Mark Mancini

Contributing Writer

Mark Mancini is a freelance writer currently based in New Jersey. Over the years, he’s covered every subject from classic horror movies to Abe Lincoln's favorite jokes. He is particularly fond of paleontology and has been reporting on new developments in this field since 2013. When Mark's not at his writing desk, you can usually find him on stage somewhere because he loves to get involved with community theater. And if you ever feel like trading puns for a few hours, he's your guy.

Recent Contributions

From Slash to Stevie: The Rock Star Name Quiz

How did Saul Hudson become Slash? And where did the name Meat Loaf come from? Test your knowledge of musical nicknames with this rockin' quiz!

Daddy Longlegs Aren't (Necessarily) Spiders; So What Are They?

That's right – daddy longlegs isn't an actual kind of spider, but a colloquial name that's been applied to a wide range of spiders and non-spiders, insects and non-insects.

Dodecahedron: The 12-sided Shape With the 12-letter Name

A dodecahedron has 12 flat faces, all shaped like pentagons. Here are 12 cool things you just may not know about them.

Sea Snakes Can Be More Venomous Than Rattlesnakes

There are more than 50 species of snakes that live in the seas. Some are super venomous and they can zip through the water with ease.

Stegosaurus: Body Like a Bus, Tiny Little Brain

Stegosaurus, an herbivorous dinosaur from 149 million years ago, walked on four legs, had a long, beak-tipped skull, a row of spikes adorning its tail and a pea-sized brain.

Triceratops: Facts About the Life and Times of a Three-horned Dinosaur

Triceratops — which literally means "three-horned face" — is one of the most spectacular and well-known of all dinosaurs. It shared the Cretaceous landscape with, and probably was preyed upon by, Tyrannosaurus rex.

The Massive Titanoboa Snake Once Ruled the Colombian Rainforest

The extinct Titanoboa snake lived around 66 million to 56 million years ago. These things were massive and could reach 50 feet long and 3 feet wide making them the largest snake ever to have roamed the Earth.

Scientific Notation Is Math's Version of Shorthand

How do you calculate absurdly high numbers without writing them out in numerals? You use scientific notation. We'll give you examples and show you how.

Alligator Snapping Turtles Lure Prey With Wriggling Worm-like Tongue Appendage

The prehistoric-looking alligator snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in North America and has a bite that, it's said, can snap a wooden broom handle in half.

Centralia: The Ghost Town That Sits Atop an Inferno

The fire under the tiny town of Centralia, Pennsylvania, has been burning since at least 1962 and, to this day, nobody knows how to put it out.

Giganotosaurus Was One of the Largest Carnivorous Dinosaurs That Ever Lived

Constantly compared to the Tyrannosaurus rex, the Giganotosaurus was one of a handful of dinosaurs that rivaled, or possibly exceeded, the creature in size.

The Huge Hellbender Salamander, or 'Snot Otter,' Needs Our Help

These four-legged salamanders look like they've been rolled flat and can weigh up to 5 pounds, but polluted streams put these amphibians in danger of extinction.

Hermit Crabs: Tiny Crustaceans Living in Nature's Mobile Homes

Hermit crabs are easy to care for as pets if you provide them with all the essentials they need. And that includes shells for their growing bodies.

Take Our Spicy 'Dune' Quiz

"The spice must flow." Set in the far-flung future on a desert planet called Arrakis, Frank Herbert's "Dune" explores hero worship, environmentalism and other heavy topics. Test your knowledge of the 1965 novel and 2020 movie with our quiz.

Some Aphid Babies Are Born Already Pregnant

Born pregnant? You bet. It's a survival instinct but could also explain how these garden pests spread like wildfire.

Basking Sharks Look Ferocious, But Prefer Plankton to People

The basking shark, an endangered species, may look like a fearsome predator, but is actually a filter-feeder, gathering zooplankton and other tiny animals, such as shrimp, in bulk as it roams the seas with a wide open mouth.

Uranus: The Planet on a Very Tilted Axis

Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun and sits on an axial plane tilted at a jaw-dropping 97.7-degree angle. And yes, Uranus does actually stink.

The Reclusive Gila Monster Packs a Venomous Punch

The Gila monster is the most venomous lizard on U.S. soil. But despite the fact that its bite can be debilitating, its venom can also save lives.

NASA and SpaceX Set to Make History With Manned Space Launch

For the first time since 2011, NASA will launch astronauts into space from U.S. soil. It will also be the first time ever a private company will get them there.

A Tremendous Trove of Trivia Quiz

Think you know geography? Fancy yourself a history buff? Well then, mister or missus big shot, get comfy and let's test your knowledge of weird castles, crazy large numbers and embargoed snack foods.