Biology

From the Vault: Humanzee

Chimpanzees are humanity's closest living relative, but there's both wonder and existential horror in that closeness. A species barrier separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom, but what if a chimp/human hybrid were to bridge that barrier? Join Robert Lamb and Christian Sager as they explore the case history of Russian biologist Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov and his attempts to breed a human/chimp hybrid in the early 20th century. (Originally published Jan. 21, 2016)

Troubled Sleep in the Arks of Doom

It’s hard enough to sleep just knowing that dozens of nuclear ballistic missile submarines haunt the oceans, each containing the means to rain nuclear annihilation on the world. But what’s it like to sleep aboard these arks of doom? It actually ties into long-term military study, and the results may help us send humans to other planets. Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore... 

Life on Venus

The planet Venus might seem a hellish destination and an unlikely place to find extraterrestrial life. And yet, many experts agree that life may have existed in the planet's ancient oceans -- and may thrive yet within the upper atmosphere. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick in a quest for Venusian aliens. 

Crazy Ants and Electricity

Do crazy ants crave electronics? Do they feast on that sweet, sweet juice? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick dispel some myths and explore the science of this particular insect invader.

From the Vault: Animal Sex Cannibals

Sexual cannibalism is a rarity in the natural world, and scientists are still attempting to understand the act as practiced by mostly arachnids and insects. Why consume your mate after or during sexual intercourse? Why venture into such a scenario in the first place? Join Robert and Joe as they explore the thoroughly inhuman world of sexual cannibalism. (Originally published March 10, 2016) 

Unicorns of the Natural World

While the unicorn itself is a creature of fantasy and legend, one-horned and one-tusked animals do reside in the natural world. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they examine several extant and extinct species noted for their solitary protrusions  -- including the narwhal and a certain circus unicorn. 

From the Vault: Jumping Fish

Fish belong in the water, right? What business do they have leaping out of their world and into ours? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the surprisingly fascinating, dangerous and mysterious world of leaping, jumping and gliding fish. From skewering swordfish and breaching sharks to the alleged urethra-bound candiru, nature provides more than a few mind-blowing specimens of note. (Originally published July 14, 2016)

Evolution and the City: The Birds

How have birds adapted to the artificial environments of human cities? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick sit down with educator, writer and Audubon Society birder Jason Ward about everything from urban hawks to Atlanta’s wild turkeys.  

Evolution and the City: The Beasts

Human cities are the ultimate artificial environments -- and we're not the only organisms to call them home. In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick consider some of the adaptive animals that have taken to city life and thrive within its challenging complexity. 

The Fartonomicon

What is a fart? From what foul bodily depths does it arise? Join Stuff to Blow Your Mind hosts Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as the crack open the Fartomicon. Explore the fascinating chemistry of flatus, recoil in horror at the thought of medieval fart demons and consider the curious creatures that enjoy a flatulence-free existence.