HowStuffWorks - Learn How Everything Works!

Today's Mind-blower
10 Things Wearables Have Taught Us

We eat too much, sleep too little and need to walk more. We already knew many of the things wearables have taught us, but do they change long-term behavior?

    • 10 Things People Believe About the Illuminati
      people 10 Things People Believe About the Illuminati

      The price of oil, the weather, the United Nations and pop music are all controlled by one malevolent force – the Illuminati. Or so some people believe. How did an imaginary group get so big?

    • 10 of the Biggest Lies in History
      history 10 of the Biggest Lies in History

      You don't look fat in those pants. I didn't copy off his paper. She's a natural blonde. I am not a crook. Lots of us lie, but what are the biggest fibs ever told?

    • 10 Tax Exemptions You Should Know
      money 10 Tax Exemptions You Should Know

      The IRS doesn't get a lot of love from American taxpayers, but it's hardly the cruel thief we make it out to be. Thanks, tax exemptions!

    • 10 Everyday Things You're Probably Doing the Hard Way
      home 10 Everyday Things You're Probably Doing the Hard Way

      Despite our desire for ease, studies show that we may be able to make ourselves smarter by doing things the hard way. But why make life trickier than it needs to be?

    • Understanding Tax Extension Forms
      money Understanding Tax Extension Forms

      Need more time to figure out your tax situation? Filing and completing federal and state tax extension forms is easy – but it won't postpone your tax bill.

    • Does alcohol freeze?
      science Does alcohol freeze?

      If you've ever had a half-frozen beer explode on you, you know that yes, alcohol freezes -- but not all in the same way. We'll let you in on the secrets to frozen alcoholic delights.

    • 10 Things You Should Never Mix With Alcohol
      science 10 Things You Should Never Mix With Alcohol

      Juice and soda mix well with alcohol, but a few things don't mix so well. Some may just produce embarrassing moments. Others could cost you your life.

    • How Estimated Tax Payments Work
      money How Estimated Tax Payments Work

      Everyone knows taxes are due on April 15. Unless, of course, you have to pay them early. Here's a guide to estimated tax payments.

    • Do old habits really die hard?
      health Do old habits really die hard?

      We often focus on our bad habits, but there's actually a system of interlocking beneficial and detrimental ones that make up our everyday routines.

    • How Tree Climbing Works
      adventure How Tree Climbing Works

      You don't have to be an arborist or an 8-year-old to go out and climb a tree. Recreational tree climbers come in all forms -- you just need some instruction, the right gear and a minimal fear of heights.

    • Does sleeping after learning make you smarter?
      people Does sleeping after learning make you smarter?

      Want to ace that test? Skip the all-nighter and hit the sack to boost memory and learning.

    • Stuff to Blow Your Mind: 5 Reasons Rats are Like Humans
      shows Stuff to Blow Your Mind: 5 Reasons Rats are Like Humans

      Rats, like humans, are one of the most resilient mammal species on the planet. And while they've long been maligned for their disease-vector shenanigans, these unlovable scamps don't get the respect they deserve. Especially when you consider the crossover they have with human behavior.

    • 10 Most Breathtaking Views in the World
      adventure 10 Most Breathtaking Views in the World

      There are some views so magnificent that people travel across oceans and continents to see them. What are they?

    • What causes 'new car smell'?
      auto What causes 'new car smell'?

      There's nothing quite like the smell of a new car interior. It's not exactly a fresh scent, but it's definitely an unused scent. So what really causes that 'new car smell'?

    • 10 Silly Inventions That Became Wildly Famous
      science 10 Silly Inventions That Became Wildly Famous

      We've all seen TV ads for products that were just completely silly but then became overnight sensations. Which ones made our list?

    • BrainStuff: Do carrots really give you better eyesight?
      shows BrainStuff: Do carrots really give you better eyesight?

      Common wisdom says that eating lots of carrots will power up your vision to Hawkeye levels. But is there any truth to this vegetable factoid?

