Tracy  Wilson

Tracy Wilson

HowStuffWorks

Tracy V. Wilson has loved stories and science for as long as she can remember. She joined HowStuffWorks as a staff writer in 2005, and she spent her first few years at the site destroying gadgets and mining patents, papers and interviews for the sake of figuring out what makes things tick. In 2007, she took on the role of hiring and training HowStuffWorks' new writers and editors, and she became site director in 2010. She co-hosted the PopStuff pop culture podcast with Holly Frey. No longer actively involved with the site, the pair now co-hosts Stuff You Missed in History Class. Tracy spends her downtime much like she spends her time at work: reading, writing, tinkering and brooking only the most delightful nonsense.

Recent Contributions

With the help of Q, James Bond can breeze through a security system that requires the villain's irises, voice and handprint. Biometrics isn't just for the movies. Real-life businesses and governments are using it. Check it out.

By Tracy V. Wilson

Saber-tooth cats have long been likened to tigers, but they aren't tigers at all. While they share some physical traits and hunting practices with tigers, saber-tooth cats are also quite different.

By Tracy V. Wilson

What makes sound a weapon? Review the basics of sound and discover exactly how the LRAD produces its "beam of sound." We'll also explore LRAD's hailing and warning abilities and other uses for sound.

By Tracy V. Wilson

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The Georgia Aquarium is the world's largest aquarium. How did they build habitats for all the animals, and what does it take to keep them fed and healthy? Find out about the aquarium and learn about the animals that call it home.

By Tracy V. Wilson

Are dinosaurs real? Most people don't have to travel too far to answer that question in the affirmative with some kind of exhibit displaying dinosaur fossils. Or simply look at any bird you can see outside your home.

By Tracy V. Wilson

You probably know that the North Pole does not stay in the same spot. The North and South Poles can actually change positions. What causes this? Find out in this article.

By Tracy V. Wilson

Werewolves got their start long before Hollywood ever sank its teeth into the hairy legend. Learn about the folklore and cinematic history at HowStuffWorks.

By Tracy V. Wilson

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If you want to see a hologram, you don't have to look much farther than your wallet. But the most impressive holograms are large scale and illuminated with lasers or displayed in a darkened room with carefully directed lighting. Learn how a hologram, light and your brain work together make clear, 3-D images.

By Tracy V. Wilson

The idea that something so intangible as acoustic levitation can lift objects may seem unbelievable, but it's a real phenomenon.

By Tracy V. Wilson

We know it's not made of green cheese, but what are the origins of the moon? Learn astronomers' theories about where the moon came from.

By Tracy V. Wilson

The story told in "We Are Marshall" sounds a little like the invention of a screenwriter, but the airplane crash that took the lives of college football players really took place. Learn the real story behind the film "We Are Marshall."

By Tracy V. Wilson

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The 1993 movie "Jurassic Park" did a good job of bringing the idea of cloning dinosaurs into popular culture. It portrayed dinosaur cloning in a way that made sense to a lot of people, but is it really possible?

By Tracy V. Wilson

It's not a trick; before you are a number of reptilian footprints in the rock. They're dinosaur tracks, preserved for thousands of years. But how did they possibly get there?

By Tracy V. Wilson

Some people believe that dinosaurs were relatives of today's birds. But, you might ask, if that's so, why didn't they have feathers? Funny you should ask.

By Tracy V. Wilson

The ozone layer prevents much of the sun's ultraviolet light from reaching the Earth. But there's a problem: a gaping hole the size of Antarctica. What can we do about it?

By Tracy V. Wilson & Julia Layton

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You may be familiar with the medieval "Black Plague," but did you know that bouts of plague still break out today? Find out what causes an outbreak, why plague still exists and how the plague has influenced history.

By Tracy V. Wilson & Alia Hoyt

A common misconception is that magma comes from the Earth's molten core. It really comes from the mantle, the layer between the core and the crust. Will it ever run out?

By Tracy V. Wilson

Everyone knows that once a bone has fossilized, it's hard as a rock, right? So how did scientists find soft tissue inside a broken dinosaur bone?

By Tracy V. Wilson

A map is a type of language, a graphic way of representing information, whether it's to show population density or tell you how to get from Point A to Point B. Here's how they're made.

By Tracy V. Wilson & Alia Hoyt

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Numerology says everything in the world is dependent upon the mystical properties of numbers. But critics aren't so sure.

By Tracy V. Wilson

Whether your taste runs spooky or silly, if you're willing to get your hands dirty, a pumpkin can be the perfect canvas to express your Halloween style.

By Tracy V. Wilson

Magnets produce magnetic fields and attract metals like iron, nickel and cobalt. They're used in all sorts of applications but how are they made and how do they work?

By Tracy V. Wilson & Chris Pollette

Nearly everything you use to run your computer or enhance its performance is either part of the motherboard or plugs into it. But what does it actually do?

By Tracy V. Wilson & Chris Pollette

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Counterfeit detector pens use special chemicals to spot a fake bill. How do they do it?

By Tracy V. Wilson

If asked to describe Voodoo, many people would mention pin-filled dolls, zombies, and spirit possessions. But most of this doesn't have anything to do with real Voodoo (aka Voudou).

By Tracy V. Wilson