How Guglielmo Marconi Cheated Death—Twice
How 'The Great Stink' Infiltrated London in 1858
The past was a truly smelly place.... READ ON
Why Early America Was Obsessed With Wooden Nutmegs
Two hundred years ago, crafting fake spices out of wood was a popular pastime—or so the legends would have you believe.... READ ON
Interactive Map of San Francisco Matches Photos From the 1906 Earthquake to Modern Places
The disaster just marked its 111-year anniversary.... READ ON
A Brief History of Soyuz 1, Fifty Years Later
What started as a tragedy led to the world's most reliable space launch system.... READ ON
On This Day in 1964, the Unisphere Was Unveiled
The stainless steel rings symbolize three orbital pioneers: Yuri Gagarin, John Glenn, and Telstar.... READ ON
On This Day in 1978, the Blues Brothers Rocked SNL
They were on a mission from God.... READ ON
Bess Truman and the Unbreakable Champagne Bottle
In 1945, the first lady bungled a celebratory bottle-smashing—but the Navy came to the rescue.... READ ON
How Thomas Edison Jr. Shamed the Family Name
Asked to evaluate his son's abilities as an intellectual, the elder Edison said that he was, "absolutely illiterate, scientifically and otherwise.”... READ ON
A Founder of Earth Day Looks Back on How It Began
On April 22, 1970, Denis Hayes stood on a stage in Central Park, stunned by the number of people who'd come to honor the planet.... READ ON
25 Regal Facts About Queen Elizabeth II
She doesn't need a passport to travel since they're officially issued in her name anyway.... READ ON
Here's How British and American Spelling Parted Ways
A colourful tale of dictionaries, politics, and national identity.... READ ON
6 Times Sumptuary Laws Told People What To Wear
Getting dressed used to be even more difficult.... READ ON
Stones, Bones & Wrecks
Archaeologists Need Your Help to Study 100+ Graves in Philadelphia
With enough funding, they will analyze—and then reinter—the remains of people buried between 1707 and 1859 in a Baptist cemetery—and mental_floss will be in the lab with them.... READ ON
Big Question
Why Does the Queen Have Two Birthdays?
It's good to be the Queen.... READ ON
5 Very Early Stories About American Women and Voting
During colonial times and in the earliest days of the U.S., a small number of women managed to vote despite circumstances stacked against them.... READ ON

Inspired by the events at an outdoor barbecue, “Uncle Milton” Levine modified a clear plastic tissue box into a prototype for the ant farm. Between 1956 and 1966, he sold some 12 million of them (live ants originally included).

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