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

By Chris Opfer

Climate change and industrial activity are wiping out large sections of the world's largest rainforest.

By Chris Opfer

In the classic film "Cool Hand Luke," the title character gulps down 50 hard-boiled eggs in less than an hour. Is this a trick you can (or should) try at home?

By Debra Ronca

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If the colonists hadn't eked out a victory against the mighty British Empire, what would have been their fate? Would leaders like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson have been executed?

By Patrick J. Kiger

Black holes have serious pull, and they're not afraid to use it. Could one of these skulking bad boys ever arise in our home, sweet (solar system) home?

By Nicholas Gerbis

It's all fun and games when you're on a deserted island. But eventually you're going to get really thirsty. How bad can glugging seawater be?

By Vicki M. Giuggio

You can say goodbye to the seven continents and hello to days that seem infernally long. What else awaits you on a spin-free Earth?

By Jonathan Atteberry & Desiree Bowie

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Would the people of the world get along better if they spoke the same language? Or would it just be easier for us to hate each other?

By Colleen Cancio

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

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

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

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Solar flares disrupt Earth's magnetic field when they hit the planet, causing issues with power and GPS. But if a major solar storm hit Earth, the consequences could be catastrophic.

By Laurie L. Dove & Desiree Bowie

If you don't recycle, you should. If you do recycle, you should do more. And what if everybody in the world started to recycle? At the very least, it would help us attack that enormous plastic patch in the middle of the ocean.

By Laurie L. Dove

It's a strange thing to think about, but have you ever wondered what would happen if the ozone layer suddenly wasn't there? Here's a hint: Getting a bad sunburn would be the least of your problems.

By Laurie L. Dove

Remember learning about photosynthesis when you were a kid? Let's pretend for a moment that this vital process could somehow permanently stop. How tough would it be to continue to live on this Earth?

By Laurie L. Dove

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Our early ancestors, enjoying the effects of rotten fruit, had stumbled onto something big. How did alcohol serve as a nutrition source and, some believe, help motivate hunters to take up farming?

By Gallagher Flinn

There'd be some sacrifices. But bird-people society would have its advantages: interchangeable parents, sophisticated gardening skills and a close relationship with trees.

By Gallagher Flinn

Income inequality contributes to societal ills. Would mandating equal paychecks for all improve the situation or lead to work-shirking and massive government?

By Gallagher Flinn

When it comes to eating certain questionable foods — like unrefrigerated potato salad — most of us know to stay far away. But what about moldy bread? If you cut the offending areas off, is it a risk worth taking or a ticking time bomb?

By Karen Kirkpatrick

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Say a guy mistakes "the Pill" for a breath mint. Is he going to have any lasting side effects if he takes one? What about if he took it regularly?

By Alia Hoyt & Karen Kirkpatrick

Tons of planets have more than one moon. Heck, Jupiter and Saturn have more than 50 each, and they seem to be doing just fine. So why is it that the idea of a second moon for Earth has scientists throwing up red flags?

By Karen Kirkpatrick

Double the suns means double the suntan, double the solar energy and double the awesome sunsets, right? Well, not exactly. Having two suns might sound fun, but it would probably make for a pretty different environment here on Earth.

By Karen Kirkpatrick

We all know what Viagra does and why men use it — not to mention how much money this particular prescription drug has made over the years. But does it improve sexual health for women, too?

By Karen Kirkpatrick & Jennifer Walker-Journey

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The Earth is a pretty stalwart planet, having survived billions of years of punishment at the hands of asteroids and other cosmic bodies. But could it withstand more than 7 billion people jumping up and down in unison? Do we even want to find out?

By Karen Kirkpatrick

China's government imposed mandatory IUDs and mass sterilizations, among other measures. That's some serious micromanagement. Was it necessary to avert a population disaster?

By Gallagher Flinn