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Science

Millions See The World Through a ‘Static’ Haze Called Visual-Snow

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Sierra Domb, founder and CEO of the Visual Snow Initiative, about her journey with visual-snow syndrome – a neurological condition where people see tiny, snow-like flecks in their vision. It has been edited for length and clarity. One day in 2015, as I was driving to […]

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5 Extreme Times Tardigrades Proved Themselves to Be Incredibly

Tiny, weirdly adorable creatures called tardigrades are one of the toughest organisms on Earth. Tardigrades, which are perhaps better known as water bears because of their plump bodies, belong to an extremely resilient group of microorganisms that can thrive in harsh environments ill-suited for life. In order to survive, they squeeze water from their bodies […]

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Listen to The Pacific ‘Bloop’ Sound That Flummoxed Scientists For

In the summer of 1997, scientists recorded a strange, loud noise originating from an area west of Chile’s southern coast. They dubbed it “the bloop”. While searching for underwater volcanoes, researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recorded the infamous loud, ultra-low frequency sound on hydrophones. These underwater microphones the US Navy originally developed […]

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Reports of People ‘Spontaneously’ Burning Might Have a Rather

In December 2010, a 76-year-old man burned to death on his living room floor in Ireland. Nearly a year later, a coroner officially ruled that he’d died of a peculiar phenomenon, the Irish Independent reported – spontaneous human combustion. This phenomenon, as it has been understood over the centuries, involves a body suddenly bursting into […]

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Fusion Breakthrough: US Experiment Hits Monumental ‘Ignition’

Scientists have made a “breakthrough” in their quest to harness nuclear fusion. The US Department of Energy officially announced the milestone in fusion energy research on Tuesday. For the first time, researchers created a nuclear fusion reaction that produced more energy than they put into it. The experiment, conducted on December 5 at Lawrence Livermore […]

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A Hunt For Voyager 1’s Old Manuals Revealed The Source of Its

In May, NASA scientists said the Voyager 1 spacecraft was sending back inaccurate data from its attitude-control system [AACS]. In order to find a fix, engineers dug through decades-old manuals. The Voyager team solved the mysterious glitch in late August, NASA officials wrote in an update. Turns out, the spacecraft was beaming information using a […]

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These Depressing Images Show What We’re Not Seeing in The Night

If you were to look up at the night sky, it could range from a dusty glow to an inky black expanse with thousands of sparkling stars, depending on where you are. On a clear night, estimates suggest a couple thousand stars are visible to the naked eye, but the light pollution glare of city […]

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Here’s How NASA Determines Which Applicants Make It to Be Astronauts

Many children grow up gazing up at the night sky, dreaming of becoming astronauts who boldly go to the Moon – and beyond. But in order to get that elusive job, would-be astronauts must make it through a competitive selection process. For NASA’s 2021 class of astronauts, the space agency said it chose just 10 […]

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Rare Fossil of Extinct American Lion Discovered Thanks to The Mississippi Drying Up

At the end of October, a Mississippi resident made a rare discovery along the drought-stricken Mississippi River – a fossilized jawbone from an American lion that roamed the area roughly 11,000 years ago, according to McClatchy News. It’s only the fourth fossil of the ancient American lion found in Mississippi, according to the news outlet. […]

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85 Years After It Was Abandoned, Explorers Find a Historic Cache of Camera Gear

In 1937, legendary aerial photographer and cartographer Bradford Washburn abandoned hundreds of pounds of camera gear, surveying equipment, and supplies when he ran into bad weather while exploring Canada’s frigid Yukon region. In August, 85 years later, a team of scientists and professional mountain explorers discovered the long-lost historic cache of gear buried in the […]