Humans

This Professor Is Teaching Math Through Knitting. Here’s Why It’s So Important

One snowy January day, I asked a classroom of college students to tell me the first word that came to mind when they thought about mathematics. The top two words were “calculation” and “equation.”   When I asked a room of professional mathematicians the same question, neither of those words were mentioned; instead, they offered phrases like “critical thinking” and …


Humans

There’s a Yellowstone Region Called The ‘Zone of Death’ Because of a Creepy Legal Loophole

You probably know that, for the most part, Yellowstone National Park is located in Wyoming. But there’s a small sliver of the park that crosses the border into Idaho, and that tiny, 130-square-km (50-square-mile) patch is known as the Zone of Death.    Why? Well, thanks to a loophole in the US Constitution, you could technically get away with murder there. As …


Oh No, Now People Want to Drink The Juice From Inside That Mysterious Black Sarcophagus

After days of intense and viral speculation, archaeologists in Egypt this week finally opened up that mysterious, 2,000-year-old giant black sarcophagus. So far, no curse has been unleashed (that we know of), but the team did discover something slightly gruesome inside – three skeletons, most likely soldiers, decaying in a pool of dark red, murky sewage water.   Of course, …

The FDA May Have a Problem With Milk Substitutes. Would You Drink ‘Nut Juice’ Instead?

All those liquids made out of soy, almond, rice, coconut or oats won’t be called milk anymore, if the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its way. According to the government body’s definition, the word “milk” only refers to lactate from an animal, preferably a cow. And whatever was squeezed out of that soybean is not it.   The …

Neanderthals May Have Used Their Stone Tools to Start Fires

Tens of thousands of years before Swiss inventor Karl Elsener attached a corkscrew to a pocketknife, Neanderthals had their own multipurpose tools: hand axes. These four- or five-inch (10 -13 centimetre) stones were cut into large teardrop shapes, with wide bases that tapered to twin cutting edges. Neanderthals used hand axes to chop and carve wood, butcher meat, scrape hides …

Your Earliest Memories Might Never Have Actually Happened

In one of the largest studies of its kind, scientists have made a fascinating discovery. Nearly 40 percent of people have a first memory that is entirely fictional. It’s not that their memories are muddled and out of sequence – but that they never happened at all.   Researchers surveyed 6,641 people about the earliest memories they had, and what …

80,000 Angry Bees Attacked a Woman For Trying to Get to Her Car in California

The 10:23 am emergency call to the 23000 block of Buckland Lane was dispatched as a reported bee sting. Responding firefighters quickly discovered how big of an understatement that was.   When their truck pulled up to the home in Lake Forest, California, they saw a cleaning lady being attacked by a swarm of some 80,000 bees. The woman – …

150,000 Stone Tools Found in North America Add More Evidence That We’re Wrong About The First Settlers

Until recently, if you asked most experts when the first human beings arrived and settled in North America, you’d get an answer along the lines of 13,500 years ago. But over the last few years, evidence has been mounting that humans arrived at the continent earlier. And now a massive discovery of hundreds of thousands of stone tools suggest we …

Scientists Have Discovered The Earliest Evidence of Bread, And It’s Much Older Than We Expected

Historians and archaeologists have traditionally linked bread to the dawn of agriculture, when people domesticated plants such as wheat, cultivated them and ground them into flour.   But a new discovery of blackened crumbs at an ancient stone building in the Middle East indicates that people were baking bread thousands of years earlier. Based on the radiocarbon dates of charred …

Archaeologists Have Uncovered a Place Where The Ancient Egyptians Mummifed Their Dead

An entire previously unknown burial complex has been uncovered in the Egyptian desert necropolis of Saqqara. The finds centre on a mummification workshop, where priests prepared the bodies of the deceased for burial – a burial shaft in its middle tunnelled up to 30 metres (98 feet) underground.   Down this shaft, archaeologists found a number of burial chambers, with …

We May Have Been Wrong About The Inner Workings of The Minds of Narcissists

Narcissists aren’t hard to spot. You can tell them from the way they act, how they’re raised, or where they live. Even, apparently, their eyebrows. But where does this grandiose sense of self-importance and entitlement actually come from? A new study from psychologists in Germany suggests the answers might not be as simple as what some think.   One common …

The Blood Stains on The Shroud of Turin Seem Totally Fake, Study Claims

A blood pattern analysis of the Shroud of Turin has revealed that there’s just absolutely no way the stains could have been made by a body laying flat on the fabric. A pair of researchers have found that the blood-like splotches on the linen cloth are inconsistent with each other – some can only have occurred by a person standing …

