Scientific Phenomenon: Definition, Explanation & Examples

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  • 0:00 Definition of…
  • 1:05 Explained Scientific Phenomena
  • 1:57 Unexplained Scientific…
  • 2:43 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we will find out what scientists are referring to when they use the term scientific phenomenon. After defining scientific phenomenon, we will look at some examples of explained and unexplained phenomena.

Definition of Scientific Phenomena

Have you ever wondered why you yawn? You aren't the only one. Scientists have been trying to figure out the biological reasons behind this phenomenon for a long time. A phenomenon is an observable thing that happens. Some theories about why we yawn include:

• It helps cool the brain.

• It signals your body to stay awake.

• Yawning provides extra oxygen to the brain.

• Yawning prepares your brain for the fight or flight syndrome.

Here is another one: Why is yawning contagious? Sometimes, just thinking about yawning will make you yawn. Some possible reasons include:

• Contagious yawns demonstrate empathy.

• Contagious yawns provide social bonding.

At this point, there are many things we don't know, but there are scientists and researchers in every field that are looking for solutions. Many people associate scientific phenomena with things that are unexplained, but that is not necessarily the case. Let's look at some other examples of scientific phenomena.

Explained Scientific Phenomena

Contrary to popular belief, scientific phenomena do not have to be particularly incredible or mysterious. If something can be observed through the senses, including seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching, it is a scientific phenomenon.

For example, have you ever wondered, 'What's up with eyebrows?' Doesn't it seem a little bit strange that we all have strips of hair on our face? It turns out that the purpose of the eyebrows is to keep sweat and water from dripping down into your eyes and blocking your vision. The reason this is an example of a scientific phenomenon is that you can see and feel it.

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