Josh Clark


Josh Clark wanted to be a professional writer since his third-grade teacher told him a short story he wrote was kind of good. He's written ever since. He's a former senior writer for HowStuffWorks and current co-host of the Stuff You Should Know podcast. Josh lives with his wife, Umi. The pair really, really enjoys traveling, solving mysteries, having pizza parties and visiting museums (both renowned and obscure). Josh has been to the real-life house that served as the Robin's Nest on "Magnum, P.I." and is on an indefinite hiatus from being a jerk.

Recent Contributions

How Presidential Debates Work

This American institution began with Abraham Lincoln following Stephen Douglas on the campaign trail. Today, the presidential debate is one of the most anticipated markers of candidates' campaigns.

What Happened to the Lost Colony at Roanoke?

When Gov. John White left Roanoke to gather supplies from England, he was astonished at what he found when he returned. The colonists were gone, their houses were gone and the only clue to their whereabouts was a tree carved with the word "CROATOAN."

How Political Primaries Work

Political primaries let voters choose which candidate they want to represent their political party as president. But not everyone is happy with the process. What are the problems, and can they be fixed?

Why Was the American Revolution So Revolutionary?

What makes the American Revolution stand out in world history? Was it the introduction of guerrilla warfare or its stage outside the borders of its parent nation? All those were noteworthy, but the real revolution was what the Revolution created.

How Jack the Ripper Worked

While Londoners on the East End saw their fair share of grime, drugs and prostitution, nothing could've prepared them for Jack the Ripper's bloody rampage in 1888. What's the story behind this legendary killer?

Project MKUltra: When the CIA Tested LSD on Unsuspecting Americans

A bad LSD trip can drive a person to suicide. So why would the CIA use American citizens as guinea pigs for its drug research?

SYSK Selects: How Filibusters Work

In this week's SYSK Select episode, although lots of people incorrectly believe the filibuster was an intentional rule created by the founders of the U.S., this ancient method of stalling legislation was actually brought about in America by accident. Learn the ins and outs of this contentious quirk of parliamentary rules that allows a single senator to hijack the proceedings of the entire legislative body in this episode.

How the Hunt for D.B. Cooper Worked

After nearly half a century capturing the attention and imaginations of millions, the infamous D.B. Cooper plane-hijacking case has been closed. Will we ever know the true culprit?

This Custom of Customs

Customs may be a pain when you're traveling, but it's a necessary instrument the government uses to regulate trade. And it has a very fascinating history. Your passport please?

Jellyfish: Even Cooler than Octopi?

Jellyfish are among the most adaptable, competitive organisms on the planet. They can grow back into their juvenile stage when resources are scarce, reproduce in massive groups and kill an adult human, among lots of other neat stuff. Learn all about em!

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Why Do We Love Bad Singing?Breunig vs American Family Insurance CompanyBlue-Blocking Sunglasses May Help Treat Bipolar Disorder, Help Promote SleepThe Mystery Behind a Kazakh Town's Sleeping SicknessHollywood Has Ruined Method ActingHow to Investigat ...

How Woolly Mammoths Worked

It was only 11000 years ago that the last true woolly mammoths died out, close enough to the modern age that humans lived alongside them. But were humans the cause of mammoths' sudden extinction or was climate change to blame?

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Great articles on mummies, skeletons, British movies and a kissing bandit.

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Neat articles on Bigfoot, the Brexit, Krakatoa, scientific experiments on uninformed orphans, hidden treasure and more neat stuff.

How Night Terrors Work

Night terrors, an uncommon sleep disorder, happen when the brain doesn't transition correctly to deep sleep. The result is terrifying, with the sufferer genuinely terrified, swatting at invisible attackers, and screaming for help - all while sound asleep.

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Great articles on ball lightning, legendary TV shows that actually stink, MH370 and more stuff.

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Amazing articles on 70s daredevils, true crime, late capitalism, digital marketing voodoo and much more stuff.

How the Moonwalk Works

When Michael Jackson debuted the moonwalk in 1983 the world was enrapt. The dance goes back farther, to the 1930s, and pops up again in the 50s, before reappearing via mimes and West Coast poppers in the 70s. Follow the circuitous route of an iconic move.

The Red Pill You Asked For

Prompted by the talk on surveillance and eavesdropping in our How it works, the truth about how we know just what you are thinking as marketers.Ok, So I am a part of the system for which I will be describing here, I want you to know that up front so ...

How Chaos Theory Changed the Universe

Since the age of Descartes, science has put all of its eggs in the basket of determinism, the idea that with accurate enough measurements any aspect of the universe could be predicted. But the universe, it turns out, is not so tidy.