World’s Strangest

Your source for the strangest things around!

National Geographic’s New Phenomena

National Geographic has opened a new science blog section of their extensive website called Phenomena, with four blogs by science writers you probably already know. Not Exactly Rocket Science by Ed Yong, formerly of Discover magazine. Here’s his welcome post. Laelaps by Brian Switek, formerly of ScienceBlogs. Here’s his first Phenomena post. The Loom by Carl Zimmer, [...]

Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek

The New York Times has a six-part multimedia presentation detailing the story of 16 skiers and snowboarders who were caught in an avalanche last February in the Cascade Mountains. The series includes awesome graphics, slideshows, videos, and a compelling narrative by John Branch that follows the events from the point of view of the survivors [...]

Turtle Pees Through Its Mouth

Image: Monika Korzeniec/Wikimedia Everything pees, even the weird-looking Chinese soft-shelled turtle. But not everything pees through its mouth, unlike the aforementioned creature: When the turtle breaks down proteins in its liver, it ends up with [...]

Mosquitoes Turn Midnight Snack into Breakfast

In places where malaria is rampant, a common defense is to sleep under a insecticide-laden mosquito net. The nocturnal mosquito of the genus Anopheles can’t penetrate the netting, and will die from the insecticide if they try. But malaria rates did not plummet as expected. Did the bed nets fail? No, the mosquitos changed -they [...]

The Mites That Crawl, Eat, and Have Sex on Your Face

Reading the linked post will make your face itch. You’ve been warned. Two species of the microscopic worm Demodex live on human skin and hair follicles. D.folliculorum and D.brevis, seen in the picture above, are very commonly found on faces. But it’s hard to say exactly how common they are. The first estimate came from a [...]

Deep-sea Squid has Spiked Tentacles

The squid named Galiteuthis armata isn’t particularly big, but it has a feature that gives it star billing in your nightmares. There are rows of sharp hooks on the ends of its tentacles. This is one squid you don’t want to anger! See more pictures, including a close-up of those spikes, at Deep Sea News. [...]

Replacement Parts

Organ transplants saves lives, but there aren’t enough suitable and available organs for those who need them. There just aren’t enough donors. Two doctors, Joseph Vacanti of Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts and David Cooper of the University of Cape Town Medical School in South Africa, are looking at ways around the human organ shortage [...]

Early Human Relatives Ate Bark

A fossil species of the human family called Australopithecus sediba is a fairly recent discovery. Some of the two-million-year-old individuals unearthed in Africa have tartar on their teeth, which is rare among primate fossils, but it gives scientists a chance to reconstruct what they ate. That diet was a surprise. The team conducted their studies on [...]

Headbuttin’ Bumphead Parrotfish

[YouTube Clip] Biologists think that the giant bumphead parrotfish use their big, bumpy head to break corals into tiny chunks, but Roldan Munoz of the National Marine Fisheries Service has found another reason: [...]

How to Win at Rock-Paper-Scissors

Want an edge over the average person playing rock-paper-scissors? Try playing blindfolded! An experiment by Richard Cook at University College in London shows that when players can see their opponent, there is a slight tendency to copy them. Cook asked 45 people to face off against each other in several rounds of rock-paper-scissors, in exchange for [...]