World’s Strangest

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12 Proposed U.S. States That Didn’t Make the Cut

The road to 50 states was littered with wannabes who couldn’t wait to declare themselves—but never quite got to full statehood. Here are 12 states that could have been. 1. Franklin Wikimedia Commons After the Revolutionary War, it became common for states to gift their westernmost lands to the newly-founded (but broke) American government to repackage and sell [...]

Storms on the Sun

We have seen a couple of solar flares this year that gave us beautiful auroras in areas that don’t normally see such lights. But that was nothing compared to the coronal mass ejection known as the Carrington Super Flare in 1859. That night there was scarcely a square inch of earth that was not illuminated by [...]

Why Chip Bags are Hard to Open

John Spevacek is a chemical engineer with a confession to make. You may have noticed that snack bags are more difficult to open than they were years ago. Spevacek comes clean and takes the blame. Here’s how the project came about. I was in the Packaging Films Group, making multilayer polypropylene films for food packaging. The [...]

Blowing Up Frozen Cows

Problem: Some cattle wandered into an old cabin in the Rocky Mountains, died, and froze solid. How do you get rid of them? Segin said officials are concerned about water contamination in the nearby hot springs if the cows start decomposing [...]

9 Really Dangerous Pieces of Art

Normally when artwork is described as “dangerous,” it means it challenges the viewer to think and feel outside their comfort zone. But here are nine pieces of art that were not only emotionally dangerous, but physically as well. 1. The Umbrellas [Image credit: Dddeco] Starting in the 1960s, married environmental artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude traveled the world, [...]

Leonid Meteor Shower Tonight

Tonight’s event is predicted to be “strong” with a couple dozen meteors per hour visible in the United States, several hundred per hour in Asia. This pales in comparison to some historic Leonid displays - The meteor storm of 1833 was of truly superlative strength. One estimate is over one hundred thousand meteors an hour, but [...]