Hunting Meteorites in Antarctica

File this under “gigs you didn’t know existed”: Every year, NASA drops researchers into the Transantarctic Mountains to look for space rocks. It may sound like a fool’s errand but, as you’ll see in the video above from Great Big Story, it actually makes a lot of sense.

The Antarctic Search for Meteorites program (ANSMET) has been sending scientists into the snowy field since 1976. The searches are fairly low-tech: First, researchers travel to the approximate site of a known meteor strike. Then they board snowmobiles and fan out, searching in a radius from the crash site. Sometimes they go on foot. In this methodical—if surprisingly basic—fashion, ANSMET researchers have recovered more than 21,000 meteorite fragments.

They don’t get to keep them, of course; the fragments are shipped to Johnson Space Center for research. Two chips are removed from each specimen: one for the space center to study, and one for the Smithsonian. Through their fiery fall to earth, these little rocks have expanded our understanding of the entire solar system.

Fun fact: ANSMET is a volunteer gig. Interested? Check out the FAQs on their website.

Header image from YouTube // Great Big Story

© 2017 USPS
Pop Culture
Speedy Delivery: Mister Rogers Will Get His Own Stamp in 2018
© 2017 USPS
© 2017 USPS

USPS 2018 Mister Rogers stamp
© 2017 USPS

After weeks of mailing out this year’s holiday cards, postage might be the last thing you want to think about. But the U.S. Postal Service has just given us a sneak peek at the many iconic people, places, and things that will be commemorated with their own stamps in 2018, and one in particular has us excited to send out a few birthday cards: Mister Rogers.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred Rogers’s groundbreaking PBS series that the USPS says “inspired and educated young viewers with warmth, sensitivity, and honesty,” the mail service shared a mockup of what the final stamp may look like. On it, Rogers—decked out in one of his trademark colorful cardigans (all of which were hand-knitted by his mom, by the way)—smiles for the camera alongside King Friday XIII, ruler of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Though no official release date for Fred’s forever stamp has been given, Mister Rogers is just one of many legendary figures whose visages will grace a piece of postage in 2018. Singer/activist Lena Horne will be the 41st figure to appear as part of the USPS’s Black Heritage series, while former Beatle John Lennon will be the face of the newest Music Icons collection. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, will also be honored.

Can You Spot the Christmas Pudding?

Whether it’s a sheep hanging out with Santa Claus or a panda bear hiding among some snowmen, regular Mental Floss readers know that hidden picture brainteasers are one of our favorite things. And the optical experts at have released a delicious one, just in time for Christmas. Somewhere in the midst of all these holiday-themed goodies above, there’s a holiday pudding just waiting to be discovered. Can you spot it? Your time starts … now.

If you give up, or are the kind of person who reads the last page of a book before the first one and just wants to know the answer, scroll down to see where it’s hiding.



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