’s nothing “negative” about wolves howling. The wolves in Norse mythology may be related to negativity but all wolves are not negative animals; they are simply wild, nocturnal animals.

For wolves, howling at the sky is a way to establish a close relationship with other members of the pack or other lone wolves or inform about predators. Per a study by National Center for Biotechnology, US, a wolf’s howling is mediated by relationship quality rather than underlying emotional stress.

Canine experts and other scientists have clearly established that a wolf’s (canis lupus) howl is a communication signal. Whether you’re talking about a gray wolf howling or dog howling, all canines speak to one another through howling or chorus howls.

Just like humans talk, whisper, shout, scream, and cry in human language, wolves howl. A wolf howl can travel both short and long distances in an open terrain. Moreover, a wolf howl can also help you determine a wolf’s location.

7 Quick Reasons Why a Wolf Howls

  • A signal to meet other pack members
  • A way to help other pack members establish a lone wolf’s location
  • A cry for help when it is separated from its group
  • A call for a hunt
  • A cue for the group that prey is around or predators are around
  • A warning for rival packs to stay away from their territory
  • A gesture (typically a chorus) to strengthen its bond with other group members (similar to dogs)

What Does a Wolf Howling Sound Like?

Wolf howling can sound different at different times. Yes, that’s right. Wolves pipe (vocal cords) can produce a range of vocalizations, such as:

  • Barks
  • Growls
  • Howls
  • Moans
  • Screams
  • Yelps

Sometimes, you may not be able to distinguish between the barking of a domestic dog and a wolf.

Once again, the vocalizations are not related to the full moon. The most common sound produced by wolves pipe is “howling.” It’s a continuous cry that can easily travel long distances. We interviewed a hiking enthusiast who excitedly said, “The wolf sung for me.” They further added, “It sounded like the wolf was looking to hunt a large prey.” 

Many people also wonder why wolves look toward the sky (which is why many ancient civilizations believed that wolves howl at the moon) when they howl.  The answer is “to make sound travel as far as possible.” The howling wolf often doesn’t know how far other wolves are located. Therefore, it calls upward to carry farther the howl.

How Far Can Wolves Howling Be Heard?

How Far Can Wolves Howling Be Heard?
How Far Can Wolves Howling Be Heard?

The howls of the alpha males are often the loudest in the pack. Thanks to the high pitch and suspension of the howls, their sounds can easily travel as far as 6 miles or approximately 10 kilometers in dense forests and 10 miles or approximately 16 kilometers in completely treeless and open terrain.

Do Wolves Howl During the Day?

Wolves Howling During the Day
Wolves Howling During the Day

Yes, a wolf howls during both day and night. Wolves have eventually evolved to howl whenever they want. However, as we’ve mentioned repeatedly, wolves are nocturnal animals.

Therefore, you’ll mostly hear them howling at night only because of which many people think that wolves howl at the moon (today’s popular belief, which is wrong), especially a full moon. More light means fewer chances of hearing a wolf howl.

Do Female Wolves Howl?

Pack of Wolves With Leaders at the Front
Pack of Wolves With Leaders at the Front

All wolves howl to communicate, irrespective of whether they are males and females in a pack.

Each wolf pack has two leaders, i.e., a male and a female. They are called the “dominant pair” or “breeding pair.” This pair is typically in-charge of the pack. Therefore, sometimes, to communicate dominance, they howl. Other pack members showcase their submission by lowering their bodies and holding their tails down.

Mother Wolf With her Cubs
Mother Wolf With her Cubs

Not just howl but sometimes a female wolf may also bark at her pups to warn them in case of potential danger from poachers or other wild animals. Remember the Roman goddess she-wolf who nursed and raised two brothers Remus and Romulus; female wolves can do anything to protect their young ones.

A female wolf may also whimper to signal that she wants to nurse her pups.

Conclusion – Why Do Wolves Howl at the Moon?

Wolf Packs Howling At Each Other
Wolf Packs Howling At Each Other

Now that you know wolves howling at the moon is a big myth, what do you think? Do you still believe a wolf howls at the full moon? The misconception that a wolf howls at the moon was promoted by humans across ancient civilizations stretching from Asia to North America. It’s clearly a “misconception,” as you can see above.

