Wonder + Wildness

Chasing wonder on a science guided journey through the natural world in search of meaning, connections, and the courage to hope

What is Motion?

This is the first in what will be a very long series diving deeper into the basic physics and chemistry of the universe which pop up time and time again when talking about animals, biology, and ecosystems. It’s science made simple. Why? Because we’re all science people!


Even at your stillest, you are in motion. Your heart is beating, and your blood is pumping. Your eardrum is dampening sounds from your surroundings before transferring the signal to your ear bones, your cochlea, and then to your brain. Your tongue never really stops moving, and now your eyes are probably moving down and to the right as you try and feel if your tongue is moving!

Have pets? They move. Trees? Those too. Mushrooms, insects, sponges, snails, water, magma, wind, rocks, atoms, quarks, quasars, everything. All of it.

THE WHOLE UNIVERSE IS IN MOTION!

It’s a basic fact, a constant, existence, and of life.

You don’t have to actually see something actively moving to know that it did. If you see a sunflower closed in the morning and later see it open, guess what? It moved. Your cat in different spots every time you enter the room, trying to stay in the sun but it can’t because the earth itself is moving! 

First random fun fact: did you know house cats spend 15-20 hours of the day sleeping? That adds up to about ⅔ of their lives. If you have a cat, and they are awake, pick it up and give it a hug. Hugs should fill the other ⅓ of their lives.

The thing about motion is that our very perception of it depends on our perception of other things. It’s one of those things, these invisible, ethereal threads that unite all of us, all of life, all of everything. 

If you were floating in a white room with no shadows, how would you know you were moving…or if you even were? The very basic concept behind motion is dependent on having a reference point, something you can look at and compare your position to.

Let’s say you’re floating in a boat on a lake. You look to the shore and see that you are straight across from a dock. You close your eyes to soak up the sun and when you open them again you see that the dock is now farther away.

The dock is your reference point. You know you’re in motion because your position compared to the dock has changed.

THAT’S MOTION!

One response to “What is Motion?”

  1. […] key part to understanding motion is being able to describe […]

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