giz asks
What’s the Least Useful Body Part?

We’re all familiar with the flashy, big-ticket organs: the heart, the brain, the lungs. Their celebrity often obscures the work—humbler, less heroic, but often no less essential to the maintenance of a life—performed by those organs only doctors know about: the body’s back-up players, pulsing and pumping in relative obscurity. Not to mention the mid-tier organs, like the gallbladder, whose functions most of us only dimly comprehend, unless—or until—they start acting up. Read More >>

science
DIY Organ Removal, Pain, and Bloody Miracles: The Grisly World of First Surgeries

The Wound Man (or Man of Wounds, depending on how you translate Fasciculus medicinae, the 1491 medical treatise in which his image first appears) is one of the most well-known medieval surgical diagrams going. It’s up there with da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man (né 1490) but is far less aesthetically pleasing than what everyone’s favourite Renaissance Man had cooked up. Rather, the Wound Man—his poor mangled body decorated with bites and pustules, smashed by rocks, and pierced with various deadly implements—wears a look of serene resignation that belies the myriad violent indignities that have been visited upon him. Read More >>

science
Tiny Tunnels Previously Unknown to Scientists Found Between the Skull and Brain

It’s not every day that scientists find a completely new aspect of human anatomy, but a study published this week in Nature Neuroscience is providing exactly that, describing a previously unknown network of tunnels located between the skull and the brain. Read More >>

dinosaurs
T-Rex’s Tongue Was Firmly Stuck in Its Mouth, Study Finds

With yet another Jurassic Park film out in cinemas, it’s the perfect time for busybody scientists to shatter our conceptions of how dinosaurs looked and acted. The latest dino truth bomb comes courtesy of a new study published Wednesday in PLOS One. It suggests that most dinosaurs, including the fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex, couldn’t stick out their tongues the way many modern reptiles and birds do. Read More >>

giz asks
Why Do We Have Bums?

When separates us from the animals? Is it the burden of consciousness, the terror of knowing that one day we will die, along with everyone we’ve ever loved? Or is it our big weird arses? Read More >>

giz asks
Why Is My Face Changing Shape as I Get Older?

Two decades of healthy growth, followed by four to eight decades of slow-motion physical and mental collapse—that’s life, for most of us, despite the efforts of various deluded cranks and tech billionaires. Time spares nothing, and seems particularly to have it out for our faces, paying just as much attention to skin-level deformations (worry-lines, wrinkles, tumorous outgrowths) as it does to the large-scale hollowings and saggings which, over time, change the actual shape of our faces. Read More >>

dinosaurs
Winged Archaeopteryx Dino Could Fly—Scientists Just Don’t Know How

Owing to its distinctly bird-like features, Archaeopteryx is one of the most intriguing dinosaurs known to science. Since its discovery some 150 years ago, palaeontologists have wondered if the Late Jurassic dinosaur could actually fly. New research suggests the answer is yes—but its flying style was unlike anything seen today in modern birds. Read More >>

giz asks
How Do You Hear Without ‘Ears’?

History’s littered with lost ears: Van Gogh’s, Evander Holyfield’s, that ear Kyle MacLachlan finds in a field in Blue Velvet, etc. Or maybe ears is the wrong word. The weird little flesh-whorls that jut out from the sides of most of our heads are just small components of a much larger, delicately interconnected system. Remove part of that system with a razor-blade upon learning that your brother is getting married, and you risk seriously compromising it. Read More >>

design
A Textbook That Turns Into a Lifesized Paper Skeleton Should be Standard at Med Schools

Human anatomy is something better learned by studying detailed models, or actual people. Mastering the ins and outs of the human body isn’t the easiest thing to learn from a textbook, although once you hit the last page of Taschen’s latest tome, you’ll have a pretty solid understanding of the human skeleton, having just built one. Read More >>

science
Man Had So Many Prostate Orgasms He Couldn’t Stop, According to New Paper

One 63-year-old man had so many prostate orgasms that he couldn’t stop. Read More >>

science
Nightmarish Sea Spiders Pump Their Blood Using Their Guts

Earth’s oceans are well-stocked with otherworldly inhabitants, but few of these critters are quite as strange as sea spiders, which look like something that would lurk in the crawlspace under Slender Man’s house. With their impossibly spindly legs, sea spiders—which aren’t even actual spiders—stride across the ocean floor with eerily slow, deliberate steps. They eat by piercing stationary animals like sea anemones and sponges with their long proboscises, and sucking up chunks of tissue softened by digestive juices. Now, new research published in the journal Current Biology piles onto the weirdness, demonstrating that sea spiders move blood and oxygen around their bodies not by pumping their hearts, but by pumping their guts. Read More >>

science
Here’s How Much Bubble Wrap You Need To Wrap A Giant Whale Heart

It’s not every day one stumbles upon a 400-pound-whale heart, but when you do, you put that shit in a museum. Thankfully, that’s exactly what the folks at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) did when they uncovered a dead blue whale in Newfoundland back in 2014. Since then, biologist Jacqueline Miller and her team at ROM have been working tirelessly to put the massive organ on display, and today, they finally did just that. Read More >>

science
How Much Force Could a T-rex Bite Deliver?

In the 1993 cult classic Jurassic Park, a T-rex manages to scare the living shit out of kid heroes Lex and Tim Murphy by casually ripping apart their Ford Explorer like it’s a scrap of meat. It’s a scene that crystallised the destructive power of this extinct apex predator in the public consciousness — and as a new study highlights, it might not have been that hyperbolic. Read More >>

wtf
This Deep Sea Monster Attaches Its Head to Its Neck in the Freakiest Way

We already knew the deep ocean is full of nightmare creatures — twisted amalgams of tooth, jaw and fin sprung to life from some tortured corner of the multiverse. But good news — it gets even weirder! Scientists have just learned that one deep sea predator has a flexible attachment between its head and its skull that allows it to snap its jaws open like a Pez dispenser. Read More >>

medicine
Your Appendix May Not Be as Useless as You Think

New research suggests that the appendix, long believed to be a throwback to our evolutionary past, may serve an important purpose by boosting immunity and acting as a “safe house” for helpful gut bacteria. Read More >>