Mysteries

  • Can a Severed Head Live On?

    Can a Severed Head Live On?

    August 27, 2013 | Article

    Centuries-old tales have described severed heads that seemed to live for a few seconds — blinking, changing expressions, even attempting to speak. Compelling as these stories may be, many physicians would call this horrifying possibility highly unlikely.
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  • What Is a Coywolf?

    What Is a Coywolf?

    August 26, 2013 | Article

    The coywolf is a coyote-wolf hybrid found throughout eastern North America, from Canada all the way down to Virginia. A 2010 study argued that eastern coyotes should more appropriately be termed "coywolves" to reflect their hybrid origin.
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  • Why Are Some Plants Purple?

    Why Are Some Plants Purple?

    August 23, 2013 | Article

    Most of the plants you see on a daily basis are green, but every so often you might happen upon the odd purple-leafed tree or shrub. Why do some plants have these purple parts?
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  • Why Are Rain Clouds Dark?

    Why Are Rain Clouds Dark?

    August 21, 2013 | Article

    It's pretty well-known that most clouds are white, while rain clouds are usually a darker shade of gray. But why are rain clouds so dark?
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  • Vodka, Aspirin or 7Up: What Keeps Flowers Fresh?

    Vodka, Aspirin or 7Up: What Keeps Flowers Fresh?

    August 14, 2013 | Article

    To prolong the life of fresh-cut flowers, florists recommend commercial flower preservatives. Homemade vase solutions — using pennies, aspirin, vodka, sugar, 7-UP or bleach — claim to be as good or better. Do any of them work?
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  • Mokele-Mbembe: The Search for a Living Dinosaur

    Mokele-Mbembe: The Search for a Living Dinosaur

    August 13, 2013 | Reference

    Lack of evidence has not deterred expeditions in search of a living dinosaur in the jungles of central Africa.
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  • Should You Eat Shellfish Only in Months with an 'R'?

    Should You Eat Shellfish Only in Months with an 'R'?

    July 30, 2013 | Article

    "Only eat oysters in months with an 'R.'" This little pearl of folk wisdom carries more truth than you might expect — since the months without the letter R in their names coincide with summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
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  • What Is Brown Noise?

    What Is Brown Noise?

    July 30, 2013 | Article

    Brown noise is one of the many colors of noise, which also include white noise, pink noise and blue noise. Brown noise is also known as Brownian noise because its change in sound signal from one moment to the next is random.
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  • What Is Pink Noise?

    What Is Pink Noise?

    July 29, 2013 | Article

    Pink noise is a color of noise, not entirely unlike white noise. Both white and pink noise contain all the frequencies that are audible to humans — 20 hertz to 20,000 hertz — but the way signal power is distributed differs.
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  • Do Indoor Plants Really Clean the Air?

    Do Indoor Plants Really Clean the Air?

    July 29, 2013 | Article

    Sure, that potted fern is pretty, but can it really spruce up the air quality in your home? Plants, including indoor plants, are notoriously adept at absorbing gases through pores on the surface of their leaves.
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