State of Matter: 20 Sciencey Facts About Gases & Their Cool Properties

11Mustard gas

Mustard gas led to chemotherapy. During a World War 2 air raid, German pilots hit an American ship which had a secret stockpile of mustard gas. Doctors noticed that the gas suppressed cell division, which could fight cancer.

12Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, was first used as a recreational party drug by Britain's wealthy class in the 1700s before it was ever utilized for medical reasons.


There is a gas named Diazomethane that is so volatile that it can explode if it comes in contact with sharp edges.


Due to the exceptionally large amount of ethylene given off by a ripening banana, a banana put into a closed container with green tomatoes will turn them red overnight.

15Sulfur hexafluoride

There is a gas called sulfur hexafluoride that produces the opposite effect of helium by drastically deepening your voice when inhaled.

16Nitrogen trifluoride

Nitrogen trifluoride is a greenhouse gas not regulated by the Kyoto Protocol, but has a global warming potential 17,200 times greater than carbon dioxide. It is released during the manufacturing of flat-panel screens.

17Hydrogen sulfide

Hydrogen sulfide, the gas that gives flatulence its repulsive smell, can help reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer and help stave off dementia.

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18Sulfur dioxide

Sulfur dioxide (the primary component of acid rain) released from coal-fired power plants is being used to make synthetic gypsum and can be found in 30% of drywall produced today.


Over 50% of the Nitrogen in our bodies originated from the Haber Process, which was invented in the early 1900s to synthetically create ammonia fertilizer from atmospheric Nitrogen and allowed the global population to grow from 1.6 to 7 billion people.


90%-95% of the methane released by cows comes out of their mouths, while only 5%-10% is released in the form of manure and flatulence.


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