Print Edition 33
Issue 33 of the Nautilus print edition combines some of the best content from our issues on Love & Sex and The Dark Side. It includes contributions from mathematician and author Aubrey Clayton, astrophysicist Caleb Scharf, and award-winning science journalist Jo Marchant, among others. This issue also features a new illustration by Jonathon Rosen.
You Need to Know About Bahrain’s Loneliest Tree
Bahrain’s “Tree of Life” is a beauty. Low and wide, its thick, craggy branches dive under the surface of the desert before curving back up toward the hot sun. Delicate, feathery leaves flutter at its edge. It’s also profoundly alone. Diminutive shrubs dot this sandy wasteland, but there’s not another tree in sight, across miles […]
How This Revolutionary Old Zoo Was Redesigned for the 21st Century
At the height of his powers in 15th century Florence, Lorenzo de Medici managed to secure a magnificent giraffe for his menagerie. The animal was such a marvel that several works of art depicted its arrival. (Just how grueling and gruesome the transit must have been to the giraffe is lost to history.) For ages, […]
Cosmic Void Dwarfs Are a Thing and There’s a Problem With Them
Given how absurdly vast the cosmos is, with its hundreds of billions of galaxies, picturing it isn’t easy. You might think it natural, for instance, to see all these galaxies as more or less evenly spread out across the Universe. But you’d be wrong. Following the Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago, says Robert Kirshner, […]
The Most Important Object In Computer Graphics History Is This Teapot
Let’s play a game. I’ll show you a picture and a couple videos—just watch the first five seconds or so—and you figure out what they have in common. Ready? Here we go: Did you spot it? Each of them depicts the exact same object: a shiny, slightly squashed-looking teapot. You may not have thought much of […]
Here’s Why People Are Obsessed With Mugshot Hotties
On June 18, 2014, a photo of a very handsome, no-name man was posted on the Web. Within 48 hours, it garnered 62,000 “Likes” on Facebook and became a media spectacle. Today, the Like count is up to almost 102,000, and the photo is still attracting comments. But thousands of pictures of highly attractive people […]
How My Ecstasy Trip Turned Into a Rare Anxiety Disorder
When I was at the Firefly Music Festival in Delaware, in the summer of 2014, I took a 200 mg pill of ecstasy—Red Riddler—something I had done before. After the sets were over, the colors of the overhead lamps seemed more saturated against the sky. Each bulb’s top-right quadrant had a massive, prismatic aura, like […]
Why Are So Many Animals Homosexual?
Few creatures can boast of devotions so deep as greylag geese. Most are monogamous; many spend their decade-long adult lives with the same goose, side-by-side in constant communication, taking another partner only if the first should die. It’s a remarkable degree of fidelity, and it includes relationships of a sort that some humans consider unnatural. […]
Could We See the End of Malaria?
The Nobel laureate Baruch Blumberg once estimated that malaria has killed half of the people who have ever lived. In 2015 alone, it killed almost half a million people, 70 percent of which were children. Today, about 3.2 billion people are, according to the World Health Organization, at risk of contracting it, most of whom […]
Does Singing to Sea Snails Really Draw Them Out?
As a child in Maine, I spent a lot of time exploring the tide pools jutting out from Rice Point, the beach where my extended family hosted noisy lobster picnics. Every so often I would unstick a periwinkle (Littorina littorea), a common kind of sea snail, from a rock, let it tumble into my palm, […]