An Empty Ship Has Washed Up in Japan, And It Could Be Another North Korean ‘Ghost Ship’

An empty, overturned wooden boat has been found drifting off Japan’s western coast, and it could mark the start of another flood of “ghost ships” from North Korea to wash up on Japan’s shores.   The vessel, measuring 8-meters (26-feet) long, was found floating in a rocky area off the island of Hokkaido on Wednesday afternoon, Japan’s Sankei Shimbun reported. …

An Air China Pilot Accidentally Cut Off Oxygen to Passengers While Trying to Hide His Vaping

A vaping pilot on board an Air China Boeing 737 is believed to have caused his plane to make an emergency descent in search of breathable air on Tuesday. The BBC, citing Chinese investigators, reported that the first officer of Air China Flight CA106 accidentally shut off the plane’s air conditioning system – causing insufficient oxygen levels in the cabin. …

Not All Peer Reviewed Science Is The Same. Here’s How to Tell What to Trust

The words “published in a peer reviewed journal” are sometimes considered as the gold standard in science. But any professional scientist will tell you that the fact an article has undergone peer review is a long way from an ironclad guarantee of quality. To know what science you should really trust you need to weigh the subtle indicators that scientists …

Of Course We Should Open That Mysterious Egyptian Sarcophagus, Why on Earth Not?

An Egyptian archaeological mission found an enormous sarcophagus – the largest ever to be found in Alexandria – made from a striking black marble. It’s been closed for 2,000 years, according to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities, and no one knows who’s inside.   “Experts have not yet determined to whom the tomb belongs,” Mostafa Waziri, the General Secretary of Egypt’s …

Falling in Love Changes Your Body And Brain

Have you ever looked at your partner lovingly and felt your heart flutter, palms sweat, or mood instantly get better? That’s because falling in love actually changes what happens in your body – for the better.   When in love, neurochemicals like dopamine and oxytocin flood our brains in areas associated with pleasure and rewards, producing physical and psychological responses …

Our Love of a Food Found Inside Bones Helped Evolve Human Hands

Of all the animals, humans have evolved pretty spectacular hands. Our particular manual configuration is unique in the animal kingdom, which means we were probably doing something differently from our primate cousins.   Now anthropologists think they have figured out a previously overlooked activity: cracking open bones to get to the rich, fatty, calorie-dense marrow inside. Compared to primate hands, …

The Story of Human Origins in Africa Is Changing in a Way We Never Expected

The t-shirt representation of human evolution as a sequence of hunched primates standing tall is a popular cliché. Of course, deep down we know it has to be more complicated. New research argues we seriously don’t know the half of it – the journey of humanity is far more diverse than we ever imagined.   Scientists representing a variety of …

This Ancient Tablet Could Be a Lost Copy of The Odyssey, One of The Oldest Ever Found

Experts think they might have found the oldest-ever Greek copy of The Odyssey, the epic poem by Homer which is widely regarded as one of the most significant works of literature ever put down on paper… or rather clay.   An ancient slab of stone thought to date back to the 3rd century CE looks to contain 13 verses of …

Borrowing Einstein’s Body Can Actually Change The Way You Think, Study Shows

Not many of us can lay claim to being Nobel-Prize-winning theoretical physicists, but even if we’re not Albert Einstein, we can still visualise ourselves in the great scientist’s shoes.   If we can do that, surprising things might happen. A new study by scientists in Spain showed that when people assumed Einstein’s physical identity as part of a virtual reality …

500 Internal Server Error

500 Internal Server Error The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request. Please contact the server administrator at [email protected] to inform them of the time this error occurred, and the actions you performed just before this error. More information about this error may be available in the server error log. Additionally, a 500 …

A Massive, Black Sarcophagus Has Been Unearthed in Egypt, And Nobody Knows Who’s Inside

Archaeological digs around ancient Egyptian sites still have plenty of secrets to give up yet – like the huge, black granite sarcophagus just discovered at an excavation in the city of Alexandria, on the northern coast of Egypt.   What really stands out about the solemn-looking coffin is its size. At 185 cm (72.8 inches) tall, 265 cm (104.3 inches) …

8,000-Year-Old Remains Tell a Surprising Story About The Ancestry of Southeast Asia

