BBC Future

3 Magazines | 222.1k Followers | @bbcfuture | Tech, science, environment and health news.

The mindset you need to avoid cyber-crime

To protect your finances, privacy and online life, you need to think like a cyber-security professional. Are you following these precautions?<p>In 2013, police in South Cambridgeshire in England took to the streets with an unexpected crime-fighting tool.<p>The officers wandered past houses, looking for …

Cybersecurity

Would a supervolcano eruption wipe us out?

Throughout our planet’s history, massive volcanic eruptions have devastated life. Could one bring an end to human civilisation?<p>In the Bay of Naples, Europe's most notorious giant is showing signs of reawakening from its long slumber.<p>Campi Flegrei, a name that aptly translates as "burning fields", …

Geology

The hidden ways your language betrays your character

Every time we open our mouths, we unwittingly reveal our personalities.<p>If you overheard a conversation on a bus, do you think you could tell from the words that were used and the topics discussed, the personality of the people who were chatting? What about if I showed you a short story? Could you …

Personality

Are women any cleaner than men?

Some might say men are mucky and women are genetically programmed to be cleaner. Can science back this up?<p><i>Join 800,000+ Future fans by liking us on</i> <b>Facebook</b><i>, or follow us on</i> <b>Twitter</b><i>.</i><p><i>If you liked this story,</i> <b>sign up for the weekly bbc.com features newsletter</b><i>, called “If You Only Read 6 Things This</i> …

Women's News

The underground railway that became a secret wartime base

Once a rare underground railway, these hidden tunnels in Bristol later became a World War Two air-raid shelter and transmission base for the BBC.<p>The railway is all but invisible. Burrowed beneath the steep slope of Bristol’s Avon Gorge, even its two entrances are relatively hidden. On the hilltop, …

History

How metaphors shape women’s lives

From glass cliffs to sticky floors, social scientists often use evocative imagery to highlight the barriers that women face in work and life – but are there downsides to relying on these metaphors?<p>Do you ever find yourself teetering off the edge of a glass cliff? Are you constantly stuck to a …

Women's News

The search for the Solar System’s most likely place for life

Space scientists are turning their attention from Mars to another possible haven for alien life – liquid oceans locked under miles of ice on some of our Solar System’s moons.<p>Chris McKay has fallen out of love with Mars. The red, dusty, corroded world no longer holds the allure it once did.<p>“I was …

Planets

10 grand challenges we'll face by 2050

Editing genes, ageing populations, rising sea levels… the world is moving faster than ever. What will those trends mean for our society over the next 30 years?<p>Over the last few months, BBC Future Now has been examining some of the biggest problems humankind faces right now: land use to accommodate …

Rare Earth

What not to do in a disaster

Survival is less about heroic actions than avoiding mindless mistakes.<p>“I’ll never forget the sound. The sound of metal crunching,” says George Larson, a passenger on Indian Airlines Flight 440 from Chennai (Madras) to New Delhi in 1973. It was 22:30 – pitch black outside. A storm was raging, and …

Boxing Day

How will we source clean energy for all?

Solar, wind, water… these are the energy sources that need to replace fossil fuels in the 21st Century. But which countries are up to the task?<p>When it comes to how we consume energy, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news? Around 86% of global energy still comes from fossil fuels, which …

Renewable Energy

Can a new airship unlock the Amazon?

The vast jungle interior of Brazil is a difficult place to reach – there are few roads, and travelling by river is very slow. Could airships be the key to supplying remote Amazonian outposts?<p>Standing in the middle of what used to be a sugar cane field four miles from the south Brazilian city of São …

Aerospace

How climate change will transform business and the workforce

Our planet is already feeling the effects of climate change, but it’s also poised to cause irreversible shifts in the ways we work, and the skills that employers need.<p>When we think of climate change, most of us think of environmental consequences like rising sea levels, elevated temperatures and …

Climate

The 24 best podcasts to make you smarter

Do you have time to kill, but a curiosity that just won’t be tamed? Head to these podcasts that will inform, educate and entertain.<p>There’s something for everyone in this list, recommended by BBC Future readers and our team. Whether you’re a regular listener or new to podcasts, we’ve set you up with …

Podcasting

There’s a problem with the way we define inequality

We are failing to look at inequality in the right way, according to researchers who study people’s attitudes to wealth disparity.<p>Haves and have-nots. The 99%. The income gap. The chasm between rich and poor has never mattered more. It’s estimated that the top 1% of the world’s richest people owns …

Equality

The giant undersea rivers we know very little about

Far below the surface of the sea, the seabed is being scoured by rivers of sediment that can flow thousands of miles from land.<p>The river cascades through steep-sided gorges and churns around isolated towers of rock, before winding across a vast plain beyond. It is a torrent to rival the mighty …

Oceans

How long does it take to burn off a chocolate bar?

