Snails getting ready for winter are natural carpenters. They construct doors, or maybe you'd call them walls, inside their shells. They do this without hammers, nails or cement. Instead, they use their foot — and of course, their favorite material, mucus. Welcome to the ingenious world of snail construction.
Drones are for spying, right? Right. But if Jasper van Loenen's idea works, drones will also become private moving vans. Crows won't like this. Trees won't like this. I'm not sure I like this. But you've got to see Jasper's instant-drone deliver a bicycle wheel across campus ...
A New York design team has just produced an invisibility cloak for your cell phone. Pop it in and no government, no merchants, no friends, no one knows where your phone is. Another design team in Canada says they could do stuff like this — but they won't. Who's right?
What happens if you take a beach creature, a little worm, or an oyster, and move it to an aquarium far from the sea? Will it still imagine tides? Yes, it will. But whose tides will wake it up every day, get it moving? The tides back home? Or the tides — even if there aren't any — in its new time zone? A puzzle.
What surgeons see when they open us up and look inside is not pretty — unless you're a surgeon. But when designer Kelli Anderson opens us up, we are feathery, pipe filled, ivory-boned, wired, clean, elegant — just gorgeous. Plus, we are entirely made of colored paper. Check out this new transparent (and interactive!) human body — perfect for kids.
Runners often ask themselves, "Why am I doing this? Why do I want to make myself hurt so?" With help from the webcomic The Oatmeal, we might have an answer.
Why did it take cells so long to link together and form tissues, organs, you, me, turtles, daisies? There was a couple of billion year pause before cells became multicellular. How come? With brilliant designer Paolo Ceric, we consider this puzzle of life.
Think about the E.T. in "E.T." It was fetching, adorable and two and a half feet tall. Now think about the E.T.s we hope to find on Mars, Europa or Titan. They will probably be, if they are there at all, microscopic. I miss big aliens. Which is why I loved reading this science paper. Could big be back?
Spring comes, then summer, fall and winter and if you are off the planet with a camera looking down at Earth, the seasons seem like breaths. Speed up the imagery, and the planet seems to pulse, like a living thing. Take a look at what designer John Nelson has done. It's uncanny.
What happens when a vaguely bored bearded guy with nothing much to do, one day falls (or dives?) into his toilet bowl and goes down a sewer pipe? This comic is one of the most fantastic, coolest voyages on the Web.
You'd figure that mosquitoes, having been on our planet for the last 79 million years, would be really, really good at sucking blood. That's how they feed their young. Surprise! They're kind of bad at it. Today's feature: videos of mosquitoes missing veins and capillaries.
What happens when your brain plays a trick on you, and you can't not believe it? Our brains, it turns out, are not prisoners of the world we live in. We can, any time we like, create the impossible ... at least on paper.
This we know: that dinosaurs had babies. This we also know: that to have those babies, dinosaurs had sex. But here's what we don't know: with their size, their spikes, their scales, their genital equipment, how did they manage to do the deed? This doesn't prevent us from wondering.
I don't know what this is, or what it cost this guy to do what he does to his knees, or to the top of his skull. I don't know what I'm listening to. I only know that what happens in this video is beautiful.
On certain nights, as helicopters settle on the sandy ground in Afghanistan, the air mysteriously bursts into loops of light that trace the path of the helicopter blades; no one's sure what causes this; no one knows what to call these dazzling light displays — but a war photographer has given them a name — and thereby hangs a tale.
If I say "meet me 28 miles from here," that doesn't seem very far, right? But what if the 28 miles is not on a road or a highway, but straight up? Take a trip with a space shuttle solid rocket booster as it tumbles back to Earth. Headphones on.
Car colors are getting cooler, even wintry: All over the world, car buyers are choosing white, silver, gray or black. So who favors warm, springtime colors? Think of a place where you spend half the year bundled up with mittens.
When the Isthmus of Panama connected North and South America, two independent dynasties of horses, rhinos, elephants, shrews, weasels, cats and dogs were free to mingle, fight, dominate or die. Who won?
Professor William Barklow was on vacation when this happened. He was in Tanzania sitting on a river bank gazing about, when all of a sudden a hippopotamus pushed its head out of the river right in front of him, opened its huge mouth and bellowed.