    • How Knife Throwing Works
      entertainment How Knife Throwing Works

      You might not be whipping knives at the wheel of death by the time you finish reading this article, but you'll be on your way. Ready to learn about this awesome pastime?

    • How Chupacabras Work
      science How Chupacabras Work

      Out of the many legendary bloodsucking creatures out there, the Chupacabra has gained a considerable amount of notoriety. Learn the story of this vampire-like beast.

    • 10 Fairy Tales That Were Way Darker Than You Realized as a Kid
      people 10 Fairy Tales That Were Way Darker Than You Realized as a Kid

      Cinderella was the only girl who could fit the glass slipper, right? But did you know her two stepsisters cut off parts of their feet to try to fit it? That's just one gory detail Disney left off.

    • 10 Plausible Sports Conspiracy Theories
      people 10 Plausible Sports Conspiracy Theories

      It's tempting to think that the only way your favorite team (or athlete) could lose is because of some funny business from the other side. And sometimes you'd be right. Here are 10 sports conspiracy theories that could totally have happened.

    • 9 Extinct Exotic Sea Creatures
      animals 9 Extinct Exotic Sea Creatures

      A stunning array of strange and ferocious aquatic beasts patrolled Earth's waters long before they became the stuff of legends and "Jurassic Park" movies. One could eat a great white shark in one gulp.

    • 10 Tax Exemptions You Should Know
      money 10 Tax Exemptions You Should Know

      The IRS doesn't get a lot of love from American taxpayers, but it's hardly the cruel thief we make it out to be. Thanks, tax exemptions!

    • 10 Unsolved Mysteries That Have Been Solved
      science 10 Unsolved Mysteries That Have Been Solved

      Was Anna Anderson really Anastasia Romanov? Does the Bermuda Triangle really exist? Wonder no more: We have the answers to these and other formerly unsolved mysteries.

    • 10 Myths About Sleep
      health 10 Myths About Sleep

      Everybody sleeps, so you'd think we'd all be experts on dozing. But it turns out, there are some persistent myths that are keeping us from getting the best possible rest.

    • 5 Ways You Still Can't Get Ebola
      health 5 Ways You Still Can't Get Ebola

      You may not know how to pull on personal protection equipment like a health care pro, but we bet you've learned a lot about Ebola and its transmission since it hit the news. Or have you?

    • 10 Tips for Boosting Your Tax Refund
      money 10 Tips for Boosting Your Tax Refund

      Who doesn't want a huge refund check a few weeks after filing incomes taxes? We have a few ideas for how you can make that happen.

    • 10 Amazing Circus Families
      entertainment 10 Amazing Circus Families

      For some, being a circus performer is a job; for others, it is a way of life. Many circus families stretch back seven or eight generations. Who are some of the most storied circus families still under the big top today?

    • 10 Helpful Tax Lessons for Kids
      money 10 Helpful Tax Lessons for Kids

      If there's anything certain in this world, it's that kids ask tons of questions. Sure, you may know what to say when they ask why dogs bark or why the sky is blue, but when your kids want to know about paying taxes, what should you tell them?

    • 10 Businesses Supposedly Controlled by the Mafia
      people 10 Businesses Supposedly Controlled by the Mafia

      Just like workers in any field, Mafia members are changing with the times and running some old schemes in new ways. What businesses does the Mob have its hooks in, and how does it maintain control?

    • 10 Ways Animals Supposedly Predict the Weather
      science 10 Ways Animals Supposedly Predict the Weather

      Next time the cat starts sneezing, should you look for your umbrella or check her out for allergies? There are many superstitions out there about animals and weather prediction. Which ones hold water, and which ones are for the birds?

    • 10 Horror Films That Changed the Genre
      entertainment 10 Horror Films That Changed the Genre

      Admit it: You think of "Jaws" when you go to the beach and "The Blair Witch Project" when you wander a little too far into the woods. These horror films didn't just change behavior; they revamped the genre.

