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.
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Latest Articles

Indian Woman Beaten to Death for 'Witchcraft'
a sorcerer's table
July 31st, 2014
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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Crop Circle Was a Publicity Stunt: Why 'Experts' Were Fooled
A mysterious 310-foot-diameter crop circle that appeared in a farmer's barley field in Chualar, Calif., was not alien made; rather it was a marketing stunt promoting Nvidia's new Tegra K1 processing chip.
January 7th, 2014
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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Halloween Threats to Children: Fact or Fiction?
Kids Trick-Or-Treating in Costumes
October 30th, 2013
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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Shaman's Herbal Hallucinogen a Fatal Lure for New Age Tourists
an illustration of trippy, psychedelic smoke
June 20th, 2014
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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Ghost Hunters Burn Down Historic Mansion
the LeBeau Plantation house on fire near New Orleans
November 27th, 2013
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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Hospital Sells Body Parts to Witch Doctors, Accusers Say
An image shows a human heart with a cardiogram
October 11th, 2013
The second-largest hospital in the Southern African country of Swaziland may be operating a black market in human body parts used in magic spells, according to claims made by a reverend and others.
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Real Cause of 'Satanic Sacrifice' Pony Found
a sorcerer's table
August 23rd, 2013
A pony found in Dartmoor, England, in July apparently died under mysterious and horrific circumstances: It had been mutilated, and several of its organs were missing, fueling speculation that it was killed in a satanic or pagan ritual sacrifice.
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Is the Loch Ness Monster Dead?
loch ness monster
February 9th, 2014
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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Culprit in Mysterious Elk Deaths Found
Elk at water tank
November 7th, 2013
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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Scary Clown Terrorizes British Town
This screenshot from a YouTube video shows the so-called "Local Clown," who has similarities to the Northampton Clown
September 18th, 2013
Nocturnal sightings of the face-painted fiend — widely dubbed The Northampton Clown — began earlier this month. The clown has not harassed, attacked, nor threatened anyone; he — or possibly she or It — merely wanders the streets creeping people out.
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