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How the Quintessential Villain's Melody Snuck Into the Popular Consciousness

Picture this short scene in your mind: A sleepy country house sits by the side of the road, birds chirping. Suddenly, a bad guy of some sort—maybe a masked burglar, or a mustached knave—enters stage...

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Found: A Real Human Skull in a Museum Diorama

At the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, it was long known that the human figure in one of the museum’s most famous exhibits had real human teeth. Recently, though, a CT scan revealed...

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A Truck Full of Puppies Crashed in New York State

Before you read any further, let's make this clear—save for a few bumps and bruises, all of the puppies involved in this incident are fine.Okay, here we go: a van filled with 104 puppies crashed in...

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Decoding the Classic Burglar Outfit

Here he comes, creeping through a shadowy alley. It looks like he’s getting away, until a police spotlight captures him against a stark brick wall. In a black domino mask, striped shirt, flat cap, and...

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The Counterintuitive History of Black Hats, White Hats, And Villains

In the first season of the hit TV show Westworld, a key character chooses to wear a white hat when he enters the western-themed park. Compared to his black-hatted companion, he starts out a gentleman:...

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The Mystery and Occasional Poetry of, Uh, Filled Pauses

Nearly every language and every culture has what are called “filled pauses,” a notoriously difficult-to-define concept that generally refers to sounds or words that a speaker uses when, well, not...

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Watch a Howling Wolf Get Speed-Sculpted Out of Clay

If you've been in the mood to scream at the moon lately, perhaps this time-lapse video of a howling wolf emerging from a blob of clay will provide some catharsis. Or at least offer a bit of creative...

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A 75-Year-Old Woman Used Her Bathtub to Survive a Texas Tornado

Last weekend, a spate of dozens of tornadoes (many of them deadly) raged across the South, including in east Texas, where, on Saturday, Charlesetta Williams, 75, was home watching TV when her son...

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Found: A Cat That Rode 230 Miles Under a Car’s Hood

No one would blame Gumbo the cat for trying to avoid a trip to the vet. Gumbo, who lives in Brooklyn, wiggled out of his owner’s arms on the way to a doctor’s appointment and disappeared. He was found...

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The Forgotten 'China Girls' Hidden at the Beginning of Old Films

Few people ever saw the images of China girls, although for decades they were ubiquitous in movie theaters. At the beginning of a reel of film, there would be a few frames of a woman’s head. She might...

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French Cornfields Are Full of Cannibal Hamsters

France is going through a pet owner's nightmare. For years, the country has been accused of taking less-than-ideal care of its only species of wild hamster. Courts have demanded that they work to raise...

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The Lovable Syrian Brown Bear Who Fought For His (Adoptive) Country

 A soldier, possibly Peter Prendys, helps Wojtek engage in his favorite activity—snacking. (Photo: WikiCommons/Public Domain)On Friday*, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that, among...

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Watch the Walls Shimmer at Iran's Emerald Mosque

The surfaces of Shah Cheragh, a mosque in the Iranian city of Shiraz, glisten and shimmer as you walk by. Mosaics made of mirror shards and tiles cover each wall. Glittering chandeliers hang from the...

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Found: A Moose in This Random Person's Basement

Out in Idaho and other parts of the American West, winter storms have dumped an unusual amount of snow all over the region. In some places, more than four feet of snow have accumulated, and collapsing...

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The Stunning Early Infographics and Maps of the 1800s

Have you ever wondered what the tallest active volcano is? Or wanted to compare the height of mountain peaks and the lengths of rivers around the world? So did John Emslie and James Reynolds.Between...

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The Singer Who Topped Charts by Embracing His Stutter

A version of this post originally appeared on Tedium, a twice-weekly newsletter that hunts for the end of the long tail.The boy that would become Scatman John had a hard time growing up.Before his...

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Found: Melted Uranium Rods, Lost at Fukushima

The Fukushima nuclear disaster happened in 2011; now, almost six years later, Tepco, the company responsible for the plant, thinks it may have found lost nuclear fuel debris in one of the reactors,...

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What Happens When 80 Falcons Fly Coach

Eighty falcons flying together would be a grand sight wherever they were.But eighty falcons flying together... on a plane?!The above photo was posted by Reddit user lensoo, with the comment "My captain...

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Couple Accused of Using a Massive Manure Pile to Annoy Their Neighbors

N.B. couple used giant manure heap to harass neighbours, judge rules https://t.co/paIT6yAjMnpic.twitter.com/hc324Z9HwN— Calgary Herald (@calgaryherald) January 28, 2017Everyone poops, including cattle,...

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The Unlikely Comeback of New Zealand's Weirdest 'Living Fossil'

The tuatara should, by all rights, be extinct by now. The last living members of a 200-million-year-old family of reptiles called the Sphenodontia, the tuatara survived the cataclysm that wiped out the...

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