NASA Engineer Helps Land Mars Rover From Daughter’s Childhood Bedroom

NASA dad watches Mars rover land
(Instagram/maddievsm)

Every job has different metrics for measuring success. Maybe you have regular performance reviews, sales goals to hit, or maybe being successful at your job means landing a freaking rover on Mars. Father and engineer Alejandro Miguel San Martin has worked for NASA for 35 years, and in that time, he’s made history time and time again. This time, however, San Martin’s daughter was able to capture the incredible moment on camera.

Because of COVID, NASA’s work on their most recent rover, Perseverance, has looked a bit different. Rather than working alongside his team in person, San Martin turned his daughter’s childhood bedroom into a makeshift mission control room.

“Touchdown! Never thought my childhood bedroom would become my dads covid mission control – but could not be more proud of the Jet Propulsion Lab EDL team!!!” Madeleine San Martín shared on Instagram. “5/5 for Mars Rover Landings, let’s celebrate!!”

 

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A post shared by Madeleine San Martín (@maddievsm)

In the heartwarming video captured by the NASA engineer’s daughter, San Martin quite literally jumps out of his chair with excitement upon learning that the Perseverance mission was a success.

“YES!!!” San Martin exclaims, throwing his hands in the air after receiving confirmation that Perseverance safely touched down. He kisses his daughter and puts his head in his hands, watching with tears in his eyes as his peers celebrate on screen. “Unbelievable” he marvels, both laughing and crying.

After 35 years with NASA, San Martin has helped land five rovers safely on Mars. Even after experiencing such massive success four times previously, the thrill of making a monumental mark in history clearly doesn’t get old. This NASA dad’s work is out of this world, and San Martin is over the moon about it.

Go Back to Back to the Future II With This Working Hoverboard Engineers Invented

Hoverboard
(YouTube/Hacksmith Industries)

Sure, it took longer than we thought after watching Back to the Future II, but science has finally given us an honest-to-god hoverboard. Does it come with conditions? Of course. But it’s still a very cool (albeit completely pointless) invention, as it is an actual, working HOVERBOARD.

When it comes to science, we have all sorts of cool things these days we would’ve loved years ago, but we still lack some of the big inventions that feel imminent (self-driving cars everywhere) and some that we won’t probably see (flying cars). But a hoverboard once was thought to be only the province of Michael J. Fox in his prime.

And now the people behind the popular YouTube HackSmith Industries have created an actual working hoverboard. Does it catch on fire? Yes, quite frequently during testing. But they fine-tuned it, and actually made a hoverboard that works.

The tech behind it is very limiting, of course, as it’s powered by a bunch of super-powerful magnets, and it only works over a sheet of metal, so it’s not exactly road-ready. It was a mechanical engineering student who came up with the right specs to make it work, and the prototype is still very cool if you’re into engineering, sciency stuff, or just fun things in general.

So you might not be able to see one at Target, but it’s fun to see a group of people trying to make working prototypes of stuff we only see in movies (like lightsabers!).

 

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For Many Families, the Era of COVID Has Reshaped Fatherhood

How the pandemic changed fatherhood
(SUPPLIED)

The COVID-19 pandemic has, without question, changed just about all aspects of the way we live our lives. In many ways, things are more complicated than they’ve ever been. For many, however, quarantine ushered in an era of family bonding that was never before possible. Particularly, fathers have reported feeling closer than ever with their children. Though it’s uncertain what type of normal we’ll return to once the impact of COVID-19 is mitigated, it has reshaped the way many fathers view their roles within their families.

In a study conducted by academics at the University of Utah, Ball State University, and the University of Texas, researchers found that the pandemic has noticeably strengthened fathers’ bonds with their kids. The study included a diverse group of 284 fathers, 68% of whom reported feeling closer to their kids since the beginning of the pandemic.

