Mental Floss

Watch NASA Test Its New Supersonic Parachute at 1300 Miles Per Hour

NASA’s latest Mars rover is headed for the Red Planet in 2020, and the space agency is working hard to make sure its $2.1 billion project will land …

Astronomy

Learn to Spot the Sneaky Psychological Tricks Restaurants Use

While dining out, you may have noticed (but perhaps didn’t question) some unusual features—like prices missing dollar signs, or burgers served on …

Thanksgiving

10 Sunday Reads - The Big Picture

My <i>easy like Sunday morning</i> reads:<p>• The Robot Revolution Is Coming. Just Be Patient. (BloombergView)<br>• This Market Isn’t Ready to Surrender (Barron’s)<br>• …

The Secret Protocol for When the Queen Dies

We don't like to speculate on someone's future death, especially someone who isn't even sick, but Queen Elizabeth II is 91 years old. The British …

Royal Family

The best Thanksgiving podcasts for your holiday drive

<i>Looking for something new to listen to while you drive to work/go for a walk/wash the dishes? We're here for you. In weekly series Podcast Pick, we're highlighting a podcasts, audio personalities or specific stories worth hearing.</i><p>This Thanksgiving, we are grateful for podcasts that help pass the …

Podcasting

Happy 100th Birthday to Marshmallow-Topped Sweet Potato Casserole

Thanksgiving

Owning a Dog May Add Years to Your Life, Study Shows

We've said that having a furry friend can reduce depression, promote better sleep, and encourage more exercise. Now, research has indicated that …

South-east Asia

9 Diamond-Like Facts About Carbon

<i>How well do you know the periodic table? Our series The Elements explores the fundamental building blocks of the observable universe—and their</i> …

Chemistry

Why Don't We Eat Turkey Tails?

Turkey sandwiches. Turkey soup. Roasted turkey. This year, Americans will consume roughly 245 million birds, with 46 million being prepared and …

Bob Menendez

9 Stuffed Toys for the Geek in Your Life

As the temps continue to drop, your loved ones will probably start reaching for something to snuggle up with. Why should they settle for a plain old …

Shopping

Hate Waiting at Baggage Claim? Here's How to Make Sure Your Suitcase Arrives First

Air travel involves plenty of waiting, from standing in long security lines to preparing for takeoff. And even after you land, your trip is stalled …

Pets

The Pawpaw: The All-American Fruit the Country Forgot

Truly all-American foods are hard to find—hamburgers, hot dogs, and apple pie, for example, all have foreign origins. But that doesn’t mean native …

Thanksgiving

11 Behind-the-Counter Secrets of Baristas

Being a barista is no easy task, and it’s not just the early hours and the don’t-talk-to-me-unless-I’ve-had-my-coffee customers. While people often …

Coffee

10 Brilliant Gifts for the College Kid in Your Life

If anyone needs a great holiday gift, it’s a broke college student. Give them something they’ll love (and use). May we suggest one of these?<p><i>Mental</i> …

Shopping

Chopin's Pickled Heart Reveals His Cause of Death

Polish composer Frédéric Chopin has had a strange afterlife.<p>He died and was buried in Paris in 1849. But in a romantic gesture to his homeland, his …

Archaeology

The surprisingly hygge-appropriate reason airport gate areas are carpeted

If you’ve ever wondered why airport-gate waiting areas have carpet instead of hard, smooth-surfaced floors that are optimal for wheeling luggage, …

Lifestyle

Which Languages Are The Hardest For An English Speaker To Learn?

Some people claim English is the hardest language to learn because, among other reasons, English speakers use so many different words to say the same …

Language Learning

What's Inside an Etch A Sketch? | Video | Mental Floss

Language<p>Words we got from the weather<p>Language<p>Words we got from the weather<p>How To<p>How to fold a fitted sheet<p>How To<p>How to fold a fitted …

Cool Stuff

15 Thanksgiving Dinner Disasters (And How to Avoid Them)

We learn from our mistakes, but it's less painful to learn from other people's mistakes. Stories of Thanksgiving disasters can be quite funny and …

Thanksgiving

Here's Why Airports Have Carpet

If you spend enough time traveling, you may start to wonder about the many aspects of airports.<p>Take, for example, that most airports are carpeted. …

Travel

If You Use These Words Often, It Could Be a Hidden Sign You’re Stressed

Most signs of stress are fairly easy to recognize—especially to the chronic stressor. Not only do you clench your teeth or tense your muscles, but …

Language

What Happens If You Survive The Apocalypse But Only Have One Pair Of Contacts?

Have you ever seen the <i>The Twilight Zone</i> episode called "Time Enough At Last"?<p>It's about a guy who just wants uninterrupted time to read, which he …

Cool Stuff

8 Ways Spiders Are Creepily Clever

There are so many different types of spiders in the world, it's no wonder that they evolved different ways to do their spider-things. Some of them …

Spiders

What Is a GMO?

If you've followed the debate about GMOs with any sort of regularity, there's a strong chance you've come across a picture of a tomato stabbed by a …

Agriculture

Bill Gates is Spending $100 Million to Find a Cure for Alzheimer's

Not everyone who's blessed with a long life will remember it. Individuals who live into their mid-80s have a nearly 50 percent chance of developing …

Alzheimer's Disease

To Boldly Go: The Science Behind Pooping in Space

What Mike Mullane remembers most clearly about having his first bowel movement in space is the blast of cold air greeting his exposed rectum. Over …

NASA

How To Tell Whether You Have Angst, Ennui Or Weltschmerz

Tis the season for SAD to creep into our minds and give us a serious case of the winter blues, SAD as in Seasonal Affective Disorder, and this winter …

Language

Why Does Cilantro Taste Like Soap To Some People?

<b>by Sophie Harrington</b><p>Surprisingly controversial, cilantro (or coriander, as it's known in other parts of the world) has sparked a level of vitriol …

Polar Bears

The weird thing you never noticed about airports

And how it could be making you spend more...<p>An airport is a bit of a magical place. It is where you get to consume champagne at 7am like it's a …

Airports

Watch a nine-pound crab sneak up on a sleeping bird, snap its wings and eat it

<i>Updated |</i> You may imagine crabs as reclusive and shy creatures but new footage from the island of Chagos in the Indian Ocean shows the first images …

Birds