Beyond ‘Surviving Death’: The real science of near-death experiences

Is there life after death? A new Netflix series claims to prove there is. But in doing so, the series relies on a confusing mishmash of fully debunked phenomena alongside matters of faith that aren’t in the realm of science, as well as questions that science truly hasn’t answered yet.  “Surviving Death” is based on […]

Disagreeing takes up a lot of brain real estate

Yale researchers have devised a way to peer into the brains of two people simultaneously while are engaged in discussion. What they found will not surprise anyone who has found themselves arguing about politics or social issues. When two people agree, their brains exhibit a calm synchronicity of activity focused on sensory areas of the […]

Why aren’t peanuts, pecans and almonds real nuts?

Fitting food into categories is a tricky business. Tomatoes and avocados grow like fruit but taste like vegetables. A watermelon is actually a berry, and so is an eggplant. And if that weren’t hard enough to swallow, it turns out that most of the “nuts” we love to munch on aren’t really nuts at all.  […]

Stuck at home? Trick your brain into treating a staycation like the real thing.

Get outside your head without leaving your house. (Unsplash/) Taking a vacation has many benefits for your body and mind. A timely getaway can lower your stress and, with it, your risk of life-threatening issues like heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Even short vacations—four nights, according to one study—can significantly improve your feeling of well-being. […]

Flying fish: Real fish, but not really flying

In warm ocean waters around the world, you may see a strange sight: A fish leaping from the water and soaring dozens of meters before returning to the ocean’s depths. Early Mediterranean sailors thought these flying fish returned to the shore at night to sleep, and therefore called this family of marine fish Exocoetidae (in […]

The real math behind “net zero” carbon emissions

This illustration provided by Carbon Engineering in October 2018 shows one of the designs of the company’s air contactor assemblies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. More than a 100 countries —responsible for about two-thirds of the world’s heat-trapping gases—have announced plans to cut their greenhouse gas emissions to “net zero” in coming decades […]

Here’s the real story behind Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’

A story about bird brains. (Tom McNamara/) Popular Science’s WILD LIVES is a monthly video series that dives like an Emperor penguin into the life and times of history’s noteworthy animals. With every episode debut on Youtube, we’ll be publishing a story about the featured beasts, plus a lot more fascinating facts about the natural […]

COVID-19 reveals how obesity harms the body in real time, not just over a lifetime

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust the obesity epidemic once again into the spotlight, revealing that obesity is no longer a disease that harms just in the long run but one that can have acutely devastating effects. New studies and information confirm doctors’ suspicion that this virus takes advantage of a disease that our current U.S. […]

Atlantis isn’t real, but here are all the places it could have been

This map shows some of the places people have thought Atlantis might be hiding. (Craig Taylor/) Plato first described the lost kingdom of Atlantis in 360 BCE. He wrote of a mountainous island crafted by Poseidon, filled with elephants and gold. But around 9,000 years prior, he claimed, earthquakes and floods sank the city into […]

Player behavior in the online game EVE Online may reflect real world country

In-game country profiles are generated by combining several measures of in-game socioeconomic behavior of players. Upon clustering the countries in groups with highly similar profile, one finds clusters that reflect real-world geography. Credit: Belaza et al, PLOS ONE, 2020 Virtual worlds may reflect social and economic behavior in the real world, according to a study […]