22 articles
  • Article Recirculation Lead Image

    The Stranger Things That Gave Birth to Science

     Finding regularity in nature is the bread and butter of science. We know that reptiles lay eggs, while mammals bear live young; the Earth revolves around the sun every 365.25 days; electrons glom onto protons like bears onto honey. But what if some oddity seems to defy the laws of nature, like the platypus, an […]
  • Q&A_HERO-2

    Is the Modern Mass Extinction Overrated?

    We are ignoring the gains that balance the losses.
  • Article Recirculation Lead Image

    Why Medieval Cats Approved of the Plague

    The cat as the witch’s familiar in the 17th century, woodcut.Mary Evans Picture Library From the 12th century onward there were two distinct attitudes to cats. For many people the cat population operated as important rodent-controllers, and every so often a cat would go beyond being a mere working animal and become a welcome pet […]
  • Fear_HERO-2

    How Evolution Designed Your Fear

    The universal grip of Stephen King’s personal terrors.
  • Article Recirculation Lead Image

    How Absurd Do You Like Your Art?

    fStop Images – Caspar Benson / Getty Images Some art makes a lot of sense. If we look at a painting or a photograph of a gorgeous view, its beauty feels natural. The reason for this is that the kinds of landscapes people tend to like correspond to places that would have been a good […]
  • Zomorodi_HERO-F-3

    What Boredom Does to You

    The science of the wandering mind.

  • Article Image

    Frankenstein in the Age of CRISPR-Cas9

    Despite the awesome progress of science, we will never be free from the circular discussions of who we are.

  • walking dead

    Where “The Walking Dead” Goes Wrong With Zombies

    Rick Grimes is cornered. A walker shuffles toward him, thoughtless yet eager for flesh. Sweat drips through Grimes’ thick beard, grown in the hundreds of fearful days and nights since the dead started to roam the earth. He quickly reaches for his knife—a weapon he never used in his days as a cop—and sinks it […]

  • Article Image

    When Did Tribalism Get To Be So Fashionable?

      Nautilus Members enjoy an ad-free experience. Log in or Join now . “I against my brothers. I and my brothers against my cousins. I and my brothers and my cousins against the world.”—Nafisa Haji, The Sweetness of Tears Last month, I published an article on Nautilus called “Is Tribalism a Natural Malfunction?”. It was a […]

  • Article Image

    Astronomy Has Just Gained a New Sense

     There are many stories to tell about GW170817. Nautilus Members enjoy an ad-free experience. Log in or Join now . There are stories of a binary neutron star inspiral, two dead stars locked in a deadly dance that culminated in a collision. There are accounts of a worldwide collaboration of scientists, all working to discover […]

  • Article Image

    Why Dementia Is a Population-Level Problem

     Dementia is typically thought of and treated as an individual sickness. Unlike something like measles, dementia is non-transferrable, and can’t be vaccinated against. But Malaz Boustani, a professor of medicine at Indiana University, thinks that the right way to think about dementia may be through the lens of epidemiology—“the branch of medicine that deals with […]

  • Article Recirculation Lead Image

    In Fermat’s Library, No Margin Is Too Narrow

     Ever asked what the Internet thought about something and immediately regretted it? The four researchers behind Fermat’s Library, a platform and online community for discussing scientific papers, have had quite a different experience. With 3.5 million monthly visitors across their website, Twitter, and other social presences, Fermat’s Library is more than an academic tool. It […]
  • Article Recirculation Lead Image

    Is Talking About De-Extinction a Moral Hazard?

    There’s a saying, in conservation biology, credited to the plant ecologist Frank Egler: Ecosystems are not just more complex than we think, they’re more complex than we can think. With doomsday narratives swirling about nuclear war, the existential threat of artificial intelligence, and runaway global warming, it’s one we might want to constantly bear in […]
  • Ingenious_HERO

    Why We Still Need Monsters

    This month’s Ingenious, Stephen T. Asma, on what haunts us.
  • Article Recirculation Lead Image

    The Science Behind “Blade Runner”’s Voight-Kampff Test

    Is Rick Deckard a replicant, an advanced bioengineered being? The jury concerning the character in 1982’s Blade Runner is still out. Harrison Ford, who plays Deckard in the film, thinks he’s human. Ridley Scott, the film’s director, is adamant that he’s not.* Hampton Fancher, the screenwriter for the original film and the sequel, Blade Runner […]
  • Penaluna_HERO

    I Am Not a Monster

    Science has turned the squid from a storied monster into a marvel.