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During an 1870 Siege, Trapped Parisians Dined on Rat, Cat, and Elephant

Parisians have long been famous for their gastronomy. They invented the concept of the restaurant as we know it, and many of the dishes invented in the city’s temples of fine dining are emulated...

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Found: A 13,000-Year-Old Dental Filling Made of Bitumen

At least 14,000 years ago, humans were trying to fix each other’s cavities. Back in 2015, a team of researchers announced they had discovered the earliest evidence of dentistry—tiny scratches on a...

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Siberia Has Installed Its First 'Exploding Pingo Detector'

7,000 Underground Methane Bubbles in Siberia Could Burst Anytime https://t.co/8Q6f5VEiuTpic.twitter.com/cyLRsnm61P— EngLancer (@Eng_Lancer) March 27, 2017Don't be fooled by its cute name—pingos can do...

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The Prison Rehab Where a Meth-Addicted Python Got Clean

For a drug addict, prison can be a place to clean up and reconsider the direction of one's life—even, in Australia, at least, a snake. That's thanks to an animal rehab facility at the John Morony...

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The Missouri Orchid Farmer Who Ditched His Greenhouse for a Cave

Orchids are among the most delicate and fickle of all flowers, but they produce some of the most mind-bendingly beautiful blooms in the natural world. So it’s little surprise that some people will go...

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When Ostrich Eggshells Were Luxury Goods

It’s no mean feat to gather an ostrich egg in the wild. Ostriches can stand up to 9 feet tall and weigh more than 300 pounds, and a single kick from one of their clawed feet can kill a human—or a lion,...

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Why Do So Many U.S. Towns Have the Same WWI Soldier Statue?

E.M. Viquesney’s the Spirit of the American Doughboy memorial features a single man, dressed in a World War I army uniform, complete with a hat. He raises his right fist, which holds a grenade, toward...

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Ancient Puebloans Probably Had Farms for Macaw Feathers

One of the primary sources of nourishment for ancient Puebloans, who are indigenous to the southwestern parts of North America, was corn, which they farmed in dry conditions with great skill....

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The Behind-the-Scenes Story of an Unplanned Meltdown at America’s First...

When the core of the Experimental Breeder Reactor No. 1 melted down, there was no explosion. It didn’t make a sound at all. There was no smoke, no fire, no steam. Engineer Ray Haroldsen was working in...

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Raising Orange Peels to an Art Form, One Fruit at a Time

Yoshihiro Okada saw the design of a prawn in a vision. He saw it clearly: Out of a tangerine peel, the crustacean emerged, unfurling its many thin legs, the articulated length of its body, the fan of...

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Railway Engineers in England Just Solved a Sunny, 175-Year-Old Mystery

Ever since the completion of the Great Western Railway, in the 1840s, intrigue has swirled around the Box Tunnel, a long, steep bypass near Bath, England. Unlike many tunnel rumors, these were sweet...

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Found: A Car With a Suspension Made of Logs and Chicken Wire

On Sunday night, in Val-des-Monts, Québec, just outside of Ottawa, a 28-year-old man was found driving a 1999 Toyota Tercel that was in need of some ... attention.Police recounted its problems in a...

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What Do You Do With Hundreds of Unearthed Human Bones?

This past March, Anna Dhody got a phone call that put her day in ruins.Dhody is a forensic anthropologist and the curator of the Mütter Museum, Philadelphia's famed collection of anatomical curios. On...

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The Intrepid '20s Women Who Formed an All-Female Global Exploration Society

In August 1923, Marguerite Harrison sailed from New York bound for Constantinople. The 44-year-old had returned just five months earlier from Russia where she had been imprisoned, for a second time, on...

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Homemade Computers Found Hidden in a Prison Ceiling

The hole in the ceiling you see above is where two industrious prison inmates stashed computers they'd built from old and salvaged parts. That's according to a state report released Tuesday, which...

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The North Carolina Squirrel That Eats Tiny Ice Cream Cones Every Day

The world can be a dark and mysterious place, with secrets and wonders both glorious and terrible. It’s also a place where a squirrel can be given a little mini ice cream cone every day.Fantasy Isle...

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If You Live in the Ocean, Odds Are You're Glowing Right Now

Tourists flock to Mosquito Bay off the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico for its light show—bioluminescence given off by single-celled creatures called dinoflagellates that swirls in bright plumes as...

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The 'Black Mozart' Was So Much More

The 40 years between the American Revolution and the defeat of Napoleon gifted the world some wonderful music. From Haydn’s string quartets, through Mozart’s symphonies, to Beethoven’s dazzling works...

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Will 'Flameless Cremation' Catch On?

From flaming Viking funeral boats to the efficient infernos of modern crematoriums, humans have a long history of using fire to dispose of our dead. But traditional cremation practices can produce a...

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Ant Medics Captured on Video Caring for Their Wounded Comrades

For ants, war is full of tiny dangers. A six-legged soldier might face snapping termite jaws, lost limbs, and lurking spiders. Luckily, they have some help: other ants, who, scientists say, will take...

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