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Explainers

Relaxed woman reading newspaper while floating in Dead Sea water.

Why don’t you sink in the Dead Sea?

explainers

Ask people what they know about the Dead Sea and most will tell you that it’s impossible to sink when you’re swimming in it, but not everyone knows why. Kids News did some research

Light bulb with brain inside the hands of the businessman.

How your brain plays tricks on you

just for fun

Optical illusions show us that a picture or an object in front of our eyes is only part of what we “see”. Our brain makes up the rest. Test yourself on these cool illusions to find out for yourself

What it takes to become an astronaut

space

The SpaceX launch of two NASA astronauts is getting a lot of people excited about space travel. But becoming an astronaut requires much more than just enthusiasm. Here’s how to succeed

Latest

Why are there big protests around the world?

civics

Protests — some peaceful and some violent — continue across the US and elsewhere around the world over police treatment of black people. Kids News explains why people are protesting

Caring for the billions of microbes in your mouth

Museum sugar drink ban
health

Donations of spit from about 1500 people are helping scientists understand how the billions of microbes in our mouths work to keep us healthy and what you can do to keep them healthy too

What makes eyes different colours?

explainers

Do you have brown eyes? If that’s a yes, you’re in the majority. In fact, it’s thought that 10,000 years ago, every human had brown eyes. Kids News researched the science of eye colour

Coronavirus restrictions to ease across Australia

School Drop Off
news

A visit with grandma and grandpa, a return to school or a kick of the footy with friends? What do the easing of coronavirus lockdown rules mean for you?

Astronomers find closest black hole to Earth

space

Two stars dancing in the night sky and visible without a telescope have led astronomers to find a black hole so close to Earth it’s “just around the corner” in space terms

How the tradition of Mother’s Day was born

explainers

Celebrating mothers on a special day of the year isn’t a modern idea. Kids News researched the history of honouring and thanking mothers across Australia and around the world

Dolphins dance through glowing algal bloom

Glowing dolphins swim through algae
science

A pod of dolphins has been filmed dancing and surfing through waves full of bioluminescent plankton. Kids News looks at the science behind the living things that glow

Exploring the 250th anniversary of Cook’s arrival

this
 ESCAPE HAWAII PHILIP HEADS STORY
 Sailing ship HM Bark Endeavour replica of the HMS Endeavour which carried Captain James Cook on his South Pacific expedition at anchor in Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii, USA 30 Oct 1999. 
 /Sailing/ships Picture: Ap
history

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s arrival at Botany Bay. We explore why Cook came to Australia and why some celebrate and some lament this day

Anzac Day explainer: the dawn of the legend

Digger Vince O'Sullivan will commemorate Anzac Day from his driveway
history

Each year on April 25 we commemorate Anzac Day. Kids News explains how the day began, what it means, how it is observed and how this year’s Anzac Day will be different

Easter eggs, bunnies and traditions around the world

TAS_MER_NEWS_EGGHUNT_18APR19
explainers

For many, Easter means chocolate eggs, bunnies, hot cross buns and church services. Kids News researched why we celebrate Easter, when it will be and how common traditions began

Why do grey seals clap like humans?

Wild grey seal. Picture: Ben Burville
animals

Amazing video captured by a marine biologist after 17 years of waiting shows breeding grey seals clapping at each other underwater to warn off competitors and attract mates

Exploring the lost city of Pompeii

history

On April 1, 1748, a Spanish engineer rediscovered Pompeii, changing the way we thought about historical artefacts and beginning the longest archaeological dig in the world

Why do we pull pranks on April Fools’ Day?

April 1 is April Fools' Day.
explainers

Watch out … today is April Fools’ Day and it’s the day for playing pranks on unsuspecting people. We look at why we celebrate on April 1 and some of today's best jokes

What and where is the equator?

explainers

Parachutists have set a world record for crossing the equator 12 times in a single jump, which got us wondering what the equator is, where it is and why do they launch space rockets there?

Big COVID-19 questions and simple answers

explainers

Using World Health Organisation information, we answer important questions about COVID-19, such as: "What is a virus?"  and "Why are there new rules for everyday life?"

Hand washing: How does soap work?

Washing hands - Coronavirus
explainers

As people around the world work to slow the spread of the virus called COVID-19, everyone is telling us to wash our hands with soap. Kids News explains how soap works

It’s not all bad news; there is good news too

Two little girls in pink running toward their mom
humanities

Australian Childhood Foundation’s Dr Joe Tucci has a positive message for children about worry and bad news, and a reminder that there is still a lot of good news around if we look for it

Komodo dragon mum has three sons, solo

The Komodo dragon
animals

A female komodo dragon has produced three baby dragons without a male mate through a rare process called parthenogenesis

WHO officially declares COVID-19 coronavirus a pandemic

health

As WHO officially declares the global coronavirus crisis a pandemic, PM Scott Morrison announces a $2.4 billion package for Australia’s health system to help it respond to the crisis

Why do leaves change colour and fall in autumn?

