World’s Strangest

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Can You Get Rich Betting on the Weather?

Did you know that you can invest in the weather? Yes, that’s right. The weather. You can take a financial gamble that the temperature in Sacramento will be one degree warmer than average, or even bet that it will be five degrees cooler. Too dull for your portfolio? How about putting some money down on the [...]

Flowery Bits

NOTHING SAYS TECHNOLOGY LIKE FLOWERS The flower business might seem old-fashioned, but 1-800-FLOWERS is anything but behind the times. In the 1980s, it was one of the first businesses to operate a 1-800 number, taking calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And in 1991, during the Gulf War, the company made the risky [...]

Top Ten New Species

It seems that scientists are always discovering a new type of frog or insect and getting all excited that they have uncovered a “new” animal while the rest of us don’t really see a big difference. However I think you will agree some of the species on this list are truly unique. The pancake batfish [...]

8-foot Shark Jumps Into Boat

A good day of angling is sometimes described as fish jumping into the boat. The real life experience can be frightening. Texas fisherman Jason Kresse and two companions were about 50 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico looking for red snapper on Monday, throwing chum into the water when an 8-foot mako shark appeared- [...]

Gulf of Mexico floor is now devoid of life

A scientist recently revisited the Gulf floor to search for oil consuming life and found none whatsoever. In the summer of 2010, marine scientist Sama…

5…4…3…2…1… A Brief History of the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball Drop

It’s a tradition I’d venture to guess a good majority of us take part in every year (at least by T.V.): the New Year’s Eve Times Square celebration. Like so many other things, the bash started out as a way to garner a little publicity. When The New York Times moved its headquarters there in 1904, [...]

The Late Giveaway: Science Tape!

If you want to distract people from the gift underneath the wrapping paper, this Science Tape from UncommonGoods is just what you need. We’ve got a roll to give away. To pick a winner, we’ll ask one mental_floss trivia question. Really obscure trivia. About the mental_floss staff. Let’s see who’s been paying attention. Or stalking. First [...]

How Lasers Can Protect You From Pirates

by David DiSalvo In the battle to control the high seas, there’s a new ray of light—the modern laser. In 1918, as the Great War was nearing its end, eccentric genius Nikola Tesla announced that he’d successfully harnessed the power of focused, amplified light. With the new technology, he planned to invent a death ray, capable of [...]

Lofoten

Be honest -does this picture of green hills look like it belongs in the Arctic Circle? This is a view of an island in the archipelago known as Lofoten, a part of Norway north of the Arctic Circle. Lofoten experiences the biggest temperature anomaly in the world, thanks to the Gulf Stream that blows in [...]

Swords into Plowshares: Peaceful Weapon Recycling

And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. -Isaiah 2:4 The familiar Bible verse is repeated in the book of Micah. There are those [...]