Made by humans on Earth. Since 2003.
Teams entering pool in wife carrying World Championships

Wife Carrying Contests

Obstacles to a healthy relationship

Those wacky Finns. The best-known and goofiest sporting competition in Finland involves carrying a woman through an obstacle course. The reward? The woman's weight in beer!
Freeze-dried ice cream

Freeze Drying

The amazing science of lyophilization

It's not just for instant coffee and camping foods anymore! The process by which virtually all the water can be removed from something while keeping its structure intact is being applied to everything from flowers to pets.
A bottle of castor oil

Castor Oil

The all-purpose health aid and poison

The old cure for constipation has also been used as a weapon, and extracts from the same plant produce a deadly poison.
Map showing the Walloon Region within Belgium


Green Bay and the French connection

What's the connection between Belgium and Green Bay, Wisconsin? It's not cheese, but a little-known language called Walloon.
A French butter dish

French Butter Dishes

Fresh butter without refrigeration

A refreshingly low-tech way to keep butter fresh without making it rock-hard and unspreadable, French butter dishes rely on simple physics.
A snow crust

Snow Crusts

A few words about the surface of snow

Are there really dozens of Eskimo words for snow? Maybe or maybe not, depending on how you look at it. But there are definitely at least eight English terms for "snow crust."


Exotic fruit and vampire repellent

Referred to by some as the king of fruits, this tropical fruit has an overpowering aroma and a flavor that, to be generous, is an acquired taste.
An anechoic chamber

Anechoic Chambers

The sound of silence

For testing audio equipment and other sensitive tasks that require a complete absence of reflected sounds, an anechoic chamber is the ultimate cone of silence.
Chish & Fips shop


Sixing up mounds

An professor at Oxford University around the beginning of the 20th century is remembered not for his keen intellect but for his frequent verbal blunders.
Gold leaf on a bowl of soup

Edible Gold

The gourmet and the alchemist

Chefs sometimes top their most expensive dishes with a bit of gold leaf for decoration. But some people believe that a form of edible gold can levitate, miraculously cure illnesses, and much more.
Chicken gumbo with Andouille sausage


The one good thing about okra

Okra may have a reputation as a slimy and unappetizing (to some) vegetable, but it works wonderfully as a thickener for the spicy soup that's a staple of Cajun cuisine.
Illustration of a geodesic dome

Geodesic Domes

Building outside the box

The best-known invention of R. Buckminster Fuller is a strong, lightweight structure that encloses the largest possible volume with the smallest surface area.
The word BOOM


The mystery of phantom thunder

In numerous parts of the world, typically near large bodies of water, mysterious booming noises have occurred regularly for centuries. Are they the footsteps of the gods, or might there be a simpler explanation?
Welcome to Dull sign

Things That Used to Be Interesting

Yesterday's interesting is today's boring, but life goes on

Where do interesting things go when they die? Few things remain interesting forever, and today we remember things we used to think were pretty neat.
An engraving of ball lightning

Ball Lightning

Unsatisfactorily identified flying objects

During a thunderstorm, a bright fireball sometimes floats through the air for several seconds or longer, perhaps even indoors. This rare phenomenon resists scientific explanations, but don't go blaming UFOs.

Today is…

National Fresh Spinach Day

Fresh spinach leaves
Popeye got his spinach from a can, but—little-known fact—spinach doesn't actually grow that way. It's both delicious and nutritious in its freshly picked state.

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