The Best Gifts for Science Nerds and Geeks
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Science GiftsIf you're wondering what to get the science geek in your life, look no further. Do they need a moon lamp? Maybe a custom map of their favorite volcano? And don't forget that science geeks can never have too many science themed socks or t-shirts.
Here at Live Science we love shopping for science lovers. Check out this specially curated list of our favorite science themed gifts.
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LED Space Fleece Blanket
Complete with an astronaut and actual twinkling stars, this warm fleece-lined throw is the perfect gift for anyone who needs their space. Three AA batteries (not included) power 18 small LED-lights that blink like the stars on a purple and blue night sky. The battery pack is removable and the blanket's machine washable, so it's sure to be used for multiple trips around the sun.
Available from ThinkGeek for $39.99.
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Virulence: An Infectious Card Game
This contagious card game will have players mutating and inoculating all over the place as they try to be the first to infect a host cell with their virus. Learn about viral genomes, replications, vaccinations and more in this easy-to-play card game for 2 – 5 players, ages 8 and up.
Available from Genius Games for $19.99.
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Science socksNo true science geek should be without science-themed socks and Sock It To Me has a fantastic selection to choose from. Designs include Einstein's face, horses in space and even magical narwhals. The socks come in knee-high, regular crew length and no-show styles, in both kid and adult sizes. Prices start at around $10. Check out their website for the full range of options.
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Add elegance to any space-lover's wardrobe with original space-inspired accessories. Mars Blingis an Etsy shop that creates unique fashion pieces for planetary science enthusiasts, such as the mission control cuff links and Mars rover necklace. These works of art are made with vintage mid-century materials and are one of a kind.
Available from Etsy seller Mars Bling, with prices mostly between $45 and $70.
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Global warming mugLet your morning coffee fix double as a sobering reminder of global warming. Thanks to heat-sensitive technology coupled with satellite imagery, parts of the world map disappear as hot coffee warms the mug. This color-changing mug could also work as a useful tool for science educators.
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Mathematics 2019: 12-Month CalendarScience enthusiasts know it's important to exercise the brain every day so they're likely to appreciate this practical math calendar. Created by two expert math educators, Rebecca Rapoport and Dean Chung, this calendar features a new math equation for every day of the year. (That's a lot of equations!) Work out your brain and improve your math skills with entry-level algebra, word problems and even a few math puns.
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Does the scientist in your life have a particular location they love? Maybe it's their lab, or their research site, or maybe it's a volcano they've always dreamed of visiting. No matter the location, they're sure to appreciate the precision and thoughtfulness of a poster-sized map of the exact coordinates of their favorite spot.
Available from Mapiful.com, starting at $60.
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It's tough to find a more personalized (and geeky) gift than a poster of your DNA. This gift takes a little planning ahead, though. The company, DNA11, sends you a kit with instructions on how to collect the sample, which you then mail back, along with your color preferences for the final print. DNA11 then designs a print of what your DNA looks like when its fragments are separated using a technique called gel electrophoresis. The result is a colorful and unique piece of art. DNA11 also makes personalized kiss and fingerprint artwork.
Available from DNA11, starting at $199.
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Schrodinger's cat plush pillowsIs it alive or is it dead, or both? Dead on one side, alive on the other, this adorable Schrodinger's cat pillow is sure to get a laugh from science geeks.
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Coffee, Cake, Science t-shirt
Three things science geeks love the most: coffee, cake and science. It just makes sense. Help your science friends share their enthusiasm for this perfect trio with a snazzy t-shirt available in several colors.
Available from Bitesize Bio for $13.99.
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Science Rocks t-shirt
It really doesn't need to be said because it's obvious, but it looks super cool on a t-shirt: SCIENCE ROCKS (complete with rock horns hand sign). Sometimes simple and to the point is best.
Find the shirt, available in many colors, at Bitesize Bio for $13.99.
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Science Rocks charm/necklace
Maybe the science fan in your life prefers a subtler way than a t-shirt to share how they feel about science. Gift them this small, brightly colored charm that includes a Bohr model atom and the exclamation that "Science Rocks!"
Available from Etsy seller CheekyMonkeyPendants for $10.40.
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Who said you can't gift the moon? Ok, maybe not the actual moon but a how about a classy glowing replica of the moon? The Original Moon Lamp comes in six different sizes and can be adjusted to emit a warm yellow light or bright white light. The lamp is rechargeable and cordless, so you can put it almost anywhere.
The Original Moon Lampstarts at $29.99 for the smallest size.
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Phylogenetic tree necklace
A phylogenetic tree is a complex but structured diagram of the evolution of species based on their shared traits. And in gold, it looks mighty pretty. As a cornerstone of evolutionary biology, this phylogenetic tree necklace is a great gift for evolution enthusiasts.
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Glass ecosphereThis elegant glass ecosphere is a big step up from homemade plastic-bottle terrariums. Nature lovers and ecology buffs will enjoy watching adorable little shrimps grow up in this beautiful spherical terrarium (some reviewers say they've kept the shrimp alive for years!).
