Biology

From the Vault: 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 they 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. (Originally published April 17, 2018)





From the Vault: 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 and Joe in a quest for Venusian aliens. (Originally published May 17, 2018)

Against ‘Survival of the Fittest’

Is natural selection REALLY survival of the fittest? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss where the phrase comes from and how well it actually matches up with our understanding of evolution.

From the Vault: Coral Sex in the Sea

Sure coral reefs are rich, vibrant ecosystems, but did you know they also have a kinky side? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, "Sex in the Sea" author Dr. Marah J. Hardt returns to chat about coral reproduction and the role this vital, threatened organism plays in our world.

The Sacred Mountain, Part 2

Why do sacred mountains exist in so many cultures and myths? To what extent could high altitude conditions contribute to the way our mind processes these breathtaking environments? In this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter, Robert and Joe explore the wonder and science of sacred mountains.

The Sacred Mountain, Part 1

Why do sacred mountains exist in so many cultures and myths? To what extent could high altitude conditions contribute to the way our mind processes these breathtaking environments? In this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter, Robert and Joe explore the wonder and science of sacred mountains. 

From the Vault: Eternal Youth, Part 1

Throughout history, humans have faced the inexorable process of aging and death. We’ve dreamt up countless myths to explain why we age and what comes of seeking immortality, but what does science tell us about the process? Why do we age? What purpose does it serve in natural selection? Indeed, what can science offer us in the way of eternal youth? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick seek to find out in this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration. (Originally published Jan. 4, 2018)

From the Vault:  Don't Drink the Salt Water

Whether you draw your wisdom from 18th century poems or experience in the surf, you probably know that drinking seawater is a terrible idea. But exactly why shouldn’t you drink saltwater? What happens if you do? Can it really drive you mad with hallucinations? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick look to the world of biology for answers. (Originally published Jan. 16, 2018)

Mystery of the Sea Circles

We’ve all heard about crop circles, and the entirely terrestrial reason they pop up in the occasional wheat field. But what about strange circles on the bottom of the sea? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss the mystery of these ephemeral patterns and what scientists discovered about their origin. 

Gáe Bulg: The Spear of Death

Irish myth tells of a spear so deadly, that its deployment is certain death. Forged from the bones of sea monsters, the Gáe Bulg would send barbs through its victim’s every vein -- but only if the hero threw it with their foot. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick unravel the myth, history and science of this impractical Irish wonder weapon.