They were called the Hòabìnhian: an ancient society of hunter-gatherers who populated Southeast Asia for some 40,000 years, until the dawn of agriculture around four millennia ago.   When the farms came, the age-old ways of these prehistoric foragers disappeared into history, but it’s never been settled how their time on Earth drew to a close. Did the indigenous Hòabìnhian …

8 Boys Are Now Rescued From The Thai Cave. Here’s What It’s Like For The Divers

Some divers rescuing the boys trapped in a cave in northern Thailand have traversed about 10 miles (16 km) over the past two days. The second shift of the rescue effort to evacuate the trapped soccer team saw a team of 18 Thai and international divers guide four boys about 2 1/2 miles (4 kilometres) to the cave’s entrance using a …

Here’s How Divers Rescued The First 4 Boys From The Cave in Thailand

The first four boys who were trapped in the cave in Thailand have been rescued and are in “perfect” health. The boys had to travel about 2.5 miles (4 kilometres) with oxygen tanks, tethered to cave divers to exit. About 0.6 miles (1 kilometre) of the journey was underwater, where everyone had to wear full face masks.   Reports emerged …

The Rescue Mission Is Underway For The Soccer Team Trapped in a Cave. Here’s The Plan

Authorities on Sunday began the lengthy process of extracting a group of boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in northern Thailand, racing against impending rains to free them more than two weeks after the group was trapped there.   The boys and the coach will dive out of the cave one at a time, each accompanied by …

Even Just Thinking About Stress Is Enough to Override Your Brain And Burn Out Your Memory

Starting your morning by focusing on the stress to come may harm your mindset throughout the day, according to a new study. The researchers found that when participants woke up feeling like the day ahead would be stressful, their working memory—which helps people learn and retain information even when they’re distracted—was lower later in the day.   Anticipating something stressful …

A Dropped Tuberculosis Sample Caused an Evacuation at a Major Hospital

It was one heck of a Thursday for the John Hopkins Hospital researchers in Baltimore, Maryland, after a tuberculosis (TB) scare evacuated multiple buildings. At around 12 pm, a vial of frozen Mycobacterium tuberculosis was dropped onto the floor in an internal bridge that connects the hospital’s Cancer Research Building 1 to Cancer Research Building 2.   When the vial …

Here’s Why Older People Can Seem More Racist

It’s become something of a national meme in the UK that 97-year-old Prince Philip might say something culturally insensitive when he’s out in public. Similarly, people may find their grandparents say more unpalatable things as they get older.   These remarks are brushed off because older people “are from a different time,” and “it’s a different world to the one …

Quit Trying to ‘Find Your Passion’, Psychologists Say, And Do This Instead

Find your passion, they say. As if it were easy. As if, just by looking around the place, you might stumble into what you love – a glimmering spark hidden, just out of sight, until that very moment.   It doesn’t work that way, psychologists say in a new paper examining the basis of people’s interests. And while people might …

We Just Got More Evidence Open Plan Offices Suck, According to Science

For the first time, scientists have measured what actually happens with face-to-face interactions when employees start to work at an open-plan office – and their results show these modern workspaces are not as collaborative as you’d think.   Two researchers from Harvard Business School and Harvard University wanted to empirically test whether removing walls at a real-world workplace really does …

Salt Makes Your Fireworks Yellow, And Other Strange Chemicals That Light Up The 4th of July Sky

It may be Independence Day, but there’s nothing revolutionary about the way your 4th of July fireworks are made. Fireworks have been built from a mix of explosive powder, chemicals, and glue for ages. The earliest fireworks shows date back more than a thousand years.   But not all fireworks are built the same. You can’t get a bright red …

A Woman Declared Dead Was Put in a Morgue Freezer

Three passengers had been thrown from the car and lay immobile in the middle of the road, almost impossible to spot in the hours before dawn. A fourth crash victim was conscious and walking around the battered vehicle, which had come to a stop in the middle of the road from Johannesburg to Carletonville early June 24.   But tending …

Children Today Are Getting Surprising Results in This Decades-Old Psychological Test

You are in a room. There is a marshmallow in front of you. An adult says if you don’t eat it, there’ll be more. The adult leaves. What do you do? This torturous predicament is the famous marshmallow test: an experiment designed by psychologists in the 1960s to gauge how successfully children can control their impulses and delay gratification – …

Watch This Mind-Blowing Firework Ladder Build Itself to Touch The Sky

If you’re looking for inspiration for your Fourth of July party, look no further than this incredible firework ladder that blazes its way into the sky. This fiery art installation was created by renowned Chinese-born artist Cai Guo-Qiang in June 2015 and, as you can see, it’s pretty damn breathtaking.   It begins like a pretty standard fireworks show but …

