Stephanie Vermillion

Contributing Writer

Stephanie Vermillion is a freelance writer and photographer from Cincinnati, Ohio. She covers food, beer, wildlife and travel for HowStuffWorks. When she's not writing, Stephanie spends her free time playing with her rescue pup, Harry, or sampling new craft beers — in the name of research, of course. Find her online at

Recent Contributions

Pimento Cheese: The Southern Staple With Northern Roots

You probably equate pimento cheese with the South. And you're right. It's a popular Southern treat that started in the North. We'll tell you all about that, and how to make it.

The Danes Are So Happy, They Opened a Happiness Museum

The Happiness Museum in Copenhagen explores happiness across the globe, including how it varies across regions, and why some countries, such as Denmark, are happier than others.

Could Breadfruit Be the Next Superfood?

This starchy, staple fruit that grows in the tropics has the potential to provide food security to millions. So what exactly is it and who's eating it?

Are Mules, Burros and Jackasses All Donkeys?

Are these strong and dependable animals all the same? If so, why the different names? If not, what makes them different?

What's the Difference Between a Cyclone and Hurricane?

Both are destructive storms that can pack powerful winds and devastating storm surge. So how are they different? Or are they?

Pi Can Help You Determine the Age of Your Trees

Curious to know how old those big trees are in your yard? We'll tell you how to use geometry to figure out their ages without risking their health.

Why Air Fryers Are the Hottest Must-have Small Appliance

You don't have to fry your food when you can get the same crispy results with hot air.

Monk Fruit Is Nature's Zero-calorie Sweetener

China banned export of the fruit in 2004, so you'll likely never try it fresh. But you've probably already had versions of its extract and didn't even know it.

Africa's Great Green Wall Is a Conservation — and World — Wonder

Africa's Great Green Wall, which will be Earth's largest living structure once complete, has been designed to save the continent from desertification and encroachment by the Sahara.

The Amazing Mantis Shrimp Punches Its Prey, Plus More Colorful Facts

These brightly colored crustaceans can smash aquarium glass or quickly cut through a human finger, so whatever you do, keep your distance.

Why the Mint Julep Is the Official Drink of the Kentucky Derby

The mint julep is as synonymous with the Kentucky Derby as big hats and seersucker suits. But how did this simple drink from the 1700s wind up at the world's most famous horse race?

Why You Need More Lentils in Your Life

These colorful legumes pack a powerful punch when it comes to nutrition. Plus they're versatile, easy to cook and taste great.

Inside Death Valley, the Hottest Place on Earth

Death Valley recorded a temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit, the hottest in history. Why is it so hot here and how can anything survive in such brutal conditions?

5 Frigid Facts About the Taiga, the World's Largest Terrestrial Biome

The taiga biome stretches from Alaska to Mongolia, and it's super-cold. You can totally live here, though not too many people do.

Still Haven't Tried Acai? You Should

The acai berry hit the healthy culinary scene hard and for good reason. These berries are packed with nutrients and low in calories. So why haven't you tried them?

5 Things to Know Before Becoming a Pescatarian

If you're thinking of giving up meat, but can't stand the thought of never eating seafood again, you might want to consider the pescatarian diet.

Yeast Is the Magic Microbe That Makes Bread Rise

Some of the best breads are leavened using yeast. But how does this tiny microbe make bread rise? And why is it so intimidating when it comes to baking?

The Once-banned Gooseberry Has Made a Comeback in the U.S.

The U.S. banned the gooseberry back in the early 1900s because it was a host for white pine blister rust disease. But now few states prohibit the tart berry, so eat up!

What's the Difference Between Snow Crab and King Crab?

Size is the most obvious difference between king and snow crab, but the distinctions don't end there. We'll tell you what makes each crab special.

Siberia's Lake Baikal Is the World's Oldest and Weirdest

Lake Baikal is a massive, ancient lake in the mountainous Russian region of Siberia. It's home to nearly 4,000 different species, earning it the nickname the 'Galapagos of Russia.'