Blogs

Artist Nickolay Lamm’s depiction of a polar-grizzly hybrid

What Would a Cross Between a Polar Bear and a Grizzly Really Look Like?

As climate changes and Arctic sea ice melts, species shift habitats and may interbreed. Lamm digitally manipulates photographs to imagine these hybrids

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You Can, You Will, You MUST See This Poster at American History (as soon as it reopens)

The museum presents one of the war's most popular billboard designs in a new installation

Crab leg and imperial fungus dim sum

How to Make (and Where to Eat) the Best Dim Sum

One woman's love of dim sum takes her to Hong Kong, where she tries her hand at making the bite-size cuisine

Research in mice shows that heavy drinking triggers cellular changes that interfere with bone formation.

Why Binge Drinking Makes You More Likely to Break Your Bones

Research in mice shows that heavy drinking triggers cellular changes that interfere with bone formation

The highly anticipated acquisition of “Wankel’s Rex,” one the most complete T. rex specimens (metal cast shown above) in existence is delayed.

Due to the Shutdown, Arrival of the Natural History Museum’s T. Rex is Postponed Until Spring

The highly anticipated acquisition of one the most complete T. Rex specimens in existence is delayed

What is appropriate Google Glass behavior?

Will Google Glass Make Us Better People? Or Just Creepy?

Some think wearable tech is just the thing to help us break bad habits, others that it will let us invade privacy like never before

When rains come, this curcurbit beetle is most definitely not looking for love.

Insects Are Less Randy in the Rain

Beetles, moths and aphids are markedly turned off by the hint of impending rain, likely an evolutionary adaptation to prevent them from getting washed away

Why do we associate popcorn with the movies?

Ask Smithsonian 2017

Why Do We Eat Popcorn at the Movies?

The movie theater's most popular concession wasn't always associated with the movies—in fact, it used to be explicitly banned

Are Diesel Exhaust Fumes to Blame for Honeybee Colony Collapse?

Tests show that diesel pollutants reduce bees' ability to smell flowers, potentially playing a role in the disappearance of the pollinating insects

A calcified flamingo, preserved by the highly basic waters of Tanzania’s Lake Natron and photographed by Nick Brandt

This Alkaline African Lake Turns Animals into Stone

Photographer Nick Brandt captures haunting images of calcified animals, preserved by the extreme waters of Tanzania's Lake Natron

New testing of treated wastewater from fracking shows that it contains high levels of radioactive radium, along with chloride and bromide.

Radioactive Wastewater From Fracking Is Found in a Pennsylvania Stream

New testing shows that high levels of radium are being released into the watershed that supplies Pittsburgh's drinking water

Oto Gillen, “untitled, (Vanitas),” 2007, traditional chromogenic print, mat board, UV glass, mahogany, screws

Snack on This: One Curator Has Devoted a Whole Show to Pizza Art

What is it about that slice of cheesy goodness that makes it such an appealing subject for these artists?

Saint Coronatus joined a convent in Heiligkreuztal, Germany, in 1676

Switzerland

Meet the Fantastically Bejeweled Skeletons of Catholicism’s Forgotten Martyrs

Art historian and author Paul Koudounaris elucidates the macabre splendor and tragic history of Europe’s catacomb saints

The accelerometer chip in iPhones can accurately detect seismic movement, and perhaps even provide a few crucial seconds of warning before the most energetic waves from an earthquake arrive.

Your Smartphone Could Someday Warn You That Earthquake Waves Are About to Hit

The accelerometer chip in iPhones can detect seismic movement and may even provide a few seconds of warning before the most violent shaking strikes

The Crab Pulsar, located in the Crab Nebula, is one of the celestial bodies Mickey Hart has translated into music.

Former Grateful Dead Drummer Mickey Hart Composes Music from the Sounds of the Universe

Hart teams up with a Nobel Prize-winning cosmologist to translate light and electromagnetic waves into octaves humans can hear

Museums Closed Due to Government Shutdown

All Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are affected

All living organisms have a two-piece structures inside their cells called ribosomes that make proteins—except naked mole rats’ ribosomes, which was just found to have three pieces.

Why Do Naked Mole Rats Live So Long?

The rodents' usual cellular structure is good at taking information from DNA and making proteins—these proteins may help extend their lifespans

Masons climb up the sides of the Great Mosque to replaster the surface with mud.

How the City of Mud Stays Standing: Meet the Masons of Djenné, Mali

A new exhibition at Natural History explores the ancient craft in a modern world

Martin Klimas captures “Sonic Sculptures” of songs by setting paint atop a speaker and cranking the volume. Above: “Time,” by Pink Floyd.

The Sounds of Pink Floyd, Daft Punk and James Brown, As Expressed by Flying Paint

Photographer Martin Klimas sets paint atop a speaker and cranks the volume, snapping shots as the boom of music pulses paint into the air

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The Civil War

In Lines of Long Array, 12 Poets Reflect on the Civil War

The National Portrait Gallery commissioned 12 modern-day poets to consider the harsh realities of battles that continue to haunt

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