Six out of ten Americans believe in an afterlife in which people are punished for evil deeds, a 2014 Pew survey found. Whether your sense of hell is literal or metaphorical, the concept predates Christianity, according to the new Penguin Book of Hell. “Despite all our recourse to reason and compassion,” says editor Scott Bruce, “the power of Hell has not been undone.” He especially bewails the persistence of “hell on Earth,” such modern, self-inflicted torments as war crimes, nuclear bombs and genocide.
For six weeks, luna moth caterpillars gorge themselves on the leaves of the marula tree. Then, when they're ready, they instinctively weave giant cocoons around themselves in preparation for their stunning metamorphosis.