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.

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Mystical water witches are in high demand during these dry times. But are they better at finding groundwater than a science-driven geohydrologist?

By John Donovan

Legend says that jackalopes roam the plains of Wyoming. These horned jackrabbits are harmless and even like campfire cowboy songs. So how much truth is there to this mythical creature?

By Mark Mancini

Would you like to be able to leave your body at will and travel to other countries and planets? Astral projection promises you can do that. But what does science say about this?

By Nathan Chandler

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Does everyone's favorite Wookiee call Bigfoot family?

By Robert Lamb

Are these just different names for the same beast or are there subtle differences? We talk with the owner of a Bigfoot museum who's had a close encounter.

By Nathan Chandler

Skinwalkers blur the line between human and beast. They're shape-shifting magical beings that belong to the Navaho spirit world.

By Robert Lamb

Experts are baffled as to why dogs keep throwing themselves off Overtoun Bridge in Scotland. Are they lured by unseen scents or is something supernatural at work?

By Nathan Chandler

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How much sci is in your fi? We’re taking a look at physics, biology and everything in between through the lens of monster cinema. You know, all the stuff you'd need to know as a mad scientist's lab assistant. Mwah-ha-ha.

By Mark Mancini

Is the world run by the Illuminati or just some reptilian overlords? Were the moon landings faked? Whether or not you believe this kind of stuff, you'll be entertained by our conspiracy theory quiz.

By Nathan Chandler

Maybe it's mistrust of the U.S. government and health-related industries, as well as Lyme's insidious nature, that makes this idea catnip for conspiracy theories. But what's the truth?

By Nathan Chandler

From plane crashes and deaths to sports superstitions and hexagrams, many people believe that the number 23 possesses magical properties.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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Is 'smocking gun' the new covfefe?

By Sarah Gleim

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.

By Kathryn Whitbourne

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?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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

By Robert Lamb

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.

By Dave Roos

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.

By Dave Roos

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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?

By Diana Brown

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

By Diana Brown

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

By Robert Lamb

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.

By Laurie L. Dove

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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.

By John Donovan

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?

By Nathan Chandler