The Best Gifts of 2015 for Science Geeks

We’ve selected a plethora of unique science gifts, from solar system glasses to fossilized dinnerware

Want to find the perfect holiday gift for the science fan in your life? No need to experiment—we've done the research and selected some of the most electrifying goodies, from Plutonic pendants to mossy home décor, to fascinate your favorite brainiac.

Find even more gifts for science geeks in our Holiday Shop >>

Pluto Pendant Necklace ($13.45)

Feeling jaded about Jupiter and saying "meh" to Mars? Spruce up your planetary bling with this colorful Pluto necklace from MGArtisanPendants. The image comes courtesy of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, which beamed back the first close-ups of the small, icy world and its family of moons in July. The pendant comes in a zinc alloy casing and hangs from a 24-inch bronze chain. If you want a whole solar system of style, the shop also offers pendants featuring other planets, nebulae and galaxies.

Suggested by Victoria Jaggard, online science editor

"Adventures in the Anthropocene" ($13.80)

Bestowed with the 2015 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books, Adventures in the Anthropocene chronicles the experiences of journalist Gaia Vince, who spent two years traveling the planet and meeting people who are tackling the challenges of the Age of Humans in the hopes of building a better, more sustainable future. While the book deals with heady issues such as climate change, biodiversity and pollution, Kirkus Reviews describes Vince's work as "a well-documented, upbeat alternative to doom-and-gloom prognostications."

Suggested by Victoria Jaggard

Women in Science Tee Shirts ($28)

Wear your love for science on your sleeve and celebrate the achievements of some of the pioneers in their fields with these colorful shirts honoring historic women in science. Sold by Etsy shop Rachelignotofsky, the kids' collection features illustrations of Jane Goodall, Valentina Tereshkova, Rosalind Franklin and Marie Curie printed on black jersey tees. Adult sizes expand the roster to include luminaries such as Grace Hopper, Mary Anning and Patricia Bath.

Suggested by Victoria Jaggard

Planetary Glass Set ($34.99)

You heard that there's water on Mars, right? What about water in Mars, or how about some juice in Jupiter? No matter your libation, you can celebrate the solar system at every meal with this collection of planet-themed drinking glasses sold by Think Geek. The set includes 10-ounce glasses representing the eight classical planets, as well as a 16-ounce glass for the sun and a diminutive 4-ounce cup for Pluto.

Suggested by Rachel Kaufman, contributing editor

Ernst Haeckel Science Illustration Pillows ($35)

Biologists will surely swoon over this unique throw pillow, decorated with vintage drawings by German naturalist and artist Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel. Born in 1834, Haeckel studied medicine, art and zoology and became a powerful supporter of Darwinian evolution. He went on to create a wide range of scientific illustrations published in Art Forms in Nature that are still revered today. PictorialHistory has created a variety of decorative pillows based on Haeckel's art printed on hand-sewn covers of upholstery-grade fabric.

Suggested by Victoria Jaggard

Marimo Moss Ball Light Bulb Terrarium ($35)

Found only in lakes in Iceland, Scotland, Japan and Estonia, marimo are tiny balls of algae that get swirled by the currents into living pompoms. This marimo terrarium, sold by Uncommon Goods, is made from a recycled light bulb that encloses the adorable moss in its own Lilliputian ecosystem, ideal for display on desks or coffee tables. The portable plant ball is very much alive and needs ample light and a change of water every week or so.

Suggested by Maya Wei-Haas, assistant online science editor

Pandemic Legacy Board Game ($49.32)

The world is facing epic outbreaks of four deadly diseases, and all that stands in the way of global catastrophe is your crack team. Can you hold back the pandemic for an entire year? Pandemic Legacy is a cooperative game with a twist: Unfolding events in each round permanently change the outcome, requiring players to mark up or even destroy components as the action progresses. While some game fans bemoan the opportunity for replays, most reviews praise the higher-stakes suspense and the game's infectious storyline.

Suggested by Victoria Jaggard

MEL Chemistry Sets ($73.80, + $11.95 per experiment set)

Too many chemistry sets can seem like boxes of flashy tricks that rob kids of the chance to really learn and experiment. So education startup MEL Science updated the kit for the digital age, mashing up hands-on lessons with virtual reality and mobile technology. Users receive a starter kit when they subscribe, and then get 38 interactive experiment sets sent over the course of a year. An accompanying smartphone app acts as a "virtual microscope that lets you use your mobile device to look inside matter and understand how everything is structured."

Suggested by Rachel Nuwer, contributor

Petrified Wood Cheese Tray ($96)

Pass around the holiday pate on a piece of prehistory. These cheese trays are made from slices of ancient trees, cut and polished to showcase the wood grains inside. Petrified wood forms when fallen trees become buried in oxygen-poor environments, and minerals slowly replace the decaying plant cells. These trays, sold by Burke Décor, come in small or large slices and range in Earth tones from tan to black.

Suggested by Victoria Jaggard

Edison Touch Lamp ($195)

Night owls will love the vintage glow from the Edison bulb in this unusual desk lamp, sold by Uncommon Goods. The light turns on with a tap of the brass owl, and additional touches toggle through three brightness levels or turn the lamp off. The glass-domed bulb is a throwback to the 19th century, when Thomas Edison filed a patent for his long-lasting carbon-filament light bulb.

Suggested by Maya Wei-Haas

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