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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How Vampires Work

The vampire legend has been evolving for centuries. The most common image of the vampire was born in Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula" in 1897, but the stories go back further than that. Learn all about the undead.

How Nostradamus Works

His words have been deemed prophetic for ages, and e-mail hoaxes claimed that he foresaw the events of September 11. Learn who Nostradamus was and what he really wrote.

How Hypnosis Works

The practice of hypnotism dates back centuries, and there are those who swear by its validity. Whether you're a skeptic or a believer, hypnosis is an interesting phenomenon. Check it out -- and let us know if you start to bark like a dog.

What is déjà vu?

Déjà vu is used to describe the feeling that you experienced a situation before. What causes this phenomenon? It’s not a glitch in the matrix, but most of our knowledge on the subject is still theoretical.

How Bigfoot Works

Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti -- whatever you want to call it, is it real? Take a look at the compelling evidence for and against the existence of Bigfoot.

How does saturation diving work?

In the news coverage of the Russian submarine accident, I read that the Norwegian salvage divers used a technique called saturation diving, whereby they could stay underwater for days to weeks at a time. How does saturation diving work?

How do you calculate G-forces?

A CART race at Texas Motor Speedway was cancelled because the G-forces on the drivers were too high. How can you calculate the G-forces, and how do the cars generate forces that high?

Can you make time stand still?

If you were to fly west around the world, fast enough so that you crossed one time zone every hour, would you stand still in time?

Why shouldn't I swim right after I eat?

You've heard the saying for ages, but exactly why is it so dangerous to go swimming right after you eat?

How Teleportation Will Work

Looking forward to instantaneous travel? The Star Trek teleporter is one step closer to reality. Scientists have now teleported a laser beam. Could humans be next?

How Time Travel Works

You may have noticed that we're all constantly traveling into the future. But what if you were interested in dancing through the fourth dimension more deftly than the next guy? How might you do that?

What makes you dizzy when you spin?

I've wondered about this since I was a child and used to spin around and around. I know it has something to do with our ears, but what exactly makes people dizzy when they spin?

How many regular-sized helium-filled balloons would it take to lift someone?

How many regular-sized helium-filled balloons would it take to lift someone? What is the equation to figure it out?

Would a balloon filled with vacuum instead of helium float?

A helium balloon rises because the helium is lighter than air. So how would a balloon -- made from a very sturdy but very lightweight material -- that had been removed of all air respond?

If you could spin a carousel fast enough to get its rim moving at nearly the speed of light, would time stand still for people on the carousel?

If you could spin a carousel fast enough to get its rim moving at nearly the speed of light, would time stand still for people on the carousel?

Why can boats made of steel float on water when a bar of steel sinks?

The standard definition of floating was first recorded by Archimedes and goes something like this: An object in a fluid experiences an upward force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object. So how does the water get displaced to keep a boat afloat?

How could the year 2000 be a leap year when 1900 was not?

February is an unusual month, especially when it comes to leap years. In this article, you can read about why we use leap years and how the year 2000 was a leap year and 1900 was not.

How do time and dates work?

The time and date is something that we typically take for granted each day. Find out how they both work here.

How Special Relativity Works

Special relativity deals in phenomena that don’t agree with our historical or commonsense views of how the universe works. In fact, many of the theory’s assertions almost appear ludicrous.

How Time Works

Ever wonder why we start our year on the first of January? Or why we have January and the other 11 months in the first place? Find out all about time.

Top 10 Ghost Tours

Do you relish the thought of finding yourself face-to-face with a ghost? Do your favorite historical sites all have human suffering in common? If ghosts are your pleasure, then you may want to visit the cities on our list.


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