Science Versus Myth

Are vampires real? What is an out-of-body experience? Are crop circles proof that aliens exist? HowStuffWorks explores what is real and what is urban legend with this collection of Science Versus Myth articles.

Topics to Explore

Learn More

What Is a 'Smocking Gun'?

Is 'smocking gun' the new covfefe?

What if You Were on an Elevator and the Cable Broke?

Ever seen a movie where the hero gets in an elevator, but the evil villain cuts the cables? Fortunately, elevators in the real world have so many safety features that you don't have to worry about dying if this happened to you.

Is the Universe Just a Simulation?

Some scientists say it's possible we're all just part of a computer simulation controlled by a superior set of beings. But how would we know?

How to Upgrade Your Shower, James Bond Style

Whether you call it a contrast shower, a Scottish shower or a James Bond shower, it's guaranteed to wake you up. Here's why people are trying it.

Switching Shampoos: Necessary or Nah?

You've heard this bit of hair care advice before, but is it true?

Do Fire-breathing Dragons Torch Their Teeth?

Fire will turn a human's teeth to dust. But what about a dragon's?

How Do You Become a Ufologist?

If you're considering a hobby or career as a "ufologist" or paranormal investigator, there are a handful of routes that don't involve being personally abducted or applying to a secret government shadow agency.

Is There a Hidden Cure for Cancer?

A surprising percentage of Americans believe that Big Pharma is hiding the cure for cancer because there's a lot of money to be made treating the disease. Experts explain why this isn't true.

Are Creatures Living Among Us in Parallel Dimensions?

We've yet to find intelligent life outside of planet Earth. But instead of space, should we be looking right here but in other dimensions?

Does Marie Antoinette Still Roam the Halls of Versailles?

Tourists may not be the only ones to enjoy the beauty of the famous palace.

If Unicorns Were Real, What Would They Use Their Horns For?

Would they be a mating display? A fierce weapon to defend against lions?

Drones Discover 'New' Ancient Nazca Lines

Previously undiscovered geoglyphs found in Peru were invisible from the ground and too faint and sprawling to be picked up by space satellites. But not drones.

What's Going on With Detroit's Mysterious Zug Island?

A disturbing noise, somewhere between a window-rattling bass and a brain-numbing deep thrum has bugged the heck out of residents in the city of Windsor, Ontario, Canada for years, and it's called the Windsor Hum.

Sound the Alarm: Windsor Hum Is Driving Canadians Crazy

Since 2010, some Windsor, Ontario residents have reporting a low-frequency hum that will not go away. Is this a real sound, and if so, why can't anyone locate its source?

No One Knows What Caused a Massive 1908 Explosion in Siberia

Theories surrounding the source of the Tunguska blast that rocked the Siberian region in 1908 abound. But the exact cause is still a mystery.

Why Conspiracy Theorists Are Obsessed With CERN

CERN's work has been groundbreaking to say the least, but conspiracy theories run rampant about the potential disasters it could cause, too.

Are 'Ghost Lights' Apparitions of the Dead — or Even Aliens?

There's no doubt people are seeing lights. But are they really spirits of ghosts — or even aliens — or can these unusual lights be clarified with a simple explanation?

Are Abnormal Archaeological Finds Proof of Extraterrestrial Life?

Are strange skeletons unearthed across the globe evidence that we're not alone, or are they simply more myths and legends that are bound to be debunked?

What Are Skyquakes?

The recent booming sounds heard in Alabama are part of a mysterious phenomenon that's occurred for years around the U.S. and elsewhere in the world.

Are the Yeti Just a Bunch of Bears? Genetics Says "Yes."

Some of us really hope the yeti is a giant snow ape, but new research finds it's just bears out there in the Himalayas.

What Are the Mysterious Marfa Lights?

Theories about the ghostly lights abound. Conclusions are harder to come by.

Why Do We Keep Turning Our Monsters Cute?

The original King of Monsters has become cute. How does that happen?

Can Humans Have Superpowers?

Humans are awesome and we have superpowers of our own. But could a greedy world of "supervillains" twist them against us?

Hundreds Have Vanished from National Parks. Is Bigfoot to Blame?

More than 1,000 people have gone missing from U.S. national parks. Are there reasonable explanations or is there something more sinister at work?

Even Educators Believe Common Myths About Learning, Study Shows

According to new research, many people believe wildly inaccurate myths about the brain and learning — even those who know a lot about neuroscience.