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1. Bioluminescent Beach Waters

Making it all the way to the Maldives or another distant locale to see these twinkling waters in person might not be in your travel plans anytime soon (although these tips may make your flight over a bit easier). The glowing, sparkling effect is due to tiny bioluminescent creatures, which emit a blue light when disturbed. The science behind it is fascinating, and the effect is utterly magical and dreamy.

cool kid science, blue diamond, parenting, educationImage by Philip Mostert / Petra Diamonds Limited via AFP – Getty Images

2. A Rare Blue Diamond

Colorless diamonds are the most popular and common, and celebs have helped other hues of the coveted gem such as pink and yellow grow in popularity as well — but this blue diamond is the first we’ve seen. Found in South Africa, it is likely worth between 15 and 20 million dollars (and is about the size of an acorn), but its beauty is truly priceless.

3. Slingshot Spiders

Spiders are pretty awe-inspiring creatures to begin with: they spin their own silky webs, seem to be able to make a home in virtually every possible habitat (except the ocean) and still manage to be beloved creatures in children’s books. This particular family of spiders can launch themselves as well as their webs forward to attack and ensnare their prey. Tell your kids not to worry: not only are these spiders far away in the Peruvian Amazon, they pose no threat to humans.

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4. Huge waves in Hawaii

A trip to Hawaii conjures up images of laying around in leis or hiking to picturesque waterfalls. For the more adventurous, surfing Hawaii’s fabled waves is their reason for visiting the islands. Daredevils got their day last week when swells reached upwards of 50 feet due to a low-pressure system. These waves, which were among the biggest in a decade, were obviously dangerous yet magnificent at the same time.

5. A Black Hole Eats a Gas Cloud

I’d be lying if I said I finished A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking, but learning more about outer space has a massive, enigmatic appeal. While few of us can grasp the immensity of the solar system, this simulation of a gas cloud being gobbled up over a period of years by a black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy is a fun way to show kids how scientists make predictions (right and wrong) about what happens in outer space. Stay tuned to see what actually happens.

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Photo via Flickr

6. The Polar Vortex

The weather lately has been truly astounding and downright freezing! It also has made for some beautiful images of our country in all its chilly glory. This satellite image shows the immense magnitude of the winter storm as it blankets the earth in a shroud of snowy white. Here are a few more astonishing images of Chicago which show the astonishing effects of the Polar Vortex.