HowStuffWorks - Learn How Everything Works!

Today's Mind-blower
10 Unconventional Uses for GPS

You can get a sense of the transformative power of GPS by taking a look at all the offbeat uses people have dreamed up for it — like tracking down lost Nativity scenes and preventing shark attacks.

    • 10 Things You Should Never Throw Away
      home 10 Things You Should Never Throw Away

      There are things we consciously recycle, such as used clothing, and there are things we toss without a second thought, like foil and rubber bands. But the latter have uses you may never have dreamed of.

    • 10 Historical Words That Don't Mean What You Think
      people 10 Historical Words That Don't Mean What You Think

      You may call your cousin a Luddite because he still plays CDs, but the word didn't originally mean someone who's a technophobe. What other historical words do people use incorrectly?

    • Can your hair turn white overnight?
      science Can your hair turn white overnight?

      Of all the cosmetic problems to worry about waking up to — dark under-eye circles, a blemish on your nose, new stubble on your chin — a headful of white hair ranks pretty low on your list. Should you be more concerned?

    • 10 Weird Creatures From the Mariana Trench
      animals 10 Weird Creatures From the Mariana Trench

      The Mariana Trench is the deepest place on Earth, and we're still in the dark about much of the life that calls it home. Here are just a few of the trench's eye-popping residents.

    • Is it possible to cry blood?
      health Is it possible to cry blood?

      Poetry is full of references to salty and bitter tears, but there's not much about bloody tears. Besides movie villains who weep blood, is this phenomenon real?

    • 10 Most Deceptive PR Campaigns in History
      money 10 Most Deceptive PR Campaigns in History

      Americans didn't always eat bacon for breakfast — it became a staple thanks to a cleverly created public relations campaign in the 1920s. And diamonds for engagement rings? Another clever PR job.

    • What are witch windows?
      people What are witch windows?

      Driving through Vermont's scenic countryside, you might see an anomaly in the architecture odd enough to make you do a double take. What's the story behind those strangely angled windows?

    • What's an accretion disk?
      science What's an accretion disk?

      When you think about massive, mysterious cosmic bodies like accretion disks, the water swirling around your bathtub probably isn't the first thing to come to mind. But hey, physics works the same magic on all scales.

    • Should you wear light-colored clothes in hot weather to stay cool?
      science Should you wear light-colored clothes in hot weather to stay cool?

      Summertime fashion — light in weight and light in color. Are these pastel colors a designer's choice? Or do light colors actually keep you cooler, as some say? Read to find out if you should ditch the goth wardrobe this summer.

    • Is American wheat the cause of gluten sensitivity?
      health Is American wheat the cause of gluten sensitivity?

      Is the American wheat industry to blame for the gluten-free craze? Don't believe the hype; gluten might not be the problem you think it is.

    • BrainStuff: Why does gasoline smell so good?
      shows BrainStuff: Why does gasoline smell so good?

      Some people sense a sweet, euphoric odor when pumping gas into their car. Why is that? And is it hazardous?

    • What constitutes a medical emergency?
      health What constitutes a medical emergency?

      We all know what to do in case of a medical emergency (get to the ER), but are you really qualified to recognize a true emergency when it happens?

    • How the March on Washington Worked
      history How the March on Washington Worked

      The 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom ensured the passage of the Civil Rights Act and made Martin Luther King Jr. an American icon. But its success was not assured at the beginning.

    • Will pulling out a gray hair cause 10 more to grow in its place?
      people Will pulling out a gray hair cause 10 more to grow in its place?

      You might be tempted to pluck your gray hairs, but you shouldn't -- and not for the reason that you might think.

    • Are any superstitions universal across cultures?
      people Are any superstitions universal across cultures?

      Knocking on wood, crossing your fingers, fear of black cats ... are some superstitions common around the world, or are they specific to certain cultures?

    • How Dogs Work
      animals How Dogs Work

      The relationship between people and dogs goes back at least 15,000 years. Have you ever wondered exactly how dogs evolved and why they come in such a wide variety of shapes and sizes? Find out about our canine companions.

    • Is it rude to point out someone else's typos?
      people Is it rude to point out someone else's typos?

      We get it: You're a grammar nerd, and correcting typos is your lifeblood. You might want to slow down with the virtual red pen, though — pointing out typos is often unnecessary.

    • Will sleeping with a fan on kill you?
      people Will sleeping with a fan on kill you?

      Every culture has its own unique superstitions, most of which probably seem a little odd to outsiders. In Korea, for example, there’s the fear of death by fan.

    • Why are horseshoes considered to be lucky?
      people Why are horseshoes considered to be lucky?

      Four-leaf clovers, rabbit's feet, heads-up pennies — all lucky charms for many people. Another common lucky charm? The horseshoe.

    • Fw:Thinking: Can a computer tell if you’re sincere or snarky?
      shows Fw:Thinking: Can a computer tell if you’re sincere or snarky?

      Beyond spelling and grammar, sometimes our communications have to be adjusted for tone to make sure we’re getting the right message across. Now, artificial intelligence is here to help us out.

    • Stuff You Should Know: Did Christopher Columbus worry Earth was flat?
      shows Stuff You Should Know: Did Christopher Columbus worry Earth was flat?

      Whoever told you that old chestnut was a dummy and proves you should question everything. This is also the last Don’t Be Dumb.

    • 10 Scientific Words You're Probably Using Wrong
      science 10 Scientific Words You're Probably Using Wrong

      If you have a theory that potato chips are making you fat (with the proof being your expanding waistline), you've just used two scientific terms in a very unscientific way.

    • Is gasoline more dense in the morning?
      auto Is gasoline more dense in the morning?

      Everybody says it so it must be true, right? "Buy your gas in the morning when it's cooler, and it will last longer." Well, the science behind this theory is sound, but in reality, it won't save you much.

    • Where did the legend of Bloody Mary come from?
      people Where did the legend of Bloody Mary come from?

      The "Bloody Mary" ritual, long popular on the sleepover circuit, supposedly causes a ghastly apparition to materialize in a darkened room. Where did this legend come from? Was there a real Bloody Mary?

  • Loading content...please wait
  • Loading content...please wait
  • Loading content...please wait
  • Loading content...please wait
  • Loading content...please wait
Stuff You Should Watch
check out our shows
test your knowledge
Are You a True Cult Film Fanatic?
TAKE THE CHALLENGE
Are You a True Cult Film Fanatic?
Average: 0 points | 10 Questions

Which enormously popular rock band donated a portion of profits from one of its most successful albums to fund "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"?

Stuff ... Illustrated
poll: what do you think?

Do you have any phobias?

All About Mysteries