Even for dads who already worked from home, the pandemic invited more time for family activities. One dad named David explained to The Dad, “Virtual schooling has been the biggest change, but just in general more time together as an immediate family, less running around dropping kids off at school or taking them to soccer practice or a play date.”

David and his children (SUPPLIED)

Though kids undoubtedly miss spending time engaged in extracurriculars or with their friends, quarantine has slowed the pace of life in a way that many will miss. ”One thing I don’t miss from The Before Times™ was over-scheduling since you want to let kids do so many activities and play dates,” David said, “but sometimes it felt we were always late rushing to something.”

According to the researchers’ second survey of 534 dads, 57% reported feeling more appreciative of their children. One such father is Bayne, who is thoroughly enjoying his time with his daughter.

“I use my ‘downtime’ better when my daughter is here,” Bayne told The Dad. “We go on walks or have long talks or bake, I make better meals overall and keep more consistent hours. Before COVID it was work, TV, video game, takeout, sleep whenever, repeat. I want to keep this new balance permanently; even when she’s back in school full-time.”

Bayne and his daughter (SUPPLIED)

Bayne, like 52% of dads surveyed, also noticed a shift in the topics he discussed with his daughter.

“I find we talk more and about more important and personal things,” he explained.

But for some parents, quarantine was particularly bittersweet. Benjamin Lloyd, Executive Director of Bright Invention, Inc., has spent a significant portion of the COVID era helping one of his children through an ongoing personal crisis. Though Lloyd often worked from home before the pandemic, no longer having the option to work in person provided clarity about the significance of his office life.

“I came to understand a few things,” Lloyd explained. “One is how deeply important ‘home’ is to all of us. And another was that work was refuge for me, an escape.”

The stability of Lloyd’s home and routine provided the same stability for his kids, something that proved especially important during such a stressful year. In times of crisis, keeping a clear head and a calm environment is not always easy, but providing that sense of security to your family is admirable.

Benjamin Lloyd and his kids (SUPPLIED)

“Parents should be boring and reliable. So that’s been a great achievement for me in 2020,” Lloyd explained. “One thing I know is that it’s a two way street. I need them as much as they need me.”

It’s impossible to say what the world will look like once COVID no longer impacts every decision we make, but one thing is certain: the extra family time was an unexpected silver lining during an especially challenging time. Whether or not it changes the way we choose to live in the future, it was a gift many of us didn’t even realize we needed.

College Student Goes Viral for Incredible 3D-Printed Iron Man Suit

Iron Man Suit by Emily the Engineer
(TikTok/Emily.The.Engineer)

Few things are as inspiring as kids pulling off badass achievements, whether it’s a charity, athletics, or, in this case, science. A recent college graduate is blowing up on Tik Tok for creating an incredibly cool and accurate Iron Man replica suit she made with the help of a 3D printer.

Her suit is truly impressive and the video she put together about the process of making it quickly went viral, pulling down more than 60 million views. Emily Yaird told Good Morning America she posted it right before her college graduation and was overwhelmed by the views it quickly received.

@emily.the.engineeriron man update 🙂 #ironman #fyp #3dprinting #haventseen♬ Celebrate the Good Times – Mason

The suit was a labor of love, and one she did for the first time at age 14, when she put together an Iron Man suit out of Styrofoam and hot glue. When she got to college, she felt she could do better and has been trying to one-up herself ever since. This…will be hard to top. Tony Stark himself would be impressed with her creativity and engineering prowess. The suit has back flaps that open, a laser in the arm, and a helmet that closes.

Her account, Emily the Engineer, blew up after her latest video, as she now has more than 2 million followers. She told a local news station she hopes to get a job making more videos and said it’s a “blessing to be able to do something that is your hobby, for fun, and have people watch and encourage you to do it full time.” On GMA, she shared practical advice for kids interested in engineering; just start.

“Start getting your hands dirty. Build things, get your hands on tools. Making stuff like this has helped me tremendously in things like co-ops, internships and stuff like that, so I definitely recommend getting your hands on stuff and building things.”

