Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Devices

Ever wondered how that thing works? Explore the inner workings of many common devices and inventions, as well as those that aren't so common, such as compasses, gyroscopes and bug zappers.

Featured
How Crossbows Work

The crossbow, a weapon popular with Wookiees, vampire slayers and some modern hunters, looks like a cross between a bow and a rifle. Read about it’s fascinating history and uses.


5 Things You Didn't Know About the Metric System

The metric system is used in most of the world, and it's easy to see why the system caught on. Learn 5 things you didn't know about the metric system. See more »

How Wind Tunnels Work

Wind tunnels are the unsung heroes of aerodynamics, leading to safer planes, cars and space vehicles. Learn how wind tunnels work. See more »

Science and Nature: Fractals

Fractals produce fascinating and intricate designs. In fact, nature offers innumerable examples of fractal loveliness, and we’ve collected some of the coolest ones for your viewing pleasure. You’re welcome. See more »

10 Innovations Nominated for 2010 Edison Awards

10 innovations nominated for the 2010 Edison Awards are explained in this article. Learn about the 10 innovations nominated for the 2010 Edison Awards. See more »

10 Inventions by Thomas Edison (That You've Never Heard Of)

10 inventions by Thomas Edison that you've never heard of are explained in this article. Learn about 10 inventions by Thomas Edison that you've never heard of. See more »

How the Edison Awards Work

The Edison Awards are explained in this article from HowStuffWorks. Learn about the Edison Awards. See more »

5 Amazing Innovations that Have Won Edison Awards

5 amazing innovations that have won Edison awards are explained in this article. Learn about 5 amazing innovations that have won Edison awards. See more »

How LED Incapacitators Work

LED incapacitators are non-lethal devices used by law enforcement officials. Learn about LED incapacitators. See more »

What's a "thinking cap" -- and could it make me a genius?

What's a "thinking cap" -- and could it make me a genius? It's doubtful, but this technology could help you. Learn more about the thinking cap here. See more »

How fMRI Works

fMRI, or functional magnetic resonance imaging, looks at blood flow in the brain to detect areas of activity. Learn about fMRI and its invention. See more »