Big Questions, Science

How Do They Make the Pope Smoke?

Matt Soniak

When the Catholic cardinals meet to pick a new pope in the “papal conclave,” they’re sequestered in the Sistine Chapel so that their deliberations aren’t influenced by the outside world and that their

Why Does Poop Stink?

Matt Soniak

Does Drinking Kill Brain Cells?

Matt Soniak

Why Do Filthy Insects Spend So Much Time Grooming?

Roma Panganiban

fastidious self-care is reflected in human routines—brushing teeth, combing hair, clipping nails—but also in the habits of scuttling, scream-inducing cockroaches.

How Can Owls Rotate Their Heads 270 Degrees Without Dying?

Erin McCarthy

For humans, sudden gyrations of the head and neck—whether they’re from car accidents, rollercoaster rides, or chiropracty gone awry—can tear blood vessel linings in the neck, leading to clots that can

Will a Nightcap Really Help You Sleep Better?

Caisey Robertson

Has a U.S. River Run Backwards Before?

Matt Soniak

Last month, the U.S.

Why is the Flu Seasonal?

Matt Soniak

Are Pubic Lice Really Going Extinct?

Matt Soniak

Why Do Whales and Other Marine Mammals Beach Themselves?

Matt Soniak