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Custom night sky
Looking for a stellar way to commemorate a special moment? Check out these customizable star maps. The company, called The Night Sky, reviews a catalog of stars generated by the Hipparcos space-based telescope to create an accurate image of the night sky at your specified time and location. Then they make a beautiful poster-size image of it.
Create your own star map at The Night Sky, starting at $60.
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Pipette tip earrings
Any scientist who works in a lab will tell you: plastic pipette tips are one of the most essential supplies for any experiment. Pay tribute to these tiny lab bench heroes with these elegant pipette tip earrings made with colorful glass beads and real (unused) pipette tips. They're the perfect gift for the pipetting professional in your life.
Available from Etsy seller ScienceKitty's, starting at $12.50 a pair.
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This necklace is the perfect gift for the anatomy enthusiast in your life. Jewelry makers Laura and Jeremy, who own Chain of Being, dedicated this necklace to medical professionals. In a creepy but beautiful manner, they've made sure the red beaded arteries circling the neck are anatomically correct. The artery necklace is made to order and priced at $95.50.
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Radioactive elements glowing coasters
For the Marie Curie fans and pure chemistry lovers, these radioactive coasters are sure to make the evening glow. No, of course they're not actually radioactive, but they each light up with a different neon color when you put your drink on them. Get the set of four, which includes radium, plutonium, uranium and thorium, from ThinkGeek for $19.99.
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Geologic eons mugLooking for the best mug of all time? This colorful coffee carrier depicts the 26 eons, epochs and eras of Earth and examples of creatures that lived in the past. Finish slurping your warm beverage and surprise —there's a trilobite fossil print waiting there at the bottom!
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We bet you can't tricera-top these tees. With a detailed and artistic image of the dinosaur on the front and the dinosaur's skeleton on the back, these t-shirts are sure to thrill any paleontologist or dinosaur lover.
Choose from over a dozen species from Permia, starting at $28.
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It's a fact that anyone who ever took a biology class can recall: mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell. Biologists are such to get a jolt from celebrating these energy-producing organelles with a snazzy t-shirt, hoodie or tank top from Snorgtees, starting at $20.00.
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Science theme postcards
Do you know someone who likes gravy and bacon, Nikola Tesla and narwhals? Then they're sure to love these quirky post cards, appropriately called, Not Your Grandmother's Postcards. Get this set of 30 unique cards for only the most important messages, from American Science and Surplus for $8.85.
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Graduated beaker mug
If it's not clear yet, coffee and science go hand and hand, making this graduated beaker mug the perfect addition to any science lover's lab or kitchen. Made with borosilicate glass, the beaker comes with a convenient handle and curved lipped for easy sipping. It's available in two sizes — 400 or 1,000 milliliters — from American Science and Surplus, starting at $8.95 each.
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50-ft solar balloon
Rather than gifting a plain old mylar balloon that will likely end up in the ocean, consider this impressive and reusable 50-foot solar balloon. All it needs is sunlight to float, demonstrating the concepts of thermodynamics and convection. Take this monster to the park and it's sure to blow some minds.
Find it at American Science and Surplus for $19.95.
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Entomology fans are sure to buzz about these sets of encased insect specimens. Choose from two sets of four real insects sealed up in small acrylic blocks. Set 1 includes a scorpion, giant ant, wasp and a flower bug and set 2 comes with a cricket, locust, yellow leaf beetle and a crab — yes, a crab.
Both sets are available from American Science and Surplus for $13.75 each.
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LCD Digital Microscope
What science lover wouldn't love to have an LCD digital microscope? With digital zoom, this microscope can magnify things to 1600X. The rotating LCD screen makes it easy to share the view and the 5-megapixel camera allows you to record over 600 images or 20 minutes of video. It also comes with a convenient carrying case for taking it into the field, a classroom or a friend's house. At the time of writing, the microscope is 5 percent off, for a price of $199.95 from American Science and Surplus.
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Actual size animal tracks doormat
Wildlife enthusiasts are certain to get a kick out this colorful animal-track doormat. Creators Ben Gibson and Patrick Mulligan designed the mat with 12 different animal tracks, from a mallard duck to Siberian tiger, all in their actual size and neatly placed around a human footprint (women's size 7) for comparison.
Step up your gift game with this doormat available from UncommonGoods for $30.
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Beer Chemistry pint glasses
Chances are high that you know someone who loves beer and loves science. Combine the two and what do you get? Chemistry of beer pint glasses. This set comes with two glasses decorated with the molecules that make beer taste like beer.
Available from UncommonGoods for $25.
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Solar system glow in the dark bottle stoppers
How do you organize a space party? You planet. And you make sure to include these glow-in-the-dark planet wine bottle stoppers. Choose from Earth, Mercury, Neptune, Saturn or the sun or moon. These cosmic stoppers are handmade by glass artists in China.
Available from UncommonGoods, starting at $24 each.