Wolves don’t howl because they are alone. Wolves don’t howl because they are experiencing pain. Wolves howl to communicate with members of their pack or rival packs or other animals.

We agree that they look at the moon when they’re howling; however, we’ve already discussed why wolves look at the moon when howling. A wolf’s howl has nothing to do with the moon or different phases of the moon.

We sincerely hope you found our article on why do wolves howl at the moon useful. If you have a different take or suggestions to share, please feel free to post your thoughts in the comment section below.

This research by Whydo is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission when you purchase through our links. Learn more

Why Do Birds Chirp in the Morning?

Have you, like us, woken up groggy on a cold, winter early morning and heard the birds outside your window sing the dawn chorus? Do you also wonder why they are cheerfully chirping into the sunrise on a Monday morning?

While it is a melody to the ears and of course a much better sound to wake up to than a horrendous alarm, you can’t help but think about what they are so happy about.

Our experts soared high to find out why do birds chirp in the morning hours and what it means. Continue reading to find out more. 

What Time Do Birds Wake Up?

Birds Chirping in the Morning
Birds Chirping in the Morning

Birds have a very, very early start to the day and are often awake early morning, much before the sunrise. Of course, different breeds and bird species wake up at different times, depending on where they live and the season they’re in.

You can hear the bird songs around 4 in the morning, or an hour or so prior to sunrise. The minute there is the faintest ray of sun visible in the sky, birds are wide awake. This is indeed a good piece of information for bird feeders.

Why Do Birds Chirp in the Morning? 

Birds Singing Early in the Morning
Birds Singing Early in the Morning

Birds sing (or chirp) in the morning to let other birds know of their presence, as this is when they are the most comfortable. This is because, owing to the dark sky, it becomes difficult for them to be spotted by predators.

While very few species of birds choose to look for food in the morning, the ones that do, rely on singing to communicate with their friends and family on their hunt. Individual birds also sing in the morning (sometimes even a loud song) in order to attract other males or potential mates. 

What Birds Sing in the Early Morning?


Depending on where you live, there could be different birds (most species) that bless your morning with their singing, even wild birds. After one bird starts chirping, the others bird join, much like a choir (also know as the dawn chorus).


Usually, however, you will find that sparrows and robins start singing early in the morning. Sparrows, especially the white browed sparrow weavers, only begin singing when there is a sufficient amount of morning light. You may also be able to spot blackbirds and woodpigeons early in the morning. 

Do Male Birds Also Sing in the Wee Hours?

Male Bird Singing to Woo a Female Bird
Male Bird Singing to Woo a Female Bird

While both female and male birds sing their own song in the morning, the male species are the more active participants in the “dawn chorus.”

This is because the male birds utilize the quiet mornings to be heard more by the females and other male birds. During this time, they are looking for a strong mate.

The earlier the bird wakes up, the higher the chances of it making its presence known and avoiding any possible competition.  The male birds use this time to attract a potential mate and mark their territories. 

What Is the First Bird to Sing in the Morning?


The first bird you will hear in the morning will be either the blackbird, chaffinch, robin, thrush or the wren.

Robin Bird
Robin Bird

Depending on where you live, you will hear different birds welcoming the morning sunlight with their dawn chorus. Those living in tropical regions will be able to hear many more birds singing in the morning.

How Does a Bird Sing?

A Bird's Voice Box
A Bird’s Voice Box

Unlike humans, birds do not have lips or a voice box or a strong voice, so it isn’t exactly easy for them to be heard. The syrinx acts as a bird’s voice box, and is situated towards the bottom of the throat.

The expansion and contraction of the syrinx results in a change in its shape, which is what leads to the creation of different sounds or songs in a bird. Without the syrinx, there would be no dawn chorus.

Tightening the syrinx leads to a louder sound, which helps birds to produce magnified and distinct melodies. 

Do Birds Sing in the Winter?

Birds Singing in the Winter
Birds Singing in the Winter

Birds, as a matter of fact, do sing in the winter as well, but not as much as they would during the warmer months of the year. During the winter, they typically sing by your bedroom windows during the late afternoon.

According to National Geographic scientists, birds sing in the cold winter mornings in order to accustom their bodies to the longer days. Another theory is that birds use the winter time to practice their singing skills and ensure that they don’t lose touch. 

