Everybody Loves Lists

Twain, pictured in 1902, was an eager reader of fiction, verse and non-fiction alike.

How to Read Like Mark Twain

Step one: Pretend you don't like books

Step aside, Mufasa. In the real world, females run the pride.

Science in the Movies

Ten Things We’ve Learned About Lions Since Disney’s Original 'The Lion King'

Since the animated movie came out 25 years ago, zoologists have expanded our understanding of these fierce carnivores

he famous “Catwalk Site," one of the open air displays at the National Museums of Kenya Olorgesailie site museum, which is littered with ~900,000 year old handaxes.

What We Learned About Our Human Origins in 2018

From an upper jaw to red ocher paintings, two Smithsonian scholars note the significant discoveries in human evolution this trip around the sun

New Research

Bepob Over Here Nitwit: Study Identifies the Funniest Words in the English Language

Participants rated 4,997 random words on how funny they were, with Booty, Booby, Egghead and Twerp making the top 12

New Research

New Survey Estimates Earth Has 60,065 Tree Species

Researchers from Botanic Gardens Conservation International compiled the list, finding that at least 10,000 tree species are at risk of extinction


The Top History Books of 2016

Here are some of the best titles to hit shelves this past year

Smithsonian Best Small Towns 2016

The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2016

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, our top picks this year are all towns close to America’s natural splendors

Everybody Loves Lists

Our Top Ten Videos of 2015

From Hitler's home videos to the suffocating upbringing of an American princess, here are the most-watched videos on Smithsonian.com this year

Everybody Loves Lists

Our Top Ten Stories of 2015

From treasures buried in glaciers to the racial history of a vanished city in Oregon, here are the most-read stories on Smithsonian.com this year


Everybody Loves Lists

The Best History Books of 2015

Beyond the boldface names are these chronicles from the past year that are well worth your time

Smithsonian Best Small Towns 2015

The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2015

From sea to shining sea, our top picks for the most amazing American small towns to see this year

A male Eastern wild turkey

14 Fun Facts About Turkeys

#8: A turkey's gender can be determined from its droppings

Rather than amateurs working out of their parents' basement, malware creators are often part of an underworld of criminal gang, or working directly for a foreign government or intelligence agency.

Top Ten Most-Destructive Computer Viruses

Created by underground crime syndicates and government agencies, these powerful viruses have done serious damage to computer networks worldwide

A dragon statue in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ask Smithsonian 2017

Where Did Dragons Come From?

In honor of the Year of the Dragon, we take a look at some potential inspirations for the dragon myth

An elephant running in the Masai Mara, Kenya

14 Fun Facts About Elephants

#5: Cartoons lie—elephants don't like peanuts

Flying insects are usually creepy, but many people love dragonflies.

14 Fun Facts About Dragonflies

#12: Hundreds of dragonflies of different species will gather in swarms, either for feeding or migration

While Marie Curie dominates the conversation, there have been many other brilliant women who have pursued science over the years.

Ten Historic Female Scientists You Should Know

Before Marie Curie, these women dedicated their lives to science and made significant advances

Mike Tyson's tattoo artist S. Victor Whitmill filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. Entertainment this spring, claiming that the use of his design in the movie The Hangover Part II was copyright infringement.

Ten Famous Intellectual Property Disputes

From Barbie to cereal to a tattoo, a copyright lawsuit can get contentious; some have even reached the Supreme Court

The Glass Frog (Centrolenella colymbiphyllum) has skin so translucent that you can watch its heart beating.

14 Fun Facts About Frogs

#4: When Darwin’s frog tadpoles hatch, a male frog swallows the tadpoles

The consequences of burning fossil fuels are already apparent.  We have just begun to see the effects of human-induced climate change.

The Ten Most Disturbing Scientific Discoveries

Scientists have come to some surprising conclusions about the world and our place in it. Are some things just better left unknown?

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