Fire age. (Stephen Toner/Stone/Getty) A Time Before Fire

Humans hardly invented fire, and yet if we travel back far enough in time, we encounter a time before the flame. Remember, three ingredients are necessary for fire. As the boss is quick to remind us, you can’t start a

hypercarn-featured The Mathematical Necessity of Hypercarnivores

Yes, the above painting is a bit graphic, but please imagine an infestation of mastodons. That’s right. Having driven so many megafauna to the edge of extinction, it’s hard for humans to fathom the destructive possibilities here, but as a

garthim-featured Monster of the Week: The Garthim of Thra

Last week we discussed the culture and anatomy of the Gelflings of Thra, so this week we explore another creature from the world of the Dark Crystal: the deadly Garthim. The Skeksis engineered these massive creatures to serve as their

concorde-feature Evolution Killed the Supersonic Airliner

A new study published in the Journal of Applied Physics argues that the supersonic Concorde passenger jet didn’t simply vanish into retirement. Nope, this luxury dinosaur went extinct. It all comes down to Duke University Physics Professor Adrian Bejan’s constructal

lifeintibet-feature Tibetans thrive in thin air due to interspecies sex?

I’m not referring to anything scandalous here, but rather the sort of interbreeding that occurred between prehistoric Homo sapiens and their hominid cousins. We may have murdered, out-competed and potentially eaten neanderthals, but we also mated with them to produce

ghoulface-feature Monster of the Week: The Scavenging Ghoul

Brave the midnight miasma of your nearest necropolis and you may well hear vile cackling and clawing and the sucking of bones. You may glimpse strange beings creep from one tomb to another, feasting on whatever foul morsels they can

punchtotheface-feature Your Face Was Made For Punching

In 2012 we learned that human fists are highly-evolved punching instruments. It’s two years later and the same researcher is back to let us know our faces evolved for fisticuffs as well. Specifically, our skulls evolved to soak up punches.

thecenobites-feature Monster of the Week: The Cenobites (‘Hellraiser’)

“In moments they would be here — the ones Kircher had called the Cenobites, theologians of the Order of the Gash. Summoned from their experiments in the higher reaches of pleasure, to bring their ageless heads into a world of

nosferatuvamp-feature Monster of the Week: The Humanoid Vampire

When it comes to vampiric humanoids, we place far too much emphasis on viral infections and supernatural curses. Because at heart we have something far more fascinating: a humanoid sanguivore — and an obligate sanguivore at that, which is to

asianeyes-feature What can Asian eyes teach WEIRD populations?

Let’s talk about WEIRD populations. No, I’m not talking about your everyday weirdo on the street. I’m talking about western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic (WEIRD) segments of the global population. The vast majority of our psychology and nonscientific understanding stems

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