Bad Science

Live Science's Bad Science columnist Benjamin Radford explores the world of odd occurrences, unexplained mysteries and anything "strange." From the Loch Ness monster and Chupacabra to UFOs and conspiracy theories, Radford debunks where needed and brings a dose of grounded science to the world's weird happenings.

  • No Sympathy for the Devil: Why People Fear Satanism

    No Sympathy for the Devil: Why People Fear Satanism

    September 12, 2014 | Article

    A Satanic mass planned in Oklahoma City this month has prompted protests, a lawsuit from the Catholic Church, and talk of laws against bloodletting. Such public images of fear are not uncommon regarding Satanist groups, though they may not be justified.
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  • Indian Woman Beaten to Death for 'Witchcraft'

    Indian Woman Beaten to Death for 'Witchcraft'

    July 31, 2014 | Article

    A woman near Nepal was beaten to death after being accused of being a witch, showing the real and present harms of witch hunts in India and elsewhere. Often it's the marginalized and poor who are victims of the gruesome witch hunts, experts say.
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  • Mongolian Death Worm: Elusive Legend of the Gobi Desert

    Mongolian Death Worm: Elusive Legend of the Gobi Desert

    June 21, 2014 | Reference

    The Mongolian Death Worm is said to be a large creature with spikes and acidic spit.
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  • Shaman's Herbal Hallucinogen a Fatal Lure for New Age Tourists

    Shaman's Herbal Hallucinogen a Fatal Lure for New Age Tourists

    June 20, 2014 | Article

    The mother of a man who drowned while using a shamanic hallucinogenic drug called ayahuasca has filed a lawsuit against the New Age spiritual retreat where the incident occurred. This isn't the first time such a New Age experience has ended in death.
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  • Is the Creepy Staten Island Clown a Publicity Stunt?

    Is the Creepy Staten Island Clown a Publicity Stunt?

    March 26, 2014 | Article

    A mysterious and apparently malevolent clown has been seen at night lurking near the streets of Staten Island, N.Y., over the past week. Could it be a savvy publicity stunt?
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  • Is the Loch Ness Monster Dead?

    Is the Loch Ness Monster Dead?

    February 09, 2014 | Article

    A veteran custodian of Loch Ness monster sightings is concerned that Nessie has not been seen in well over a year, and may be gone, according to a news report. This is the first time in nearly 90 years that such a lengthy lag in sightings has occurred.
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  • Crop Circle Was a Publicity Stunt: Why 'Experts' Were Fooled

    Crop Circle Was a Publicity Stunt: Why 'Experts' Were Fooled

    January 07, 2014 | Article

    The human brain may be hardwired to believe such obvious hoaxes as the one pulled off by Nvidia to promote its new Tegra K1 processing chip. Conspiracy thinking can also make crop-circle hoaxes believable.
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  • Ghost Hunters Burn Down Historic Mansion

    Ghost Hunters Burn Down Historic Mansion

    November 27, 2013 | Article

    Though nobody was harmed in the fire that burned down a New Orleans 'haunted' mansion, the occurrence shines a light on the dark side of ghost hunting, which seems to be only gaining in popularity.
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  • Culprit in Mysterious Elk Deaths Found

    Culprit in Mysterious Elk Deaths Found

    November 07, 2013 | Article

    The investigation, which finally homed in on a tiny killer, was hampered by the state of the elk: Scavengers ate most of the bodies, with maggots and blowflies helping to reduce the elk herd to an eerie scattered sea of skeletons in the desert.
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  • Halloween Threats to Children: Fact or Fiction?

    Halloween Threats to Children: Fact or Fiction?

    October 30, 2013 | Article

    Amid the make-believe witches, ghouls and goblins, there are supposedly real-life villains who lay in wait all year, scheming about the evil and mayhem they will wreak on Oct. 31. But are these threats real?
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