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.
It's a crazy thought, but what if cancer didn't exist? And malaria, schizophrenia and every other illness that disrupts our normal functioning? Come along as we investigate what such a world might look like.
Unless you've been living under a rock (one not appearing on Google Maps’ Street View), you're probably intimately familiar with the behemoth and its many services. But what would the world look like if this powerhouse company had never existed?
Decapitation is a surefire way to deliver a quick and painless death, right? In actuality, an increasingly large body of historical and scientific evidence suggests that beheading doesn't, in fact, deliver instant death.
Wood, grass and food scraps undergo a process known as biodegradation when they're buried. They're transformed by bacteria in the soil into other useful compounds, but those same bacteria typically turn up their noses at plastic. Luckily, that's not the end of the story.
Plastics that aren't recycled tend to hang around our planet like houseguests who have worn out their welcome. Can biodegradable plastics, which may break down in fewer than 90 days, change that scenario?
A simple doll can't tell a researcher whether a car crash resulted in a broken bone, a cracked rib cage or skin abrasions. Crash test dummies, on the other hand, are sophisticated enough to simulate such injuries.
You have to be careful when you drive at night. Itâ€™s hard to see when all you have to guide you are a pair of headlights. To make matters worse, using your high beams improperly can cause a crash. Fortunately, new technology has made them safer.
Incubators can save the lives of premature babies, but the devices are expensive and people in developing countries may not be able to afford them. One organization has found a way to help by repurposing old cars.
People in remote areas can't just connect to the Internet anytime they want. To solve that problem, United Villages has outfitted a number of buses with WiFi equipment. But there's a catch -- it's not a direct connection.
After awhile, all that holiday eating starts to feel gluttonous and wasteful. But it doesn't have to be. Maybe you can't change the world all by yourself, but there are a few ways you can make your holiday food consumption a bit gentler on the planet.
High material costs and relatively low efficiency have held solar energy back as an alternative to fossil fuels. But that hasn't stopped people from finding some practical everyday applications for solar panels.
When you hear about solar-powered transportation, you may think of slow-moving single-person vehicles running in experiments. But solar cars have evolved, and can reach much faster speeds than in those old trials.
As most of us know, our cars can become filthy, germy places unless we clean them regularly -- and they could be making us sick. But what about the air coming in through the vents? How can we make sure it's clean?
When big spills hit our environment, scientists think the best sponge is the one made out of aerogel, a substance that's a cross between a slice of Jell-O and a brick of smoke. Why are aerogels so good at cleaning up some of our worst messes?
Let's assume that it's possible to create a complete loop in time travel -- that time travelers could travel into the past and then return to the future (or vice versa). What could we do with our time machine, and how would time travel affect our lives?