Munch your way through a chocolate treat and you’ll have to work up a sweat to burn it off. The question is – just how long?<p><i>* The on-video caption currently says "250 calories" - this should read "260 calories".</i><p><i>This video is part of a series of original shorts made for BBC Future and Earth Lab by</i> …

Fitness

The day a mysterious cyber-attack crippled Ukraine

This time last week, an online attack brought chaos to Ukraine’s banks, hospitals and government, before spreading worldwide. The evidence suggests that money was not the aim – the real intention was disguised. Could it be a sign of something more serious to come?<p>On the morning of Tuesday, 27 June, …

Cybersecurity

The massive volcano that scientists can't find

It was the biggest eruption for 700 years but scientists still can't find the volcano responsible.<p>It was 10 October 1465 – the day of the hotly anticipated wedding of King Alfonso II of Naples. He was set to marry the sophisticated Ippolita Maria Sforza, a noblewoman from Milan, in a lavish …

15th century

How do fizzy drinks affect blood sugar?

What happens to your body when you consume a fizzy drink? Gabriel Weston samples her blood to compare the difference between full-sugar and diet cola.<p>Eating a lot of sugar can make our blood sugar levels high and put us at risk of Type 2 diabetes. To find out what a typical fizzy drink does to the …

Sugar

The hidden signs that can reveal a fake photo

A picture may say a thousand words, but what if the photograph has been fabricated? There are ways to spot a fake – you just have to look closely enough.<p>Take a look at the photograph below – it’s just an ordinary picture of two people outside a building, right? One of them appears to be handing …

Tutorials

Fabien Cousteau: How to save the ocean

The 21st Century poses no shortage of threats to Earth's oceans – all man-made: pollution, climate change, overfishing. Fabien Cousteau, who once lived continuously underwater for a month, explains what can be done to tackle this grand challenge.<p>More than 635,000 tonnes of rubbish gets thrown in …

Oceans

This enormous Chinese blimp could replace satellites

There's a new type of airship called the Cloud, and it has a silver lining. (It’s also a giant, floating communications hub.) Finn Aberdein goes to watch a nerve-wracking flight with its maker KuangChi Science.<p><i>This video is an extract from the series Tales from Modern China, which airs on BBC World</i> …

Science

How can we manage Earth’s land?

Overpopulation, climate change, mass migration… our relationship with terra firma has never been more complicated. Could Earth’s land be an overlooked, increasingly precious resource?<p>From the sky, it looks like an entire city is adrift in the Indian Ocean. A forest of tower-blocks rise above the …

Climate Change

The detectives who investigate food poisoning mysteries

Some killers are so small they need to be hunted with a microscope. Veronique Greenwood talks to an investigator tackling baffling outbreaks of contaminated food.<p>It was in December 2015 that the cases began to trickle in across the US. There were never very many at a time, but they were consistent: …

E.coli

How do you treat a dog with OCD?

Some dogs exhibit a compulsive disorder that is eerily similar to that found in humans. Can the methods used to treat man’s best friend work for us too?<p>Curiously, and perhaps eagerly, I am looking at a bull terrier named Sputnik, searching for a resemblance.<p>He’s a stocky three-year-old, mostly …

Dogs

Who feels the cold more – men or women?

To find out, Gabriel Weston leads two people into a chilly room and takes their clothes off. A special camera then reveals all.<p>Read more from the BBC: Why might women feel temperature differently from men?<p><i>This video is part of a series of original shorts made for BBC Future and Earth Lab by the</i> …

Women's News

The rover that will store rock samples on Mars

Nasa’s new rover is intended to store rock samples it plucks from the Martian surface. But what happens after that? BBC Future finds out.<p>With its bulky body, spindly legs, radioactive tail and a towering stalk with a single eye, Nasa’s latest Mars rover is not something you would want to come …

Space

How should we manage nuclear energy?

The promise of the 1950s, that nuclear energy would supply practically all of our energy, has faded. What's the future of the expensive, powerful, complicated energy source?<p>At a quarter to four in the afternoon on Friday, 11 March 2011, a 14-metre tsunami crashed over the defensive seawall at the …

Energy

Meet the world’s most powerful computer

Two decades ago China did not have a single supercomputer – and now it has the world’s most powerful.<p>China only started producing its first computer chips in 2001. But its chip industry has developed at an awesome pace.<p>So much so that Chinese-made chips power the world’s most powerful …

Supercomputers

The place where aeroplanes go to die

When they reach the end of their life, many aeroplanes are sent to this field in the English countryside – not just to die, but to be reborn. Retired aircraft hold surprisingly valuable parts, and sometimes you can find some unusual lost property too.<p>Giants lurk among the hedgerows and rolling …

Aviation