Her videos are definitely an inspiration for younger kids and show young people are capable of far more than they get credit for.

And if anyone can appreciate the dedication to tinkering, falling to a hobby, and constantly working to make it better, it’s dads.

Everything To Know About the Mentos and Coke Experiment

Mentos and Coke
(YouTube/Power Test)

Now that we’re entering the eleventeenth month of social distancing and pandemic life, we’ve all become pretty adept at finding ways to fight off boredom. Building elaborate LEGO sets? Done it. Channeling our inner David Copperfield by learning magic tricks? Yep, that too. And thanks to the popularity of TikTok, we’ve all witnessed the rise of many new social-media-born trends over the past year. Interestingly, though, one of those social-media-born trends isn’t new at all: the decades-old Mentos and Coke experiment. It’s true — all over the internet, you can find kids and their parents recreating the same experiment that’s been done thousands of times before. By dropping some Mentos into a 2-liter of Coke, they create a man-made geyser of epic proportions.

It’s not as basic as it seems, though. There are so many variations and riffs on the experiment now. From using different kinds of carbonated drinks to different sized bottles and even trying the other Mentos flavors, there are plenty of ways to give the experiment your own spin. Why does it work? Which gives the ultimate “explosion”? And what other factors can take the experiment to new heights?

We have all the answers (and then some). So, strap on some safety goggles and show your little science nerds how it’s done. As we walk you through all the basics, be sure to watch the videos of some different takes on the experiment!

The History Behind the Experiment

The Mentos and Coke challenge didn’t even start with Mentos. In the ’80s, budding scientists would thread the Wint-O-Green Life Savers onto a pipe cleaner and then drop them into bottles of soda to create geysers. It was a popular experiment in science classes across America. And then the ’90s happened. The manufacturer of Life Savers changed their sizing, and the candies would no longer fit through the mouth of a 2-liter bottle. Never ones to accept defeat, scientists set out to find new ways to make geysers. They found their answer in mint Mentos. And the rest is history… but, also the present.

Chemical or Physical Reaction?

While many people incorrectly claim that a chemical reaction causes the minty-soda geyser, they aren’t entirely in the right. In actuality, the answer is a bit more complicated. Scientific American explains that it’s more of a physical reaction. The reaction comes from the microscopic bumps on the candy disturbing the carbon dioxide in the Coca-Cola, causing it to release the epic burst of fizziness. Diet Coke has historically created the biggest burst because it has the most CO2. It’s all aided by the shape of the bottle. Don’t quite understand? Honestly, that’s okay. We’re all here for the geyser, not the science.

Variables to Consider

As we mentioned above, Diet Coke and Mentos create the biggest geyser. However, there are plenty of other things to try. Just because we know Diet Coke will create the biggest geyser, it doesn’t mean we can’t still experiment with other soft drinks. Using the various fruity flavors of Fanta may not create giant pop volcanos, but they will produce wildly colorful ones. 

Another interesting variable to consider is altitude. Depending on where you sit above or below sea level can also impact the height of your geyser. Live near the mountains in Tennessee or Colorado, for instance? See how the experiment’s results change when you do them at the top of the mountain versus when you do it at the base.

What other ways can you alter this experiment?

Sure, the shape on the 2-liter definitely plays a big part in your geyser-making. However, it does not have to be a constant or control. How can using different shapes bottles or containers affect the outcome?

How to Perform the Experiment

Supplies you need:

  • Mentos
  • Diet Coke
  • Safety goggles

Supplies to consider:

  • More Mentos
  • Other pop flavors
  • Painter’s tape
  • Tape measure
  • Different sized vessels

How to:

Your best bet is to set up your experiment outside and in front of a wall or garage door. You can use your tape measure and painter’s tape to measure off 1- to 2-foot markings on the wall or door. Definitely mark measurements all the way up as high as you can reach.

