Jesslyn Shields is a freelance science writer working out of Athens, Georgia. She writes about brand new research for HowStuffWorks. Since 2010, Jesslyn's written science news and content for educational videos, because she loves to always have something new to yammer on about at parties. You can find her online at www.jesslynshields.com

Recent Contributions

Leopard seals are the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic after the southern elephant seal. They're fast, powerful and eat basically anything that moves. Their only natural predator? The killer whale.

By Jesslyn Shields

Snake plants are attractive and virtually ironclad houseplants, almost impossible to kill, though some of the hype about them acting as air purifying filters has been overblown.

By Jesslyn Shields

Sandspurs are one of the most unpleasant weeds out there — if you've tangled with them, you won't soon forget it.

By Jesslyn Shields

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Lightning is an incredible force of nature. And like many natural phenomena, lightning is not always what it seems. Go behind the mystery and learn what's really going on when lightning strikes.

By John Zavisa & Jesslyn Shields

There's north and then there's true north. Find out how stabbing a stick in the dirt to make a shadow can help you find the true north.

By Cristen Conger & Jesslyn Shields

Proceeds from the Yellowstone Inheritance Pass will help fund park education, trail maintenance and wildlife monitoring. And what an amazing gift to pass down to an as-yet-unborn park visitor from the future.

By Jesslyn Shields

The microwave oven is a ubiquitous appliance in kitchens today, but don't we all have that one holdout friend who still refuses to own one?

By Jesslyn Shields

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Creating an insect hotel gives local bugs and pollinators a place to live and people of all ages a super cool garden project.

By Jesslyn Shields

A bullet ant's sting will hurt for a long time, but it probably won't kill you.

By Jesslyn Shields

When that sandpaper tongue gets going on your face, does it mean your cat loves you, or simply likes the way you taste?

By Jesslyn Shields

The magic of a blacker-than-black chicken like the Ayam Cemani is in its genetics.

By Jesslyn Shields

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The curves of the giant snake line up with the sun during equinoxes and solstices.

By Jesslyn Shields

David Latimer put a plant and some compost in a bottle in 1960. It's still alive and thriving over 60 years later. How does a closed ecosystem like this work?

By Jesslyn Shields

It all comes down to the type of medicine, how much is required, and how quickly it needs to be absorbed.

By Jesslyn Shields

Heavy snowfall is just one mark of a bad snowstorm. But the biggest snowstorms of all time also brought strong winds and in some cases, major power outages.

By Ed Grabianowski, Sarah Gleim & Jesslyn Shields

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You have to be at least 35 years old to be President of the United States. So, has anyone come close to that?

By Jesslyn Shields

Finding the range of a set of numbers is an easy subtraction problem!

By Jesslyn Shields

Kodiak bears are some of the largest bears in the world and live only in the islands of the Kodiak Archipelago in Alaska.

By Jesslyn Shields

Hibernating mammals like ground squirrels can build some muscle mass during their big sleep, with the help of gut bacteria.

By Jesslyn Shields

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The waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans meet at the tip of Cape Horn and never the two shall mix, right?

By Jesslyn Shields

Scientists at the Natural History Museum in London described 552 species in 2021, including a couple of dinosaurs.

By Jesslyn Shields

From the chemicals that pollute and the massive use of water, the traditional method of dyeing blue jeans is an environmental disaster. Nanoparticles made from wood pulp might be the answer to the problem.

By Jesslyn Shields

Emma Gatewood became the first solo female thru-hiker of the 2,193-mile Appalachian Trail in 1955 at the age of 67.

By Jesslyn Shields

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The main function of the Krebs cycle is to produce energy, stored and transported as ATP or GTP, to keep the human body up and running.

By Jesslyn Shields

Washing soda is more basic (as opposed to alkaline) and is stronger than baking soda, so it can be used for everything from tough stains to clogged drains.

By Jesslyn Shields