Autumn leaves
explainers

The leaves on deciduous trees turn forests, parks and gardens a rainbow of yellows, oranges, reds and browns. Why do leaves change colour? And why do the trees let them fall?

What is a leap year? Why is there one this year?

Girl watching the stars. Stars are digital illustration.
explainers

There is a February 29 on this year’s calendar. We explain why and what it has to do with the Sun, the Earth and a calendar created way back in 1582

We’re flipping out over Pancake Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday Pancake preview
explainers

Australians are becoming world leaders at cooking and eating pancakes on Pancake Tuesday, a fun food day that has its origins as a religious festival

Why do we cry and what are tears?

explainers

Crocodile tears are real – though humans are the only animals that cry emotional tears – and babies don’t cry tears at all. Kids News explains tears and crying

Sad love story behind Valentine’s Day

history

There are several stories about who Valentine was, but the most popular one is that he was a doctor and priest from Rome in the third century who lived and died in the pursuit of love

Hero nippers save tourists from dangerous rip

Glenelg SLSC nippers Angus Ganley, 11, Astin Rouvray, 11, Charlie Crowe, 11 and Lachlan Larven, 12, helped save two tourists from drowning off Glenelg beach. Picture: AAP/ Keryn Stevens
humanities

Young nippers have been hailed as heroes after spotting two tourists caught in a dangerous rip and immediately jumping into the ocean to save them

Being kind online for Safer Internet Day

Mother with slightly concerned look on her face watching boys using the internet on a phone
safe kids

How can kids be safe and kind online? Treat others and look after yourself online just as you would in real life, says KidsHelpline counsellor Hannah

Impeachment: Trump not guilty on both charges

civics

US President Donald Trump has been acquitted of the charges of abusing his power and obstructing Congress, paving the way for his campaign for re-election

Keeping drinking water safe after fires

environment

Water experts are preparing to keep Australia’s drinking water clean after bushfires, including installing huge fabric curtains across Sydney’s main dam

Celebrating once-in-a-lifetime palindrome day

Baby Alex born 02/02/202
mathematics

When the calendar clicked over to 02/02/2020 on Sunday, few people realised it was a universal palindrome, a momentous date that hasn’t happened since 11/11/1111

WHO names coronavirus COVID-19

Airport
health

The World Health Organisation now officially has a name for the coronavirus that has infected more than 40,000 people around the world 

Lunch box sweet treats too salty

health

Kids and parents planning back-to-school lunches are warned to avoid unhealthy salty treats that contain almost the entire day’s salt allowance recommended for a child

Volunteers rescue stranded baby minke whale

Undated. Minke whale. Whales.
animals

A baby minke whale beached in South Australia has been saved by volunteers and rangers. Kids News investigates what is known about why whales become stranded on beaches

Woman trapped in mountain of ‘cornflake’ algae

weather

Seaweed piled high on Queensland beaches has trapped at least one runner, who had to be rescued from the algae. While seaweed is not unusual, people have never seen so much at once

Energy drinks robbing teens of sleep

Energy Drinks Case Study
health

Energy drinks loaded with caffeine are depriving Aussie teens of sleep, a major new survey shows. Experts want advertising of the drinks banned on public transport

National gun amnesty to keep us safe

civics

Australian firearm owners will be able to hand in guns with no questions asked next year as part of a national gun amnesty designed to keep us safe and weapons away from criminals

Get ready for a jellyfish boom!

A sea nettle jellyfish. Picture: Sea Life
animals

Jellyfish populations are booming and blooming all over the world. We asked a jellyfish expert to share 10 fascinating facts to know before you head to the beach or aquarium this summer

Bushfires: Sydney’s hazardous air quality

Smokey Sydney
health

As people in Sydney are being warned to stay inside due to “hazardous” air quality from bushfire smoke blanketing the city, we look at why it’s bad for your health to breathe in smoke

Love animals? Here’s what a zookeeper does in a day

Danielle Ridgway checking a parrot at the zoo.
explainers

Danielle Ridgway has only been a zookeeper for just over a year but she has already coached a lazy, cheating cheetah to sprint and worked towards saving critically endangered native species

Media unites in fight against secrecy

civics

Australia’s major media organisations have taken the unprecedented step of uniting to fight for press freedoms and the public’s right to know what’s going on in this country

The mystery of the human belly button

explainers

There are more than 7.7 billion human belly buttons on Earth, yet few of us know much at all about this funny-looking squiggle on the middle of our middle. Kids News explains belly buttons

How long do Aussie banknotes last?

