For every kid who really wants to know—and for every exasperated parent who simply doesn't know—here is a lively omnium-gatherum of explanations to the most frequently asked questions about our world, from "Why do stars twinkle?" to "What are hiccups? "Taken from Kathy Wollard's popular column, "How Come?" (seen for the past six years in Newsday and recently syndicated nationally through the Los Angeles Times), How Come? explains why cats can survive high falls (because of the way their bodies can act like a "parachute") and how black holes absorb light (intense gravity—if the Earth had the same density as a black hole, it would have to be compressed to the size of a marble!). Now you can know it all.
Where did How Come? come from?
Color and Tricks of Light
Why is the sky blue?
Why do the leaves change color in the fall?
Where do rainbows come from?
Why is the color of a flame usually orange?
Why are some oceans green and others blue?
Why do the Moon and Sun seem to change colors?
Where do stars get their colors?
What is the aurora borealis?
On hot days why do we see an imaginary patch of water on the road ahead?
Why do stars twinkle?
Forces and Particles
Why are bubbles round?
Why do drops of water cling to grass?
How come all the planets are round?
How come stars don't fall?
How do scientists know there are such things as atoms?
How small are air molecules?
If solids, like glass and ice, are made of tightly packed atoms, how can we see through them?
How come some atoms are radioactive?
How can X-rays take pictures of your bones?
How come a boomerang comes back?
What causes static electricity in your hair?
How come if your hands are wet and you touch something electrical, you get a shock?
How do magnet attract?
How come scientists say energy can't be created or destroyed?
How come neon glows?
What is the Doppler effect?
How does a rocket move in space, where there is no air to push against?
Is time travel possible?
What happens to an object when it approaches the speed of light?
The Great Beyond
Why do stars form pictures?
Why are there galaxies and how many are there?
What are some galaxy names?
Why is space black?
What are pulsars?
What is a black hole?
If light has no mass, why can't it escape the gravity of a black hole?
Without stars would there be life?
Do scientists still think the universe started with a big bang?
The Solar System
How did the Sun form? In millions of years, what will happen to it?
How does the Sun keep the planets in orbit?
Does the Sun shine on all nine planets?
Is there another solar system besides ours?
Is Venus similar to Earth?
Why is the planet Mars red?
Why does Jupiter have a red spot?
Why does Saturn have rings around it?
Why does Pluto switch orbits with Neptune?
How come the Earth is tilted?
Where do comets come from?
What are shooting stars?
Why do we have eclipses?
Where did the Moon come from?
Where is the rest of the Moon when only half of it is in the sky?
Why are there craters on the Moon and other planets?
Why is the Moon so far away?
What would happen if a big meteorite hit Earth?
How come the Earth never slows down or stops turning?
Our Home Planet
How can you find the distance around the Earth?
How does the Moon cause tides in the ocean?
Is it true that continents move?
How can scientists determine the age of the Earth?
How can dinosaur bones still be on Earth after over 65 million years?
How come the center of the Earth is so hot?
What is the ozone layer? How does hurting it hurt us?
If oxygen is so important to life, then why is the atmosphere only one-fifth oxygen?
How's the Weather?
Why does rain fall in drops?
What makes hail?
How do snowflakes form?
Why does the wind blow?
Does it rain on other planets?
Where do clouds get electricity to make lightening?
Does ball lightening really exist?
Where do tornadoes come from?
At the Zoo
Why do people say cats have nine lives?
Why do some animals have four legs while others have only two?
How can bats navigate in the dark?
How come the black widow spider eats her mate?
Why do spiders spin webs?
Why do dogs see in black and white?
How come giraffes have long necks?
Is a panda a bear?
How did the zebra get its stripes?
Why do some animals hibernate?
Why does fruit get sweeter as it ripens?
How do fireflies glow?
How do bees make honey?
How come some birds can't fly?
Why do penguins have fur instead of feathers?
How can parrots imitate words?
Why are dinosaurs extinct?
If the first land animals were reptiles, how did mammals come to be?
If humans evolved from apes, why don't apes turn into humans?
Why We Are How We Are
Why does skin come in different colors?
What makes our ears ring?
How come we can hear the sound of the ocean in a seashell?
How do fingernails grow?
Why are people's eyes shaped differently?
How come we have two eyes but see only one of everything?
Why do mosquitoes bite people?
Why do people yawn, and why are yawns contagious?
Why do people get seasick or carsick?
What causes claustrophobia and other phobias?
What causes hiccups?
Why does hair turn gray?
Why do people develop wrinkles?
How do we get skin cancer?
How do tears come out of our eyes when we cry?
Why do people have different types of blood?
Why do we have trouble getting to sleep sometimes?
How and why do we dream?