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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Thousands of years ago, the Babylonians created the zodiac and dropped a constellation when it didn't quite fit into their schematic. Its name? Ophiuchus. Should it be part of our horoscope?

By Kate Kershner & Kathryn Whitbourne

If mental strain caused a bloody nose, academic testing sites would be awash in crimson. So why do we still see psychic nosebleeds from "Stranger Things" to "Scanners"?

By Laurie L. Dove

Top atmospheric scientists say there's no evidence those lines in the sky are part of some sinister government plot. But will that dissuade conspiracy theorists?

By Patrick J. Kiger

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Not sure what chemtrails are or where you stand on them? A newly published, peer-reviewed examination of the chemtrail hypothesis could be for you. We have the scoop.

By Jonathan Strickland

A bunch of Yale physicists decided to give Schrodinger's cat not one but two boxes. And that, strangely enough, could eventually prove handy for quantum computing.

By Julia Layton

The Chinese monk was preserved in a ceramic vessel for almost four years, and turned into a statue to inspire others to devote themselves to the practice.

By Christopher Hassiotis

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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How do airlines deal with the need to transport human remains? And just what should you think if you hear gate agents talk about a Mr. Jim Wilson?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Fast, right? You'll have no trouble accommodating your vampire overlord.

By Robert Lamb

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and rapper B.o.B join centuries of folks who have argued over the shape of the planet. The diss tracks are a new twist though.

By Christian Sager

You've heard the term 'bloodcurdling scream,' and blood can thicken in response to actual physical threats. Is the same possible when the fear is entirely fictional?

By Chris Opfer

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One pursuer of the towering, hairy cryptid actually has figured out how to make a decent full-time job out of it. Here's how.

By Patrick J. Kiger

They weren't always the sparkling, smiling G-rated creatures that they are today.

By Julia Layton

This is for those of you who want to think "outside the box," even when you're dead.

By Robert Lamb

Straitjacket sales may be low, but people still make them, and they definitely still use them.

By Adrian Rogers

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A new vitamin that'll prevent cancer? Chocolate as a weight-loss tool? Hang on a second. Before you buy into some extraordinary claims, use some common sense to figure out whether that "study" is the real deal.

By Oisin Curran

Of all the cosmetic problems to worry about waking up to — dark under-eye circles, a blemish on your nose, new stubble on your chin — a headful of white hair ranks pretty low on your list. Should you be more concerned?

By Laurie L. Dove

Chicago, widely known as "The Windy City," certainly seems to have earned its rep. Plus, it's a pretty cool nickname. But is it actually the windiest city? Hey, Chicagoans, let's prove it once and for all.

By Kate Kershner

Rainy, dreary, Seattle, right? Everyone says it's the rainiest city in the United States. However, Seattleites are keeping a secret from you. Find out if their rainy reputation is real — or if the rumor's all wet.

By Kate Kershner

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Summertime fashion — light in weight and light in color. Are these pastel colors a designer's choice? Or do light colors actually keep you cooler, as some say? Read to find out if you should ditch the goth wardrobe this summer.

By Kate Kershner

Walking down a city sidewalk, you protect your valuables and weave through crowds. Should you also beware of falling pennies?

By Laurie L. Dove

If you've ever been to a slumber party, you know the drill. Place your fingers under someone's body, chant "Light as a feather ... stiff as a board ..."and they'll magically rise up into the air. Is this old trick a true ghostly phenomenon?

By Debra Ronca

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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Urban legends about Disney World are a dime a dozen. Some are totally outlandish but others are true — like the one about the secret city under the Magic Kingdom.

By Debra Ronca

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