12 Of The Saddest Science Facts Of All Time

It's lonely spacecraft and abandoned animals all the way down. I'm so sorry.

1. On its first birthday on Mars, the Curiosity rover was programmed to play "Happy Birthday" to itself.

As if being alone on a cold, faraway planet wasn't bad enough.

2. Mars is populated entirely with robots, but they'll never meet each other.

3. There's a whale called 52 Blue that might be the only one of its kind. It travels alone, singing at a different frequency to other whales.

It is perhaps difficult to accept that if this was a whale, that there could have been only one of this kind in this large oceanic expanse, yet in spite of comprehensive, careful monitoring year-round, only one call with these characteristics has been found anywhere, and there has been only one source each season.

(Although this story may have a happier ending – some scientists now believe they've picked up similar signals, meaning the whale might not be alone after all.)

4. Pluto didn't get to make one whole orbit of the sun in the time between its discovery and demotion.

5. New Horizons spent nine years travelling to Pluto but only 22 hours collecting data from the dwarf planet.

"Omg hiiii!!!" "Oh ok bye then. :("

6. Scientists accidentally killed the world's oldest known animal when they (also accidentally) discovered it in 2006.

7. The two Voyager spacecraft are the farthest human-made objects from Earth, but they're travelling in different directions.

8. Voyager 1 won't reach another star system for 40,000 years, and even then it'll be over a light year away from the star.

9. A spacecraft that launched in the '70s was still transmitting a signal to Earth in 2008, but nobody had been listening for nine years.

10. Cuckoos trick other birds into raising their young by laying eggs in their nests. The baby cuckoo grows faster than the others and can force the smallest chicks out.

11. Grizzly bears have been known to abandon single cubs so they can try for a bigger litter the next year.

12. Pandas often have twins, but usually the mother can only manage to care for one, so the other is abandoned.


Topics in this article

Skip to footer