    • 10 Myths About Surviving a Tornado
      science 10 Myths About Surviving a Tornado

      To stay safe during a tornado, it's important to separate fact from fiction. Should you open windows during a storm? Is one corner of the basement safer than another? We answer those questions and more.

    • 10 Fascinating Facts About Flatus
      health 10 Fascinating Facts About Flatus

      Flatulence is funny, but there's actually some pretty interesting stuff going on in your body to cause it. After reading these 10 facts, you may never look at airplane travel the same way.

    • 10 Famous Paranormal Hoaxes
      science 10 Famous Paranormal Hoaxes

      Crop circles. Alien autopsies. Time travelers. These are just some of the paranormal phenomena that people have believed in but were later found to be hoaxes. Often, even when someone admitted to making it up, that didn't stop the true believers.

    • 10 Questions and Answers on the Shared Responsibility Provision
      money 10 Questions and Answers on the Shared Responsibility Provision

      This key part of the Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have health insurance. Get ready to have your questions answered.

    • 10 Tax Tips for Small Businesses
      money 10 Tax Tips for Small Businesses

      Look at you, with your thriving small business, legion of loyal employees and throngs of faithful customers. You call all the shots -- but you also have to pay all the taxes. Luckily, plenty of juicy tax breaks abound if you know where to find them.

    • 10 Most Terrifying Vehicle Manufacturing Defects
      auto 10 Most Terrifying Vehicle Manufacturing Defects

      Each year, auto manufacturers issue about 500 recalls. Most of them are small, inexpensive, easy to repair and not terrifying at all. These are not those recalls.

    • 10 Cretaceous Animals That Weren’t Dinosaurs
      animals 10 Cretaceous Animals That Weren’t Dinosaurs

      The dinos hog all the Cretaceous headlines. Do you have any idea what else scurried, hopped and otherwise cruised around Earth before the K-T mass extinction?

    • Will digital photography ever be as good as film for movies?
      electronics Will digital photography ever be as good as film for movies?

      The digital revolution is in full swing. Digital technology has enhanced what we watch on TV and the music we listen to. But will movies shot digitally ever look as good as movies shot on film?

    • Are cheetahs clones of each other?
      animals Are cheetahs clones of each other?

      Cheetahs share so much DNA that they're practically clones of one another. But what does this mean for the future of the species?

    • What's a double pulsar?
      science What's a double pulsar?

      A single pulsar is fascinating enough, but as a set, these rapidly rotating neutron stars help scientists figure out mysteries of the universe.

    • Can you deduct hobby expenses?
      money Can you deduct hobby expenses?

      Hobbies are fun, and they can become a way to make money, too. So how can you get a tax break for those trips to the craft or antique store?

    • Do daddy longlegs really have powerful venom?
      animals Do daddy longlegs really have powerful venom?

      With its long legs and goofy way of motoring about, the daddy longlegs generally doesn't top lists of the scariest spiders. But should it? After all, if legends are to be believed, it's one of the most poisonous spiders of all.

    • Can you die if you don’t sleep?
      health Can you die if you don’t sleep?

      Feel like sleep deprivation will be the death of you? It just might be, but perhaps you can curtail this devastating situation.

    • Is child support tax deductible?
      money Is child support tax deductible?

      Divorce and co-parenting probably weren't part of the plan, but as they say, your child's well-being doesn't have a price tag – though all of that food and clothing does. If you're making child support payments, it's good to know your tax rights.

    • How can I spot genealogy scams?
      people How can I spot genealogy scams?

      Who would run a genealogy scam? More people than you might think. So get savvy! Here's what to look for (and what to tell budding genealogists in your family to avoid). We'll start with the most common cons out there.

    • Can watching too much TV at night make you depressed?
      health Can watching too much TV at night make you depressed?

      Watching television has been blamed for all sorts of ills, including childhood obesity and the escalating violence in society. Is it time to add another to the list: depression?

    • What are some common vehicle tax deductions?
      money What are some common vehicle tax deductions?

      Your company requires you to use your personal vehicle for work-related purposes. Can you really write off the car on your taxes?