Sit your 2-liter of Diet Coke close to the measurements, don your goggles, drop a few Mentos into the bottle, and run. Use the highest wet mark on the wall to measure the results. (If it didn’t splash on the wall, consider yourself lucky and use your kids’ best guess as to how high it reaches.) You could also set up your phone to video the drop and help keep accurate records — just keep it back far enough that it can catch the whole wall. Consider using another piece of painter’s tape to mark the Diet Coke’s peak splash.

Repeat the experiment with different types of soda or different vessels, continuing to record your results. Because, really, what else do we have to do right now? Plus, as ways to kill time go, this one’s pretty cool. 

Science Says Playing Video Games During Lockdown Helps Your Mental Health

Video Game Career
(Getty Images/hobo_018)

While the world hunkers down again until the reinforcements can get injected into our veins, how do we keep our sanity during the longest winter ever? We do have one strong ally in this fight, according to science; video games. It’s the answer you knew and felt in your soul, but according to a new academic study, playing video games during lockdown can have a marked improvement on your mental health.

We are not those buzzkill people that say gaming is only for kids, in fact, we have one of the best gaming communities on the interwebs. And thanks to this study from the University of Oxford, we can now count science as our ally in fighting for more gaming time. The study showed a positive effect on mental well-being from playing video games, noting the length of playing didn’t diminish those returns. So, in other words, playing marathon sessions still isn’t bad for you (someone please tell my wife IT’S SCIENCE).

The study noted the calming effect games can provide, along with the engaging aspects of gaming that don’t exist with watching TV. The findings were based on data and interviews with thousands of players of Plants V. Zombies and Animal Crossing, and the study’s author said playing video games clearly are not bad for your health.

“In fact, play can be an activity that relates positively to people’s mental health – and regulating video games could withhold those benefits from players,” he said.

So, there you have it, plain as day; science says we can game as much as we want during the lockdown, and anyone trying to get in our way is clearly attacking our mental health. So bring on the new Xbox and the PlayStation 5, because that’s the only way to get through this winter.

4-Year-Old Stumbles Upon Well-Preserved 220 Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Footprint

4-year-old discovers 220 million year old dinosaur footprint
(YouTube/ITV News)

Kids have an undoubtedly unique way of looking at the world. They often see things that we don’t, because rather than focusing on what’s next on their to-do list, they’re fully immersed in the moment. Kids are sponges, trying to learn and absorb everything they can about the world around them. The unique curiosity of little kids leads to some incredible parenting moments, but 4-year-old Lily Wilder’s curiosity led to an amazing discovery that thrilled scientists around the world.

Anyone who has spent time with a 4-year-old knows that pointing and saying “look!” is basically a reflex any time they see something mildly interesting (or colorful, or shiny, or something that just happens to be in their path when they’re in a pointing mood). Fortunately, Lily’s dad was paying attention to every “look!” during their walk in Wales in early January, otherwise, they may have missed Lily’s startling discovery.

One particularly emphatic look-and-point was directed at a footprint, one that was perfectly preserved in a rock conveniently located at 4-year-old eye-level.

“It was on a low rock, shoulder height for Lily, and she just spotted it and said, ‘look Daddy,'” Lily’s mom told NBC News. “She is really excited but doesn’t quite grasp how amazing it is.”

The family reached out to experts with some encouragement from Lily’s grandma, hoping to figure out who the 10-centimeter footprint belonged to. Though experts can’t say exactly what type of dinosaur left the footprint, paleontology curator at the Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum of Wales, Cindy Howells, provided some important information.

She explained that the dinosaur likely walked on its two hind legs, and though it only stood about 29.5 inches tall, it would have been roughly 8 feet long including its tail.

“It’s brilliant,” Howells told NBC News. “It really is stunning preservation … You can see every detail of the muscles and where the joints are in the foot.”

