World’s Strangest

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The Missing Links: The SNL Reality Show That Might Have Been

Stare At The Sun Well, not the actual one. But you won’t want to take your eyes off this video of the sun. * He Put the E&O in Epcot As Stacy Conradt pointed out earlier today, Epcot opened on this day in 1982. If you visited the park in the 80s (or in the last few years [...]

11 Questionable Suggestions for Raising the Titanic

The 100-year anniversary of the sinking of Titanic is only a few days away. In the years since the hulking ship slipped beneath the surface of the Atlantic, a wealth of ideas have been offered for how to bring it back to the surface – many of them proposed before the ship was even located [...]

4 Doctor Who Stories Ripped From History Books

Earlier this week, we looked at Doctor Who stories inspired by the headlines. But far more stories were ripped from the history books. In fact, the original series concept back in 1963 was to alternate science fiction stories (which could be used to introduce science concepts) with period pieces (which could be used to [...]

How the Rainbow Became Associated with Gay Rights

The first time Roy G. Biv flew in the name of LGBT rights was on June 25, 1978, in the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. Reportedly inspired by Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow,” artist Gilbert Baker hand-dyed and thirty a banner with eight stripes, each with symbolic meaning: Hot Pink: Sexuality Red: Life Orange: Healing Yellow: Sunlight Green: Nature Turquoise: [...]

Abandoned Space Junk in the Swamps of Florida

Having grown up in Florida, I can attest to the fact that there’s a lot of weird stuff hiding in the undergrowth out there. It seems like there’s no plant matter on Earth that grows faster or covers things up more quickly than Florida underbrush — vines, palmetto bushes, wild grass — which is pretty [...]

Little Engines That Could: A Brief History of Slot Cars

For many kids growing up in the 1960s, slot cars were a regular part of Saturday afternoons. Even those who grew up after the little cars’ heyday have fond memories of the whirring sound echoing off the walls of a friend’s basement. Here’s a look back at these miniature racers that have entertained generations of [...]

64-Year Old Man First to Cross the Atlantic in a Kayak Nonstop

Aleksander Doba, 64, crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Dakar, Senegal to Acaraú, Brazil in almost a hundred days. He’s the first person to do so nonstop: After 98 days, 23 hours, 42 minutes at sea, Doba and his custom 23-foot-long, 39-inch-wide human-powered kayak landed at Acaraú, a city on Brazil’s northeast coast. The trip covered some [...]

The Creation of Artificial Reefs

The enormous Mesoamerican barrier reef system is facing an expanding list of destructive forces – such as pollution, warming ocean temperatures and overfishing. This fascinating National Geographic video explains how a sculptor named Jason Decaires Taylor is using almost 400 cement works of art to grow an artificial reef system that could provide a growing [...]

Top Quizzes of 2010: Name the States With a Coastal Border (#4)

This week we’re counting down some of the top mental_floss quizzes of 2010. Enjoy! Twenty-three states border either the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean or Gulf of Mexico. Can you name them all in three minutes? Take the Quiz: Name the States With a Coastal Border

Colorful Caves? Thank you, Bug Poop!

Scientists have always thought that colorful mineral deposits in caves are the work of geology, not biology – but they were wrong: unusual deposits may actually be microbial poop! “We’re finding that you need to look at things you might write off as not being biological—they might be biological,” said Penelope Boston, a cave scientist at [...]