    • Do dire wolves exist?
      animals Do dire wolves exist?

      As fans of George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series know all too well, a person encountering a dire wolf will likely end up in dire straits. But while these fearsome beasts make for great fiction, do they have any grounding in reality?

    • What are the different types of businesses?
      money What are the different types of businesses?

      The IRS recognizes five types of business: sole proprietorship, partnership, C corporation, S corporation and limited liability company. Which one should you choose?

    • Do female praying mantises decapitate their mates?
      animals Do female praying mantises decapitate their mates?

      Mating shouldn't be something you lose your head over, but tell that to the male praying mantis. This poor creature has long been the butt of countless procreation jokes, but does he even deserve this unfortunate reputation?

    • How do you get a job as a travel writer?
      money How do you get a job as a travel writer?

      Want to see the world but feel like you can't afford it? As a travel writer, you'll get paid to take readers along as you journey across the globe. Read on to learn how to make your way in this highly coveted field.

    • Could a planet exist without a host star?
      science Could a planet exist without a host star?

      It's not uncommon for planets to wander alone through the universe like big, sullen teenagers. But how do they end up flying solo, and could they still harbor life?

    • What tax credits exist for disabled persons?
      money What tax credits exist for disabled persons?

      Special tax credits are available to people with disabilities as well as to those who care for them. Let's explore them.

    • How do you pick the shortest checkout line?
      money How do you pick the shortest checkout line?

      In a hurry? Not so fast, that short checkout line may not actually be the better option.

    • Should I really punch animals in the nose when attacked?
      animals Should I really punch animals in the nose when attacked?

      You're not likely to ever get in a straight-up boxing match with another animal (kangaroos with boxing gloves aside). That said, it's probably a good idea to know whether a few efficient jabs to the schnoz can help you escape an irate animal.

    • Can we detect water on exoplanets?
      science Can we detect water on exoplanets?

      Looking for water on faraway planets doesn't involve spotting rivers or oceans. Instead, scientists keep an eye out for what types of light a planet emits to figure out whether a planet might be life-friendly.

    • Are manatees really responsible for mermaid myths?
      animals Are manatees really responsible for mermaid myths?

      Beautiful, graceful, majestic: Such highfalutin words might seem befitting of a mermaid, but a manatee? Perhaps our humble friends deserve a bit more credit. After all, they are known to stoke the imagination of a lonely seafarer or two.

    • Famous Historical Couples
      history Famous Historical Couples

      When these men and women weren't composing poetry, combating the Great Depression or committing mass genocide, they were sharing their lives with their equally famous other halves. They may be revered (or reviled) for the deeds that secured their presence in history books and pop culture, but they were also loved.

    • Ocean Current Pictures
      science Ocean Current Pictures

      Ocean currents can have an incredible impact on Earth's weather. This gallery of images shows how powerful ocean currents can be in the environment.

    • Bodily Feats
      entertainment Bodily Feats

      Can you breathe fire, swallow a sword or walk on glass? These people can. Take a look at this gallery of bodily feats that might make you cringe.

    • Lightning Pictures
      science Lightning Pictures

      Some of the most dramatic displays of nature can be found in the form of lightning bolts. This stunning image gallery showcases this fascinating phenomena.

    • Royalty
      history Royalty

      Our royalty image gallery will show you pictures of famous kings and queens, both ancient and modern.

    • American Landmarks
      adventure American Landmarks

      These American landmark pictures range from the natural wonders of the United States to famous works of architecture. How many of these landmarks have you visited?

    • Space Conspiracy Theories
      science Space Conspiracy Theories

      The moon landing is just one of many sources of debate among space conspiracy theorists. This image gallery wades into the discussion on this theory and a few others.

    • Harriet Tubman Pictures
      history Harriet Tubman Pictures

      These Harriet Tubman pictures will show photographs and illustrations of the leader of the Underground Railroad. Get to know this influential woman in this gallery.