Lily’s discovery provides paleontologists with clues about the 220 million-year-old dinosaur, and because of her attentiveness and curiosity, the 4-year-old will be listed as the official “finder” of the fossilized print. Lily loves dinosaurs, and if she one day wants to become a paleontologist herself, she’s certainly taking steps in the right direction.

Take a Moment To Appreciate a Rare Volcanic Rock That Looks Like Cookie Monster

Cookie Monster Rock
(Twitter/ImoveCar)

Some things in life are fun and that’s it. It doesn’t change the world, or totally shift the national conversation, or have any effect on your life at all. It’s just cool. Case in point: a rare volcanic rock found by a gemologist that looks just like Cookie Monster.

The rock was found in the Rio Grande do Sul region (no, YOU don’t know where that is) of Brazil last fall. The current owner said he’s received multiple offers for the rock, including some in the tens of thousands. Some speculate the rock could be worth north of $100,000.

But we know better, that rock is truly priceless. Even Cookie Monster himself took some time from his busy day on Sesame Street to acknowledge the uncanny resemblance.

It’s his most viral tweet ever, and it came a few days after the first tweet went pretty viral. That’s how much we need news like this now, a straight-up palate cleanser. Something where you can look at it, say “hey, that’s kinda neat” and feel a little bit better about the world for five minutes.

As far as Muppets in nature go, this takes the cookie. Not even Beaker on Mars comes close.

Someone needs to feed that rock ASAP, or they will soon have a situation on their hands.

Scientists Say Rewatching Your Favorite Shows Can Improve Your Mental Health

Science shows that rewatching old favorites can improve mental health
(Getty/Ryan McVay)

TV FOMO no joke, the “Fear of Missing Out” on shows that fill social media feeds and dominate conversations. It’s almost guilt-inducing, watching an old favorite after a stressful day instead of digging into one of the many shows on your forever-growing “to-watch” list. But in reality, is that such a bad thing? Scientists say no – in fact, they say returning to an old favorite can actually be good for your mental health.

In a study conducted by Cristel Antonia Russell and Sidney J. Levy from the University of Chicago Press, they call the phenomenon “reconsumption.” According to the study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, rewatching an old show, rereading your favorite book, even visiting a restaurant you love can trigger a feeling of comfort.

The study compares our brains’ responses to forced repetition to their responses to repetition by choice. When we choose to revisit something that makes us feel good, we essentially anchor ourselves to a moment in time where we felt at peace.

“We find that ‘connections between successive presents’ are localizable in reconsumed objects: reconsumption can serve as a ‘system of replay, resonance and echoes . . . which transcend spatial locations and temporal successions,’” the study explains. “The reconsumed objects fuel an active synthesis of individualized experiences rather than the passive synthesis of habitual reconsumption.”

In simplified terms, no matter where we are in life – no matter what stressors, challenges, and uncertainty we’re facing, we can more or less re-center ourselves. The connection to who and where we were 5 years ago can be connected to our present selves and eventually our future selves by revisiting something that holds meaning to us. The experience of reconsuming things like movies and TV shows actively invites our brains to combine and organize those experiences, finding comfort in them repeatedly over time.

“Unlike the survival motives that drive evolutionary psychology, we find that consumers who chose to repeat hedonic experiences even just once are expressing and affirming their individual experience and its special meanings to them,” the study concludes.

While some repetitive behavior is driven by our desire to survive, behaviors we choose to repeat simply because they make us feel good can reinforce who we are. If you’ve ever been in the car when a song that’s meaningful to you comes on the radio, you’ll understand this idea in real-time. Often, you’re transported back to the time the song gained significance for you.

You may feel things that aren’t relevant in the moment, but were impactful at one point in time – and those thoughts and emotions are forever tied to that song (or TV show, or movie). Those feelings are real though, even as you drive along the highway far removed from whenever that song first gained a special meaning to you. And as the study explains, you’re welcome to revisit those moments as often as you need them.

