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How Many Ways Can Snake Venom Kill You and More Questions From Our Readers

You asked, we answered

A NASA image of Hurricane Sandy moving along the United States' East Coast. Extreme weather events like this are becoming more frequent, but scientists still face challenges when attributing any one storm to climate change.

Does Climate Change Cause Extreme Weather Events?

It's a challenge to attribute any one storm or heat wave to climate change, but scientists are getting closer

Do Other Animals Have Baby Teeth and More Questions From Our Readers

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Coastal regions and islands are vanishing due to a lethal combination of erosion, sea rise and subsidence, or the slow sinking of land over time. The network of 1200 coral islands and atolls that makes up the Maldives in the Indian Ocean is ground zero.

What Are All The Ways That Land Can Disappear Beneath Your Feet?

From sinkholes to liquefaction, we look at how solid earth can shrink and elude our grasp

The astronauts of "2001: A Space Odyssey" hide in a pod to discuss the troubling behavior of their spacecraft's artificial intelligence, HAL 9000. In the background, HAL is able to read their lips.

When We Go to Mars, Will We Have a Real-Life HAL 9000 With Us?

How generations of NASA scientists were inspired by an evil Hollywood supercomputer

How Does Earth's Geomagnetic Field Work?

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Ornithologist John Gould's illustrations of finches collected by Charles Darwin on the Galápagos Islands show the physical differences that the men relied on in dividing them into different species.

What Does It Mean to Be a Species? Genetics Is Changing the Answer

As DNA techniques let us see animals in finer and finer gradients, the old definition is falling apart

On May 6, 1937, the German airship Zeppelin LZ 129 Hindenburg burst into flames in Lakehurst, New Jersey, while the airship was landing.

What Really Felled the Hindenburg?

On the anniversary of the conflagration, mysteries still remain

What's the Difference Between Horns and Antlers and More Questions From Our Readers

You asked, we answered

Construction on the Pentagon was completed in January 1943. With about 6.4 million square feet, it is still today the world’s largest low-rise office building.

Why Is the Pentagon a Pentagon?

Planners battled to ensure the building kept its unique shape

What Is Dark Matter and More Questions From Our Readers

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The heroes of the movie Kong: Skull Island prepare to encounter the 104-foot-tall ape King Kong.

How Big Can a Land Animal Get?

King Kong's biggest enemy isn’t humans—it’s the laws of physics

Shortly after the announcement of the TRAPPIST-1 system, NASA crowdsourced its Twitter followers for possible planet names. The actual process of naming new planets, however, is a bit more involved.

How Do New Planets Get Their Names?

Sorry, Planet McPlanetface: Asteroids, moons and other celestial bodies go through a strict set of international naming guidelines

The Beast must learn to love someone else and be loved before the last petal falls on the Enchanted Rose in the tale of the new Disney film, Beauty and the Beast

The Beast's Enchanted Rose Lasted a Decade. How Long Can a Real One Last?

A Smithsonian expert says the film's was undoubtedly a hybrid tea rose

Why Is Pennsylvania Ave D.C.'s Main Thoroughfare and More Questions From Our Readers

Your questions answered by our experts

The woolly arctic moth caterpillar produces alcohols that allow it to avoid freezing at temperatures reaching -70 degrees F.

What Do Insects Do in Winter?

When winter comes, most bugs either migrate or time travel. But some get far more creative

Still Life with Fruit, Oysters, and Wine by Everhart Kuhn, ca. 1865

Are Oysters an Aphrodisiac?

Sure, if you think so

Many Chinese restaurant names with words like golden, fortune, luck and garden are chosen for their auspiciousness—out of the owners’ desire for success.

Why Do Chinese Restaurants Have Such Similar Names?

Consistency and familiarity is the tradition

The doormouse hibernates to conserve resources in harsh conditions. Similarly, scientists envision humans hibernating to endure long-distance space travel.

Can Humans Ever Harness the Power of Hibernation?

Scientists want to know if astronauts can hibernate during long spaceflights. First, they need to understand what hibernation is

Inspectors examined the eyes of immigrants at Ellis Island in New York Harbor, but did they change their names?

Did Ellis Island Officials Really Change the Names of Immigrants?

On the 125th anniversary of the famous portal to the U.S., history shows inspectors were not the ones changing people's names

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