People toasting drinks
Behavior & Customs

Ever wonder why we “toast” drinks?

Clink, cheers, bottoms up! Toasting ceremonies are as old as the ancients. But why do we follow the ritual of clinking glasses, and where does the term “toast” come from? Read on for the ultimate party fact!

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A mosaic of people laughing
Behavior & Customs Biology Featured

Ever Wonder Why We Laugh?

How can a funny cat video turn an otherwise civilized human into a chattering monkey? What purpose does laughter actually serve, what makes it so infectious, and why does it feel so good?

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Smiling Axolotl
Animals Featured

WILD WONDERS |Axolotls – Smiley Little Superheroes

The axolotl is remarkable both for its derpy little smile and its incredible powers of healing. This critically endangered Mexican salamander has the unique ability to not only regrow limbs but also repair any damaged organs. Scientists are now searching the axolotl’s complex genome in hopes that we may one day harness these regenerative powers to cure disease, treat injuries and even reverse the aging process!

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Ever wonder why we “knock on wood”?

Even the least superstitious among us still “knock on wood” to avoid inviting bad luck. Where did this common yet odd ritual come from? Does it hearken back to ancient religious belief, or did it simply arise from a common schoolyard game?

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Dollar sign on money
Codes & Symbols Featured History

Ever wonder why the Dollar $ign is written with an S?

Why is the Dollar sign symbolized with a struck-through S and not a D? While some believe it’s a symbol formed by U and S (for United States), its actual origins might surprise you. Not only was the Dollar born in 15th century Bohemia, but its $ymbol is that of a Spanish peso!

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Biology Featured

Ever wonder what makes fingerprints unique?

Whether thwarting our criminal efforts or unlocking our phones, our fingerprints play an important role in our identity. Even identical twins have non-identical fingerprints! But by nature, the swirls and ridges on our fingertips aren’t meant to identify us, but instead serve the more mundane purpose of aiding touch. So what triggers their one-of-a-kind design?

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Rituals & Traditions

Ever wonder why we count sheep to fall asleep?

Why do we count sheep to fall asleep? Where does the story come from and does it really help beat insomnia?

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Ever wonder how hiccups happen, and where their remedies come from?

Hiccups are an involuntary spasm of the diaphragm that serves no real purpose. Over time, humans have invented some strange remedies to deal with them. Learn about what triggers hiccups, and how triggering them again can actually be the cure.

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Ever wonder how blue jean pants became a fashion standard?

Somewhere along the line, we all decided as a society that it was perfectly acceptable to wear blue pants with EVERYTHING. Men, women and children alike happily don denim jeans for both casual comfort and style. In some cases, a pair of well-tailored jeans can even complete a dressier look. How did the look become our go-to uniform as a society, and why blue and not black?

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Codes & Symbols

Ever wonder what all the numeric codes on paper money mean?

No, this is not a post about the Illuminati conspiracies surrounding the All Seeing Eye and the Great Pyramid. The real subject is a bit more mundane, but fits right into the theme of questions we never bothered to ask. What do all those serial codes and digits on our U.S. currency mean?

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