Some 35,000 Science Papers Could Have Doctored Images And Need to Be Retracted

A picture is worth a thousand words. Unfortunately, those words sometimes speak lies. A new analysis of almost 1,000 scientific papers has revealed a shocking number contained inappropriately duplicated images – and while many of these resulted from honest mistakes, about one in ten of the papers caught out ended up being retracted.   That’s a pretty alarming statistic. But …

Here’s One Simple Thing You Can Do When You’re Totally Stressed Out

Stress is great. It makes us faster, stronger, more agile and our brains have better recall and flexibility. That’s why people are willing to put themselves in stressful work situations or engage in extreme sports.   The problem is that uncontrolled, stress can leave us frozen to the spot and unable to think – something all too familiar for people …

This University Library Discovered Three of Its Books Were Poisonous

Some may remember the deadly book of Aristotle that plays a vital part in the plot of Umberto Eco’s 1980 novel The Name of the Rose. Poisoned by a mad Benedictine monk, the book wreaks havoc in a 14th-century Italian monastery, killing all readers who happen to lick their fingers when turning the toxic pages. Could something like this happen …

How to Be Sure You’re Not Living in a Computer Simulation

Consider this: right now, you are not where you think you are. In fact, you happen to be the subject of a science experiment being conducted by an evil genius. Your brain has been expertly removed from your body and is being kept alive in a vat of nutrients that sits on a laboratory bench.   The nerve endings of …

A Penis Drawing That Can Be Seen From Space Has Popped Up in Australia

The internet has been giggling over the latest satellite map discovery, and we can’t blame them. A giant penis drawing has appeared on a dry lake bed in Victoria, Australia. Details on its provenance are scant, but those who think the dick-and-balls shape is the work of crafty photoshopping can easily check out the real deal on Google Maps, where …

Archaeologists Just Found The ‘Crushed’ Pompeii Man’s Skull. It’s Not What We Expected

It turns out the unlucky Pompeiian man whose body was found under a giant piece of masonry last month wasn’t crushed to death after all. Archaeologists have finally located and excavated his skull – and it’s in perfect condition.   Images of the man’s skeleton went viral at the end of May 2018. He had been a victim of the …

New Study Reveals The Ancient Maya Used Their Most Famous Crop as Actual Money

Your snacks drawer may have been worth a lot more in the time of the Maya. A new study has revealed chocolate was used as currency by the ancient civilisation, exchanged for goods and services in the same way we might hand over coins or notes.   Dominating Mesoamerica during the first millennium CE, the Maya never used actual coins, …

Researchers Have Found a Simple Trick to Make Old Experiences Feel Fresh Again

It seems inevitable. When we grow older, time seems to speed up as we experience the same things over and over again, and part of it’s because even our favourite things in life have become, sadly, no longer new to us.   But is there another way? New research has uncovered a simple trick anyone can do that seems to …

There’s a Limit to How Many Places You Spend Your Life In, And It’s Surprisingly Small

Sometimes it feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to see everybody and do everything. Now we can put a figure on the number of places you’re likely to go to, and it’s way fewer than you’d think.   While we all have different habits that change over time, a recent study looked at how people move …

A Researcher in Missouri Is Actively Encouraging Guys to Send Her Dick Pics

Receiving explicit images of strangers’ private parts is an ugly, unacceptable reality for many online – but for others, it’s called field work. A researcher in Missouri is right now encouraging literally thousands of men to send her these usually unsolicited nude photos – let’s just call them dick pics for short – to gather data for a study on …

Scientists Just Discovered an Amazing Benefit to Giving Kids Music Lessons

Giving children music lessons won’t just introduce them to a world of rhythm and melody – it could also significantly improve their language skills. While numerous studies have shown that learning an instrument can impact things like language ability, it wasn’t understood if this was a side effect of a general boost to cognitive skills, or something that directly affected …

Scientists Just Found a Fundamental Part of What Makes Your Brain Cells So ‘Plastic’

It’s no secret that our brains are exceptionally flexible and can adapt to new situations. Whether it’s a brain reusing parts of itself for surprising purposes, or helping someone live normally with only 10 percent of the brain undamaged, we’ve got a lot to thank brain plasticity for.   But neuroscientists haven’t been sure of how precisely all this plasticity …