World’s Strangest

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Don’t Be Grumpy, Simply "Goal Disengage"

Attention cranky oldsters (and their suffering younglings)! A new study on aging and depression has come up with a way to avoid turning into a grumpy old man (or woman): just accept that what [...]

Happy Guys Finish Last: Women Prefer Serious Men

Photo by Jessica L. Tracy Psst, guys! Wanna know the secret to getting girls? According to a new study by University of British Columbia, you should ditch the happy face and opt for the brooding, serious look: “While showing a happy face is considered essential to friendly social interactions, including those involving sexual attraction — few studies have [...]

The Late Movies: Incredible Rallies

Roger Federer & Lleyton Hewitt go back and forth seemingly forever in this unbelievable tennis rally. Two table tennis masters put on an incredible display. Watch as they even switch sides of the table as they go. Then 12-year old Ai Fukuhara sets a new ping-pong rally world record with 173 hits in 60 seconds. The University of [...]

Cheating and Benevolent God: How A Mean God Makes Better People

Does an angry and vengeful God make for better people? Apparently so according to a new study by University of Oregon psychologists, who found the link between one’s willingness to cheat and the belief of a benevolent God: In line with many previous studies, it found no difference between the ethical behavior of believers and nonbelievers. [...]

Plastic Content of a Sea Turtle

Photo: Plastic debris found in the gastrointestinal content of a juvenile green turtle captured in Argentina / Victoria González Carman. Stomach contents of a juvenile sea turtle accidentally captured off the coast of Argentina reveals just how polluted our ocean is with plastic: About 0.25 percent of all plastic ends up in the ocean. That might not [...]

Real Life Mother Goose

That’s a real life “Mother Goose”. Jessica Meir of University of British Columbia is teaching her gosling to fly: Meir traveled to the Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park in North Carolina to seek the bar-headed geese for her study, arriving just in time for the hatching of this year’s bar-head recruits. Because she was the first person [...]

National Geographic Answer Book Winner!

On Friday, we asked readers to submit amazing demographic facts. The submissions were all fascinating, but we could only pick one… The Winning Entry: A team of researchers from the University of British Columbia found that 96% of test subjects used for experiments are WEIRD—members of societies that are Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic. Additionally, they found [...]

Fig Trees Retaliate Against Cheating Wasps

Over 700 paired species of fig trees and wasps have symbiotic relationships. The fig tree host wasp eggs, and the wasps pollinate the fig trees in return. But according to a new study, if the wasps don’t pollinate the host plants, the fig trees retaliate: If the wasps don’t do their duty, the trees respond by [...]

I Feel What You’re Saying: Hearing With Your Skin

Chefs know that when their dishes don’t look appealing, diners think the food tastes bad. And since the mid-1970s, scientists have produced evidence that the senses work together—for example, people hear with both their eyes and ears. Bryan Gick and Donald Derrick of the University of British Columbia published a paper in Nature expanding the [...]

Why Kafka Makes You Smarter

“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic vermin.” The first line of Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis immediately launches readers into a surreal world where a man transforms into a bug and his family barely notices. Surrealist stories aren’t just entertaining pursuits—reading Kafka or other [...]