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.

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.

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

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?

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?

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.

The core of our planet is about as hot as the sun. Here's why we should all hope that it stays that way.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

Climate change and industrial activity are wiping out large sections of the Amazon. You might not realize how much this deforestation could affect you.

If you've found yourself screeching while a bug scuttled through your kitchen, you're not alone. But we need bugs more than they need us.

Even with today's weather-forecasting technologies, some old sailing adages stick around. Does "Red sky in morning, sailor take warning" hold water?

For decades, moms have been threatening that if you don't eat your crust, your hair will fall out, fall limp or somehow fall incorrectly. What's the deal with bread crusts and hairstyles?

The full moon gives us the ocean tides. And werewolves. Does it also give us sleep issues? Some say yes. Here's the science.

For some, the holidays are time of good cheer. For others, they're a season of anxiety and loneliness. Does that translate to a higher suicide rate?

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?

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.

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?

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

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. How does your body deal with this radioactive substance?

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.

Drinking a small amount of household bleach, while it sounds gross, probably won't harm you. But read on to find out what happens if you drink more than that.