What If

What if you never aged? What if dinosaurs were alive today? Explore the hypothetical with these and more 'what if' scenarios.

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A world without cows would be a world without burgers, right? Yes, and to beef eaters that's bad news, but it would also be a world with less methane. So would losing all cows be worth it?

By Jeff Harder

Earth's magnetic field has flipped many times before, and scientists say it will flip again (though probably not in our lifetime). While it might not be catastrophic, a major change in the magnetic field would present a special set of problems.

By Patrick J. Kiger & Jeff Harder

We wouldn't stop requiring power. So how would a turn to alternative energy sources work out for transportation, international trade and our daily diets?

By Gallagher Flinn

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Remove that pesky drowning risk, and the world formerly under the sea opens with possibility — despite our inefficient limbs and tendency toward hypothermia.

By Gallagher Flinn

Picture this: You're floating through space, minding your own business, when some super-scary alien attacks you. Clearly you need to defend yourself, but all you have is a handgun. Will it do you any good, or are you mincemeat?

By Karen Kirkpatrick

Coral reefs are pretty cool. More than just snorkeling destinations, they shelter tons of marine life — creatures many of us depend on for food and medicine. So what would happen if the coral reefs disappeared? Here's a hint: It isn't good.

By Karen Kirkpatrick

Cockroaches are among the most reviled creatures on the planet. They bring bacteria and allergens wherever they go — along with severe cases of the creepy crawlies. But would we really want to live in a world devoid of these little pests?

By Karen Kirkpatrick

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Snakes get a bad rep. They've become so associated with dishonesty, deception and temptation that many might prefer the world just rid itself of them altogether. But creepy as they may be, it turns out that snakes are pretty handy to have around.

By Karen Kirkpatrick

Imagine going outside in the summer and not being eaten alive by mosquitoes. Yeah, no mosquitoes! Well, don't celebrate just yet, because a world with no mosquitoes might have a radically different food chain.

By Laurie L. Dove

Call up your travel agent because we're booking a one-way flight to an exotic, five-star black hole. What are you in store for on this unique journey?

By William Harris

Each year, approximately 4,000 people go to the emergency room for injuries caused by accidents involving electrical outlets. While this number seems high, even more people never make it to the hospital. They die.

By Katherine Neer

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Humans have only been bipedal for a sliver of history. What if we returned our spines to their original position and quit walking upright? What would that world be like?

By Julie Douglas

Your dog just swallowed a plate full of chicken bones. Is he really in serious danger? The short answer: yes. Find out why you need to get him to a vet immediately.

By Jeff Harder

Figuring out how to deal with rising sea levels isn't some kind of purely academic exercise. It's happening. So how do we deal with it, especially if the sea rises a foot in our lifetime?

By Jeff Harder

You would probably be pretty freaked out if you ate uranium, right? Well, if you've ever eaten a potato or turnip, you may already have done so. How does your body deal with this radioactive substance?

By Jeff Harder

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Feel like drinking a nice, big glass of embalming fluid? We didn't think so. But what would happen if a living person poured into his or her body something meant for the insides of the dead? Nothing good.

By Jeff Harder

A small amount of household bleach, while it sounds gross, probably won't harm you. But what happens if you drink more than that?

By Nathan Chandler & Jeff Harder

Yes, you can eat marijuana, but turns out it can provide a much different -- and possibly more potent -- high than when you smoke it. Read on to find out ingested marijuana's effects on the body.

By Jeff Harder

The core of our planet is about as hot as the sun. Could it ever cool down? That's one thing you don't want to happen.

By Chris Opfer

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A helium shortage threatens more than just the balloon industry. Way more. Here's what at stake should we run out of this gas — which is a real possibility.

By Chris Opfer & Sascha Bos

What could happen if we poked one of these sleeping giants? There are two scenarios. One is good. One is very, very bad.

By Chris Opfer

Welcome to Yellowstone, a natural wonderland that's home to stunning vistas, vibrant plant and animal life ... and a massive and potentially devastating supervolcano.

By Chris Opfer

Your vacation would be ruined, and that's not all.

By Chris Opfer

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Sans gravity, would we all just bounce up and down like astronauts on the moon? No. It would look a little more like a Michael Bay movie.

By Chris Opfer

Our planet's path around the sun defines life on Earth. What would happen if it changed?

By Chris Opfer