Cost of Electricity
money

What is the lifespan of Australian banknotes? Like most things, our polymer money has a use-by date and the answers for how long each note lasts might surprise you

Magical moonbows explained

A moonbow over Mt Gambier airport
weather

A rare moonbow has appeared in the South Australian sky in the middle of the night and been caught on camera. We look at how they form and why seeing one is very special

Inside the eye of Hurricane Dorian

weather

‘Hurricane Hunters’ have taken an incredible photo from inside the eye of Dorian, which has hit the Bahamas and is now heading for the US, where people are doing their best to prepare

Amazon fires: Who will help save the rainforest?

environment

Some world leaders have agreed to help fight fires in the Amazon and try to repair the damage once the fires are out. We look at why the so-called ‘lungs of the world’ is so important

Concussion: what is it and how does it happen?

England v Australia - 2nd Specsavers Ashes Test: Day Four
explainers

As cricketer Steve Smith recovers from a hit to the neck, we look at what concussion is, how it happens and how to stay safe in light of new research about kids, concussion and sport

Homeless Australians out in the cold need our help

Kids sleep out
humanities

On any night across the country, one in every 200 people is homeless despite the hard work of many community organisations. We look at what homelessness means and what you can do to help

Brush more and eat less sugar for healthier teeth

QLD_CM_NEWS_FLUORIDE WATER_07MAR19
health

It’s Dental Health Week in Australia, but recent research shows too many children’s teeth are decayed and we need to take better care of our dental health all year. Here’s how

Michael celebrates birthday with the gift of life

Liver transplant boy turns one
explainers

As Australians are asked to talk about organ donation during Donate Life week, we meet tiny Michael Theobald who celebrated his first birthday with the gift of life after a liver transplant

Why Mack’s small gesture had a giant impact

news

In our new weekly series, award-winning cartoonist Mark Knight explains the message he was giving readers when drawing Aussie swimmer Mack Horton refusing to stand on the winners’ podium

Celebrating World Emoji Day with Tears of Joy

just for fun

World Emoji Day on July 17 is a fun, annual celebration of one of the world’s newest ways of communicating. We look at what emojis are, who invented them and if they are a real language

What is ear wax and how big can it grow?

Young having his ears checked
explainers

A revolting ear wax chunk so big it made international news got us wondering what ear wax is, what it’s for and whether we should clean it out, eat it or leave the inside of our ears alone

Freak summer hailstorm buries city in ice

After hot days, the icy storm provided a few hours of fun. Picture: AFP
weather

After several warm days with temperatures above 30C, residents of this Mexican city woke up to a winter wonderland and then set about trying to find their cars under all that ice

Massive Indonesian earthquake rocks Darwin

science

A 7.2-magnitude Indonesian earthquake — the largest in a decade — has rocked Darwin and forced residents to flee office buildings and hospitals

All you need to know about hair

Two smiling chimpanzees sitting on a tree with arms crossed
explainers

The longest arm hair ever recorded was 21.7cm, but that’s not the norm. Though human head hair keeps growing, human body hair doesn’t. We look at how and why there’s a difference

How to become your own snot detective

explainers

Winter is here and that means a lot of noticeable snot being sneezed, blown and dripped from noses all around us. We look at what snot is and what it can tell us about our health

The moon, its history, and impact on our lives

moon landing

The moon is our nearest neighbour in space. We look at its birth, its surface, its history, its eight phases and how it has helped keep our daily lives on track since ancient times

Where is Migaloo, the famous white whale?

animals

As whale watching season begins in Australia, everyone is on the lookout for a very special white humpback whale who has been cruising the east coast every year for up to 30 years

How and why do onions make us cry?

explainers

There are thousands of so-called solutions for crying over onions, from wearing goggles to sucking a spoon. Do any work? How and why do onions make us teary?

What happens on election day and why?

Penrith Polling
civics

On May 18 more than 16 million Australians will vote in the 2019 federal election. We’ve compiled the answers to 10 of the most common questions about what happens and why

What causes hail and is it dangerous?

MUST CREDIT: Sandy Robinson Cricket ball-sized hail fell at Athol, near Toowoomba, this afternoon about 2.38pm. The storm lasted about 20-30 minutes.
explainers

After a freak hailstorm turned a sandy beach into a sea of white, we look at what causes hail and if it’s dangerous for humans to get caught in it

Costa’s historic Archibald Prize win

Supplied Editorial 2019 Archibald Prize winner Tony Costa's portrait of Lindy Lee. Photo: AGNSW
arts

Tony Costa has taken out the 2019 Archibald Prize with the art exhibition’s first winning portrait to feature an Asian-Australian subject

What is cryptocurrency and how does it work?

Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin Litecoin Ethereum
money

Bitcoin, Litecoin and Etherium are three examples of cryptocurrencies being used to buy goods online. We explain what cryptocurrency is, how it works and if it is here to stay

Leonardo da Vinci’s greatest hits

Supplied Editorial
history

Five centuries since he lived, people still can’t believe how smart inventor, artist, scientist, mathematician, thinker and tech whiz Leonardo da Vinci was

Kids News explainer: What is drought?

Dust storm in Junee NSW 5th of March 2019 Must credit @thepastyfarmer permission for use given. from source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BunkgrGA3bZ/
explainers

May is likely to be drier than average for most of eastern Australia, which is bad news for the large parts of the country in drought

Why does lightning strike the same place twice?

Bright lightning illuminates dark cloudy sky during a thunderstorm. Natural dangers and majestic beauty. Real cloudscape with computer generated lightning. Copy space on image side.
explainers

Using a special telescope invented by an Australian, scientists have looked inside thunderclouds to understand how and why lightning often strikes a place twice

Beware of wild mushrooms

NEWS: Toadstools
health

Autumn weather means more mushrooms and other fungi growing in the wild, but as it’s almost impossible to tell which ones are deadly, avoid them all to stay safe

The World Wide Web turns 30

30 years since the world wide web. Tim Berners-Lee
technology

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the internet, celebrates and reflects on the achievements and challenges for the future, 30 years on from the internet’s beginnings

Why do we need sleep?

happy kid girl waking up in the morning in her bedroom with dog in bed
explainers

Scientists know that we need sleep to survive but until now they didn’t know why. New research suggests it’s all to do with keeping up essential repairs

Scientists discover why zebras have stripes

RACING STRIPES
animals

It’s a question everyone asks — why do zebras have black-and-white stripes? Now scientists have found the answer and it’s all about blood-sucking insects and protection from diseases

What is International Mother Language Day?

Anti violence march
explainers

Every two weeks a language becomes extinct. To try to preserve indigenous languages, the United Nations observes International Mother Language Day every year on February 21

Why is our blood red?

hand in protective glove holding a blood sample
explainers

Ever wondered why blood is always red? Kids News explains why this important liquid pumping through humans is always red but why, through white skin, it sometimes looks blue

Collision creates supermassive black hole

A supplied undated artist's impression obtained Monday, December 3, 2018 of the biggest known black-hole collision. An international team, including Australian scientists, have discovered wrinkles in space and time, known as gravitational waves, from the biggest known collision of binary black holes that has formed a new black-hole about 80 times larger than the sun. (AAP Image/Supplied by the Australian National University, SXS) NO ARCHIVING
space

Scientists have detected the biggest known collision between black holes, creating a new, supermassive black hole. We look at what a black hole is, how they are made and if Earth is in danger

Now is the time to learn about fire safety

Coolum Fire Day 2
safe kids

More than 130 dangerous bushfires are burning across Queensland, reminding everyone of the importance of knowing how to call for help and stay safe in case of fire

What is at the centre of the Earth?

*** Online Use Only / No Sales *** Cut-away diagram of the Earth's core. Stock File Artwork of the Earth's Core, Planet Earth. Picture: Getty Images *** Online Use Only / No Sales ***
explainers

We know if we dig a hole we won’t fall through to the other side of the world. Why? We explain what is deep, deep down below the ground and how that causes earthquakes and volcanoes

Why is the sky blue?

Ayers Rock under a blue sky Uluru National Park, Australia.
explainers

Lots of us think the sky is blue because it’s a reflection of the ocean or moisture in the air, but it’s not. Next time someone asks, you’ll be able to give the right answer

How Aussie coins are made

Inside The Vault by Peter Rees : Horst Hahne's palster cast for the $2 coin . The Royal Australian Mint Collection : Photo by Steve Keough.
money

Australian circulating coins are made at the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra. It takes much longer to make a coin than it does to spend one. PLUS: Check out our Money page

How does the Australian dollar get its value?

Australian one dollar coin over blurred golden background.
money

The value of the Australian dollar goes up and down on a daily basis. We look at the reasons why and how it affects what you buy

What is a hiccup?

Closeup portrait unsure hesitant anxious woman biting her fingernails isolated on gray wall background. Negative human emotions feeling
explainers

Hiccups happen to us all, causing no more than perhaps a few minutes’ embarrassment. But what are they? And can you “cure” yourself? Kids News explains

Why do volcanoes take so long to erupt?

Mount Agung volcano spews steam and smoke into the air as seen from Bangli on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on October 23, 2017. Thousands of residents who fled a rumbling volcano on the island of Bali are refusing to leave evacuation centres after being told to return to their homes outside of the immediate danger zone. / AFP PHOTO / AGUS RANU
explainers

Bali’s Mount Agung volcano finally erupted this week after months of rumbles. We look at why it takes so long for some volcanoes to erupt