• Print Edition 37

    Issue 37 of the Nautilus print edition combines some of the best content from our issues on Mind and Universality. It includes contributions from psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett, award-winning geobiologist Hope Jahren, zoologist Arik Kershenbaum, and more. This issue also features new illustrations by Jorge Colombo.     

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    Our Solar System Would Be Weird Even If It Didn’t Harbor Life

    What would our solar system look like if an alien were to spot it from another planet, orbiting a distant star? How improbable would it appear? For the first time in human history, thanks to advances in exoplanet hunting, we can now answer that question. We can even put numbers on it. If that alien […]

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    Listen to the Large Hadron Collider’s Weird, Whale-Like Sounds

    To refer to the Large Hadron Collider merely as the world’s largest machine, or the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, would be to engage in prosaic understatement—the Collider is nothing less than a scientific and engineering wonder of the world. Nominally an underground ring 27 kilometers in circumference, the Collider is tasked with accelerating, in […]

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    Fireworks Displays Can’t Include a Perfect Red, White, and Blue

    Mother Nature can be a handful when she wants to be,” says John Conkling, the former technical director of the American Pyrotechnics Association and a professor emeritus of chemistry at Washington College. Except he used a stronger, more colorful word than “handful.” When it comes to fireworks, “she just doesn’t want to give you that […]

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    Alaska Is a Perfect Place for Birds to Spread Disease Worldwide

    Last May, as wild birds from around the globe converged on Alaska’s western shores for the summer breeding season, local citizen scientists did, too. Armed with sterile polyester-tipped swabs and screw-top vials, the amateur biologists descended upon dozens of homes belonging to hunters in villages such as Kotlik, Pilot Station, Chefornak, and Eek. In exchange […]

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    The Ocean Gets Big Data

    A new array of cameras, vehicles, and sensors promises to change ocean science.

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    How Big Can Life Get?

    An illustrated trip from smallest to biggest.

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    The Strange Physics of Tea Leaves Floating Upstream

    It’s been said that the true harbinger of scientific discovery is not “Eureka!” but “Huh… that’s funny….” That certainly proved to be the case for Sebastian Bianchi: a simple cup of tea led him to some intriguing, counter-intuitive insights into the surface tension of water. Back when he was an undergraduate physics major at the […]

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    Put Yourself in a Dolphin’s Skin

    Humans have come to fetishize dolphins: their smiles, their penchant for heavy petting, and they imbue their frolicking with moral assertions about one’s duty to live with abandon. These projections endear them to us. But the truth about what’s going on inside a dolphin’s head has very little to do with our human experience. Just […]

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    Can Topology Prevent Another Financial Crash?

    New regulations are applying network science to restructure global finance.