    • Glaciers
      science Glaciers

      One of the most impressive features of the natural world are glaciers. These massive sheets of ice can travel hundreds of miles. This gallery shows some of the main features of glaciers.

    • Bridges
      science Bridges

      Bridges are amazing displays of scientific engineering. This collection of pictures highlights some of the most spectacular structures ever created.

    • Diamonds Are Forever
      science Diamonds Are Forever

      Diamonds are some of the most brilliant and expensive natural features Earth has to offer. This collection of images displays diamonds in all their uncut and polished shapes and sizes. Obligatory pictures of very large diamonds are included of course.

    • Foods for Beautiful Skin
      health Foods for Beautiful Skin

      What you eat can make a big difference in your health and appearance. See these pictures to learn about foods that are great for your skin.

    • Everything I Need to Know About Parenting I Learned From TV
      lifestyle Everything I Need to Know About Parenting I Learned From TV

      Anyone who grew up watching the tube learned a thing or two about what it takes to be a parent from these fictional moms and dads. Check out this gallery of things we learned about parenting from TV.

    • Tatted Up: Celebrity Ink
      people Tatted Up: Celebrity Ink

      There are some celebrity tattoos we love and some that we hate. Pull up a chair and take a look at these celebrity tattoo pictures and see some of the good, the bad and the ugly.

    • Pregnancy and Human Development
      health Pregnancy and Human Development

      Explore the stages of pregnancy with these pictures and get a first-hand look at developing fetuses and ultrasound technology. Do you know what fundal height is or when the limbs are developed? Take a look and find out.

    • The Ultimate Cake Off
      recipes The Ultimate Cake Off

      In TLC's "Ultimate Cake Off," you'll see the greatest cake artists in the world. Check out our collection of pictures and see what we mean.

    • U.S. Wedding Destinations
      lifestyle U.S. Wedding Destinations

      Forget destination weddings and seek inspiration from a map of the United States. Whether you're into beaches, mountain ranges, quaint towns or natural wonders, you can plan a gorgeous getaway that doesn't require a passport!

    • Greatest Moments in Flight
      science Greatest Moments in Flight

      Flight has been a human dream for centuries. It wasn't until the dawn of the 20th century that man was finally able to leave the ground. This gallery highlights some of the milestones in aviation.

    • Competitive Eating
      entertainment Competitive Eating

      A hot dog eating contest that takes place on Coney Island each summer routinely makes headlines in papers across the country. See pictures of this and other competitive eating contests.

    • The Master of Muppets: Jim Henson Quiz
      entertainment The Master of Muppets: Jim Henson Quiz

      Even if you’re a die-hard fan of “Sesame Street” and “The Muppet Show,” you can’t possibly know all there is to know about Jim Henson and his work … or can you? Take the challenge and find out!

    • Quiz: Pregnancy Myths
      health Quiz: Pregnancy Myths

      For whatever reason, pregnancy has fueled a huge number of myths over the years. So much so that it's easy to imagine pregnancy is all these so-called "old wives" had time to talk about!

    • Dead or Alive: Escaping from The Thing
      entertainment Dead or Alive: Escaping from The Thing

      Who are we kidding? There's no escaping from The Thing. Your only hope is to confront this strange creature face to face and save yourself and humanity. But do you know enough to stop it? Find out in this quiz.

    • What's in that recipe?
      recipes What's in that recipe?

      Much like fingerprints, no two recipes are alike. Sometimes, it's just one special ingredient that sets a dish apart from imitators. Take our quiz to discover if you can spot the common and incredibly exotic ingredients found in complex recipes from around the world.

    • Real Tech or 'Star Trek'?
      electronics Real Tech or 'Star Trek'?

      Which of the imagined 23rd-century gadgets from the original "Star Trek" and its movie and TV sequels remain futuristic, and which technologies have already been invented? Try our quiz.

    • World Records: Bodily Feats
      entertainment World Records: Bodily Feats

      The human body can do some pretty amazing things, from sword swallowing to walking on fire. Some people have even earned Guinness World Records for their bodily feats. Take this test and try to set the record for most questions answered correctly.