During winter, birds focus on finding food for energy and preserving body heat. They also use their songs to communicate with one another, find mates and notify other birds of nearby food sources or possible predators. 

During spring, you can hear a birdsong in the morning, afternoon and evening.

What Do Birds Talk About?

It is no surprise that birds talk to each other. They use their songs to communicate with one another, and let other birds in the area know who’s boss – no really, they use singing as a way of asserting dominance and marking their territory. Their songs are their communication medium.

Birds also “speak” to the opposite gender, in order to attract a partner and mate. For example, females chirp when they sense potential partners (males) around.

They also let other birds know of food such as insects nearby and inform one another about predators that may be lurking in the area or hidden in bushes and trees. 

When Do Birds Stop Chirping?

Like any animal, birds will stay hush when they sense danger – whether it’s a hawk flying by, a mouse squeaking away or a human nearby. You won’t hear their song when they are scared.

They also stop singing when they are busy hunting for food, especially the predator birds, since any noise will notify their prey of their presence. You will also find that birds don’t sing their song if there is any change in their environment. 

How to Make Birds Stop Chirping?

Ideally, we don’t understand why you would want for birds to stop chirping! In fact, you could try, but we don’t know how much progress you will make with it.

Birds sing for various reasons, whether they are happy or looking for a friend, so trying to get them to shush could probably prove to be a very difficult task.

Even if you get them to be quiet for one morning, you will be sure to find that they will be back to singing outside your window the next day. Having said that, we suggest trying to close your windows shut tight and keeping any shrubs and trees around your house well trimmed. 

Why Do Birds Chirp at Sunset?

Birds Chirping at Sunset
Birds Chirping at Sunset

We tend to hear birds chirping at dawn because of how quiet the world is outside – no blaring horns, no scuffling pedestrians, no radios on. But have you ever noticed the birds that sing aloud at dusk? 

Birds, just like humans, react to a change in their environment. For this very reason, as soon as the sun begins to set, the birds respond to this and communicate with their fellow birds. 

Nocturnal birds, such as owls, use their auditory senses to travel and maneuver through the night, instead of relying on their eyesight in the dark. Other birds rely on the night for mating, and use their singing to attract a partner, such as the Northern Mockingbird. 

What Time Is the Dawn Chorus?

Dawn Chorus of Birds
Dawn Chorus of Birds

The dawn chorus refers to the song that birds sing early in the morning, usually around sunrise, as the name suggests. It’s like a soothing white noise. In case you don’t already know, nature lovers across the globe celebrate the international dawn chorus day on the first Sunday of May.

On the international dawn chorus day, Early bird lovers around the world wake up early morning to celebrate the dawn chorus. They even plant trees to create more homes so that more birds join the daily dawn chorus.

If you are planning on being awake to hear the birds sing during dawn, we recommend doing so between half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after it. Ideally, you will be able to hear the dawn chorus distinctly between the months of March and July.

If you would like to hear the dawn chorus, we suggest picking a clear skied, warm day with a light breeze, preferably around April to May. 

Do Birds Whistle?

Birds ‘whistle’ in order to attract a mating partner or assert dominance against another enemy bird that thinks it can whistle better.

Whistling is also used to notify other birds of any lurking threat and can help birds understand where the attacker is. Young birds also use whistling as a way to signal to their parents that they need to be taken care of.

A Chirpy End

Waking up to chirping birds and their dawn chorus is definitely a pleasant start to the day. Not only does it allow for birds to mark their territory and find their mating partner but it also ensures they stay safe and sound. 

However, as lovely and poetic as it sounds, chirping away into the morning can prove to become a threat to birds and definitely isn’t a piece of cake for them. They require a lot of energy to be able to create such melodies each day.

It also means that they become easier to find for predators, both on land and in the air. Birds, though, are smart creatures and take care of themselves really well. 

As per a study by the National History Museum, United Kingdom, 73% people reported hearing louder bird-song during the Covid-19 pandemic, in the UK. They claimed it comforted them at such a time of peril. The research indicates that bird songs could really help improve the mental health of humans. 

If you have any questions, doubts or queries, feel free to drop a comment in our comments section below, and our experts will get back to you with an answer in no time. If there are any products you have in mind that you would like for us to review and compare, do write to us!