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    Most of the Mind Can’t Tell Fact from Fiction

    Even after you understand how an illusion operates, it continues to fool part of your mind. This is the kind of double knowledge we have when we consume fiction.Photograph by KieferPix / Shutterstock Stories, fiction included, act as a kind of surrogate life. You can learn from them so seamlessly that you might believe you […]

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    Unlikely Story: The Swordfish With a Nose Ring

    A few weeks we asked you for your most unlikely stories—the kinds of things that make you scratch your head and think, “What are the chances?” Last week we published a birthday coincidence. Here’s another one of our favorite stories, this one submitted by Dan Clem. For seven weeks in the winter of 2003 I […]

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    Tell Us Your Astonishingly Unlikely Story

    Everybody has that one story they tell. That one incredibly unlikely thing that, had it not happened to them, they might not even believe. They found the only other person on a deserted mountain in China, and it was a long-lost friend from high school. They escaped being struck by lightning only because they dropped […]

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    What’s Your Story? The Psychological Power of Narrative

    We’re all stories in the end. — “The Big Bang,” Doctor Who In 2003, author James Frey published a bestselling autobiographical memoir, A Million Little Pieces, purportedly detailing his struggle to overcome addiction. Nearly three years later, during a riveting appearance on Oprah, he admitted that several supposedly factual details had been embellished or fabricated. All […]

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    Romance, Meaning, Science, and You

    Welcome to Nautilus’ blog, “Facts So Romantic”! The name, if you didn’t see the note on the blog’s homepage, refers to a quote from Jules Verne: “Reality provides us with facts so romantic that imagination itself could add nothing to them.” (Verne also helped name the magazine itself; the amazingly hi-tech submarine from 20,000 Leagues […]