So yes, Netflix may have hundreds of new movies every month. Social media may be buzzing with talk about a new show every few months. But as we all know, those trends are fleeting. It’s ok to pass on “the best show ever” (how, even, can there possibly be 5,000 best shows ever?) – sometimes the best thing for your mental health is holding onto your security blanket of a show, immersing yourself in the moment, and embracing the comfort it brings.

Prominent Harvard Professor Says Alien Technology Visited in 2017

Oumuamua alien technology
(Getty/dottedhippo)

There has never been a better time to be a UFO nerd. We’ve had plenty of exciting space news in the past few years, including a report the Pentagon recovered off-world vehicles, UFO videos becoming declassified, and now a prominent Harvard physicist who claims an alien has ALREADY visited us three years ago.

In a new book coming out later this month, the chair of Harvard’s Astronomy Department, Avi Loeb, argues compellingly that an object that wandered into our solar system several years ago wasn’t a rock, but a piece of alien technology. This goes along with the theory that says our first signs of an alien civilization won’t be an invasion or landing, but the discovery of their trash floating in space.


His book, titled “Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth” examines something called Oumuamua, an interstellar object first observed in our solar system in 2017. Some scientists wrote it off as a comet, but Loeb said there are compelling reasons why it’s not.

“What would happen if a caveman saw a cellphone?” he said to the New York Post. “He’s seen rocks all his life, and he would have thought it was just a shiny rock.”

The theoretical physicist argues in his book that the dimensions of the object, five to 10 times “longer than it was wide” is not typical for a natural space object. Not only is it not typical, but it’s also completely unlike anything we’ve seen before. It was also much brighter and shinier than most comets.

And the movement of the cigar-like shaped object also supports his theory, as it’s pushing away from the sun’s gravitational pull was “highly statistically significant.” He called that movement the straw that broke the camel’s back in claiming it was a normal comet.

He theorized it could be space junk, discarded from another civilization.

“The only way to look for [alien civilizations] is to look for their trash,” he said. As if we don’t pick up enough trash on our own, now we gotta start cleaning up after the aliens.

Are These Dancing Robots Entertaining or Should We Call John Connor?

Dancing Robots
(YouTube/Boston Dynamics)

Dancing robots. Sounds so whimsical, but in reality, UTTERLY TERRIFYING. 2020 couldn’t leave without one last ominous (although some love it) warning about the future. A new video from robot aficionados Boston Dynamics had everyone buzzing for what they’ve taught robots to do this time.

It’s a stunning video that quickly went viral, pulling down millions of views and dominating conversations. The video, a legit robotic and engineering achievement, was meant to show off how much farther the company has advanced its robots over the past year. The video of the four robots doing a fully choreographed dance to “Do you love me?” was truly stunning.

These aren’t dad moves, these are some precisely executed maneuvers. It’s so good it left most people feeling it was faker than Hilaria Baldwin’s accent. But, it appears to be legit. Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk ventured out publicly to quell speculation it was CGI because a robot uprising video from last year fooled a lot of people.

The robots featured are just prototypes (except for the robot dog, you can buy one of those for a cool $75k), but before long, robot prom will be available on a wider scale. Many seem to be utterly thrilled and enamored with the video, saying it makes robots seem way more accessible and less intimidating.

I, for one, welcome our dancing robot overlords, even if I choose to remain fearful of what their rapidly advancing capabilities mean for all of mankind. What if the wars of the future are fought by dance-off? Me trying to do the worm for the first time since 2003 is no match for one of these fleet-footed robots.

NASA Scientists Achieve Quantum Teleportation Breakthrough

Quantum teleportation
(Getty/Yuichiro Chino)

In a major breakthrough for science, a collaboration of scientists from NASA, Harvard, CalTech, AT&T, and others have achieved ‘quantum teleportation’ for the first time. Everyone keeps calling it a major achievement because superlatives are essential when you don’t have a background in quantum mechanics. In short, it’s a big deal because it could revolutionize computing, leading to a quantum internet where information moves faster than the speed of light. A future where sending those memes has never been quicker. Talk about a Quantum Leap.