    • Quiz: Could you fit in as a Musketeer?
      history Quiz: Could you fit in as a Musketeer?

      To be counted among the Musketeers of the Guard, a group of soldiers first selected hundreds of years ago to protect the king of France, a candidate had to be skilled in war, politics and love. See if you could make the grade.

    • Fact or Fiction: The Moonwalk
      people Fact or Fiction: The Moonwalk

      Does the mere mention of Michael Jackson’s signature dance move have you itching to get out on the dance floor (or your kitchen floor)? Before you try to master the moonwalk, find out how much you know about its history with this out-of-this-world quiz.

    • Wild World: Déjà Vu
      science Wild World: Déjà Vu

      If you've ever walked into a new friend's home and felt that you've been there before, then you've experienced déjà vu. If you've ever walked into a new friend's home and felt that you'd been there before, then you've experienced déjà vu. If you've ever ... OK, that's enough. Is it reincarnation? Is something wrong with the brain? What's behind this eerie feeling?

    • Amazing Animals: Dog Breeds Quiz
      animals Amazing Animals: Dog Breeds Quiz

      In 2008, the Westminster Kennel Club awarded the Best in Show honor to a beagle -- a first for the breed. But what exactly is a dog breed and how did the different breeds, from the tiny Chihuahua to the massive Great Dane, originate?

    • Everyday Science: Diamond Quiz
      science Everyday Science: Diamond Quiz

      A famous slogan claims that a diamond is forever. While these precious stones symbolize love and glamour for millions of couples, there's a lot about nature's most famous jewel you might not know.

    • Food Fun: Coffee Quiz
      recipes Food Fun: Coffee Quiz

      It's a cold winter morning, and you could use a couple more hours of sleep, but your commute awaits. The only thing that rouses you from the warm confines of your down comforter is the prospect of a hot cup of coffee washing down your cold throat.

    • Ultimate Classic Toys Quiz
      entertainment Ultimate Classic Toys Quiz

      Does the thought of an Etch-A-Sketch bring a smile to your face? Know your facts about Silly Putty, the Hula Hoop, Barbie and G.I. Joe? Rev up your Hot Wheels and test how much you really know about these childhood classics.

    • Who Said It: Bush or Obama?
      money Who Said It: Bush or Obama?

      George W. Bush and Barack Obama obviously have strong differences of opinions about many, many things. But check out these quotes about economic matters -- could it be that these two aren't as far apart as we think?

    • The Not-so-cheesy Pizza Quiz
      recipes The Not-so-cheesy Pizza Quiz

      What do you know about Italy's national dish? If you said everything, you're already wrong because nobody calls it Italy's national dish. Grab a slice and give a salut while you test your pie wisdom.

    • Celebrity Challenge: Famous Artists
      entertainment Celebrity Challenge: Famous Artists

      Artists are the visual historians of society, transforming ideas and events into paintings, drawings and sculptures. Certain artists have wielded their craft so successfully that their work, in turn, has influenced history. Test your knowledge of some of these groundbreaking visionaries by taking the famous artists quiz.

    • Amazing Animals: Walrus Quiz
      animals Amazing Animals: Walrus Quiz

      The walrus has many clever adaptations to help it survive and thrive in some of the harshest climates on Earth. You may not be the walrus, but test your knowledge of these toothy creatures in the walrus quiz anyway.

    • History Buff: First Olympics Quiz
      entertainment History Buff: First Olympics Quiz

      The first Olympics in ancient Greece were an arena to display athletic prowess for honor's sake. Think you're an expert in the ways of the Greek games? Grease up and try our quiz to find out if you're a gold medalist in ancient Olympic trivia.

Stuff You Should Watch
check out our shows
test your knowledge
Body Works: Human Emotions Quiz
TAKE THE CHALLENGE
Body Works: Human Emotions Quiz
Average: 6 points | 10 Questions

What is jealousy?

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

Which of these breads is the best?

All About Mysteries