Mysteries Archive
19 March 2014, 02:16 PM ET
In 1929, bacteriologist Alexander Fleming discovered the first true antibiotic, penicillin, ushering in a new age of medicine. Since then, scientists have found dozens of antibiotics, which fight bacteria in a variety of ways.
19 March 2014, 11:53 AM ET
Men might grow a mustache just for extra style points, but the facial hair of the cat has nothing to do with fashion. Whiskers are highly sensitive tactile hairs that grow in ordered patterns on a cat's muzzle, above its eyes, and elsewhere on its body.
19 March 2014, 09:15 AM ET
While celebrities and models may sport pearly white teeth, the smiles of most people are a tad duller. But this shouldn't be too surprising: A number of different things can affect the color of your teeth and turn them that dreaded yellow hue.
18 March 2014, 02:22 PM ET
The discovery of ripples in space-time from the mysterious earliest moments after the Big Bang is not only a "smoking gun" for the universe's rapid expansion but also could have important implications for physics.
13 March 2014, 11:42 AM ET
You've probably heard it all your life: Eating sweets will rot your teeth. But while a diet high in sugar certainly promotes the formation of cavities (as well as other medical problems), sugar itself isn't the real culprit behind tooth decay.
27 February 2014, 04:38 PM ET
Jet lag results from disruptions to the body's "clock" or natural, circadian rhythms. This internal clock — which runs on an average 24.1-hour schedule — controls sleep, wakefulness and a host of other physiological processes.
26 February 2014, 10:53 AM ET
A flex-fuel vehicle (FFV) is a vehicle with an internal combustion engine capable of operating on a mixture of fuels, typically gasoline and ethanol.
25 February 2014, 04:25 PM ET
Diverticulitis, a condition that can cause severe and sudden pain in the abdomen, affects the digestive system.
25 February 2014, 02:10 PM ET
A herpes infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), which comes in two forms: HSV-1, which usually results in oral herpes infections affecting the mouth and lips; and HSV-2, which usually causes genital herpes affecting the genitals and anus.
24 February 2014, 04:56 PM ET
If you think gelato is just the Italian equivalent of ice cream, think again. The frozen treat contains less fat, less air and is served at a higher temperature than conventional ice cream, lending it a more intense, concentrated flavor.
24 February 2014, 04:56 PM ET
The primary motivation behind veganism is to reduce harm to all living creatures. It is "compassion in action," according to the American Vegan Society.
24 February 2014, 03:10 PM ET
There's a reason nipples are considered one of the most erogenous zones of the human body. These sensitive body parts are easily stimulated and easily irritated, and there are many reasons why a person might feel nipple pain.
20 February 2014, 11:16 AM ET
Coffee has both positive and negative effects on the body and mind, but the benefits appear to outweigh the harms for most people.
18 February 2014, 04:42 PM ET
The AMBER alert system — an early warning system that helps police locate abducted children — was developed in 1996 as a collaboration between Dallas-area broadcasters and local police.
14 February 2014, 04:44 PM ET
Imagine yogurt in a drinkable form, and with bubbles. If you can picture that, you've got a decent idea what kefir is.
14 February 2014, 04:17 PM ET
Bursting water pipes are a major concern when winter temperatures drop below freezing. But why do freezing pipes burst?
11 February 2014, 10:06 AM ET
Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, develops when the transparent membrane, or conjunctiva, lining the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball gets inflamed. You can get pink eye from someone else if their bacterial or viral infection passes to you.
11 February 2014, 09:50 AM ET
Compared to relative humidity, dew point is frequently cited as a more accurate way of measuring the humidity and comfort of air, since it is an absolute measurement (unlike relative humidity).
04 February 2014, 05:07 PM ET
Carl Jung's concept of synchronicity can be boiled down to describing "meaningful coincidences."
30 January 2014, 12:39 PM ET
Though the term "communism" can refer to specific political parties, at its core, communism is an ideology of economic equality through the elimination of private property.
30 January 2014, 11:09 AM ET
Although millions of people celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Dec. 25, most scholars agree that he wasn't born on that day, or even in the year 1 A.D.
29 January 2014, 05:11 PM ET
There's only one group of people who really know what happens when you die: the dead. And since the dead won't be revealing their secrets anytime soon, it's up to scientists to explain what happens when a person dies.
29 January 2014, 04:44 PM ET
The common skin growth called a skin tag, or acrochordon, usually develops in folds of skin and causes little to no harm. Still, these growths can be irritating, and doctors can easily remove them.
27 January 2014, 04:26 PM ET
The universe is made up of matter and energy. What is energy? Matter — anything that has mass and takes up space — is pretty straightforward and easy to grasp, but energy is a bit more abstract.
27 January 2014, 02:55 PM ET
Most studies measuring the rate of hair growth haven't taken into account the race of study participants. A 2005 study found a difference among races in the rate of hair growth. Asian hair grows the fastest, while African hair grows the slowest.
27 January 2014, 01:38 PM ET
Kidney stones form when substances normally found in urine lump together and become solid material within the kidneys. They may remain inside the kidneys or pass through the urinary tract, causing pain and bleeding.
27 January 2014, 01:06 PM ET
The corn-kernel-size caper adds a salty, pungent flavor to salmon dishes, Italian sauces and other foods. But what are capers, a popular dark-green garnish?
21 January 2014, 10:11 AM ET
Ideas about a technology that could connect people via a global, hardwired network have abounded since at least the 1930s. But the information hub that we know today as the Internet traces its origins back to 1958.
17 January 2014, 03:53 PM ET
The surgeon general of the United States is the leading spokesperson on public health issues for the federal government, nominated by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
15 January 2014, 03:43 PM ET
Technology experts cite various government agencies — as well as a handful of individuals — that have played an instrumental role in inventing what we know today as the Internet.
15 January 2014, 02:01 PM ET
The sun, a massive nuclear-powered star at the center of the solar system, generates the heat and light that sustain life on Earth. But how hot is the sun?
15 January 2014, 11:44 AM ET
When babies start teething, the lower central incisors — the two bottom front teeth — are the first to come in, followed by the upper central incisors. From there, the other incisors, the first set of molars and the canines all grow in.