Science is fun, whether it’s NASA landing on an asteroid, planets aligning to make a Christmas Star, Grogu in space, or a billion other things. So, what exactly happened here? Scientists were able to transfer qubits (units of quantum information) faster than the speed of light over a distance of 27 miles.

The experiment was done using readily available equipment compatible with existing telecommunications infrastructure because the teams involved wanted to lay the groundwork for something that could feasibly work on a large scale. They want a “high-fidelity quantum Internet with practical devices,” according to the paper released on the study.

Basically, quantum communication systems are exciting because they are a ton faster and much more secure than regular networks (computer code can be hacked, versus quantum communication using photons).

It’s easy to see “teleportation” and think we just jumped into a Star Trek episode, where we can beam ourselves to Kroger to get groceries or beam home from the office to skip your commute, but we’re not there (yet!). Still, this news could feasibly change the game someday for how the internet works. And, possibly, much else in our world.

One of the lead scientists told SYFY Wire the breakthrough, and the future of quantum computing could revolutionize a lot more than the internet.

“Fully distributed quantum computing includes applications include GPS, secure computation beyond anything that can be achieved now, all the way to enabling advances in designing new materials and medicine, as well basic science discoveries,” he said. “It will unleash the full power of quantum computing and have a profound impact on our lives.”

Without much to celebrate in 2020, it is cool to see the early steps of something that will affect our future in a big way.

Psychologist Shares World’s Funniest Joke After Surveying Over 1.5 Million People

Science reveals world's funniest joke
(Getty/RgStudio)

There’s nothing we need more right now than a bit of laughter. Whether you tend to favor stand-up comedy or an obscure sitcom, there’s no shortage of things that thoroughly tickle us. We’ve all found ourselves sending hilarious memes to friends before getting the tragic “ha” in response, realizing that although you were doubled over with laughter, your friend didn’t think was funny.

Everyone’s sense of humor differs slightly, and culturally, there are often big differences in what is and isn’t considered funny. Fascinated by the somewhat unpredictable nature of humor, psychologist Dr. Richard Wiseman set out to examine it on a broad scale. In a 2001 study, he conducted through LaughLab, Dr. Wiseman’s experiment collected over 40,000 jokes and 1.5 million votes from around the world – all in an effort to find the world’s funniest joke.

According to The Guardian, the winning joke was submitted by a 31-year-old psychiatrist named Gurpal Gosall.

Are you ready? Alright, prepare the back of your frontal lobes (your brain’s laughter center):

“Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps: ‘My friend is dead! What can I do?’ The operator says: ‘Calm down, I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.’ There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says: ‘OK, now what?’”

Maybe this joke isn’t exactly a fall-on-the-floor, can’t catch your breath kind of zinger. But according to Dr. Wiseman, there’s a reason it struck a chord with people of all ages across all different cultures.

“Many of the jokes submitted received higher ratings from certain groups of people, but this one had real universal appeal,” he explained.

“Also, we find jokes funny for lots of different reasons. They sometimes make us feel superior to others, reduce the emotional impact of anxiety-provoking situations or surprise us because of some kind of incongruity. The hunters joke contained all three elements.”

The study also revealed some key cultural differences when it comes to humor. People from the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia rated jokes with some sort of wordplay higher than others. Americans and Canadians favored jokes that were made at the expense of others, where one person in the joke had a sense of superiority. And oddly enough, Germans found everything really freaking funny.

Fortunately, no matter where you come from or what type of humor you prefer, the internet is an endless abyss of everything you could possibly wish for and more. Even more incredibly, new hilarious content is being made every single day. Whatever your preferred form of humor is, the important thing is to just keep laughing.