Myth Busting

Scene from the Bayeux Tapestry, which famously depicts William the Conqueror's victory over the so-called Anglo-Saxons

The Many Myths of the Term 'Anglo-Saxon'

Two medieval scholars tackle the misuse of a phrase that was rarely used by its supposed namesakes

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, sizing up the idol, in the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Enduring Myths of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'

Forty years later, archaeologists look back at what the first Indiana Jones movie got wrong about their profession

“I am not setting out here to rehabilitate Nero as a blameless man,” curator Thorsten Opper says. “But I have come to the conclusion that almost every single thing we think we know about him is wrong.”

Was Emperor Nero Really as Monstrous as History Suggests?

A new exhibition at the British Museum introduces visitors to the man behind the mythical Roman ruler

Mired in myth and misconception, the killer’s life has evolved into “a new American tall tale,” argues tour guide and author Adam Selzer.

The Enduring Mystery of H.H. Holmes, America's 'First' Serial Killer

The infamous "devil in the White City" remains mired in myth 125 years after his execution

Explore the true history and myths behind six “terrible” women, from the all-knowing Sphinx to the fire-breathing Chimera and the lesser-known shapeshifter Lamia.

Men Have Feared Women for Millennia. Just Look at the Monsters of Greek Mythology

A new collection of essays considers how the villainous women of classical antiquity, from Medusa to the Sphinx, resonate in contemporary Western society

Artist J. Howard Miller produced this work-incentive poster for the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company. Though displayed only briefly in Westinghouse factories, the poster in later year has become one of the most famous icons of World War II.

Women Who Shaped History

Rosie the Riveter Gets Her Due 75 Years After the End of World War II

Forever changing the nation, the women who worked in American factories during the war have been collectively awarded the Congressional Gold Medal

This popular painting of "The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" by Jennie A. Brownscombe is an example of how the myths of the holiday became engrained in Americana.

Why the Myths of Plymouth Dominate the American Imagination

A new book shows us a different picture of the English settlers who arrived at the lands of the Wampanoag

The Knights Templar constructed the Saint Stanislaus chapel in the Polish village of Chwarszczany during the 13th century.

Cool Finds

Crypts, Tunnel Discovered Beneath Knights Templar Chapel in Poland

Last fall, an archaeological investigation revealed tantalizing structures hidden below the 13th-century building

The Norse system of thralldom was not always complete chattel slavery, but most of the enslaved had little agency.

The Little-Known Role of Slavery in Viking Society

A new book looks at the legendary Scandinavians through their own eyes

Ducks can apparently eat up to 200 locusts a day, one Chinese researcher says.

Is a Duck Army Coming for Pakistan's Locusts? Not So Fast

In the wake of a social media storm, experts question a popular plan to dispatch insect-eating birds from China

The iconic Plymouth Rock and other sites were covered in red graffiti Monday during a vandalism spree discovered at the site marking the landing of the Pilgrims in Massachusetts 400 years ago.

Plymouth Rock and Other Massachusetts Monuments Vandalized With Red Graffiti

Town manager Melissa G. Arrighi called the defacement "unfathomable and unconscionable"

It turns out the story of the domesticated bunny is a lot fuzzier than the legends tell it.

The Odd, Tidy Story of Rabbit Domestication That Is Also Completely False

New study lends weight to the idea that domestication isn’t a point, but a process

New Research

Does the Moon's Phase Cause Earthquakes?

One researcher offers a succinct answer

One of the samples sequenced by the yeti researchers

New Research

Most "Yeti" Evidence Is Actually From Brown Bears

The results dispel the idea of these mythical beasts while providing clues to the ancestry of the elusive Himalayan and Tibetan bears

One concern about wind turbines is that they are noisy, but the Department of Energy notes that at a distance of 750 feet, they make about as much noise as a household fridge.

Two Myths and One Truth About Wind Turbines

From the cost of turbines to one U.S. senator's suggestion that "wind is a finite resource"

The flag of North Carolina includes the dates traditionally associated with the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and the 1776 Declaration of Independence.

The First Declaration of Independence Drafted in the 13 Colonies Was (Probably) a Hoax

Although some are still very invested in the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, the scholarly community maintains it was never real

Stay back! A beached Portuguese man o’war

New Research

Urine Luck: Vinegar Is the Best Treatment for a Man O' War Sting

A new study suggests urine, sea water and lemon juice all do more harm than good on painful stings

The Ryuguji temple

How 13th-Century “Mermaid Bones” Came to Be Displayed in a Japanese Temple

According to legend, the ningyo washed ashore on the Japanese island of Kyushu in 1222

Think human dating is hard? Try being a panda.

Pandamonium

Why Panda Sex Isn't Black and White

Reproductive experts weigh in on panda porn, panda Viagra and other biological myths

A woman adds artificial sweetener to a drink. The paranoia over the health dangers of aspartame can be traced back to an early Internet hoax.

‘Aspartame Causes Cancer' Was a Classic Internet Hoax

The aspartame myth goes back to a letter circulating on the '90s internet

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