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Rat Pants and Goatman, the 2016 Ig Nobels Were Wacky As Ever

The 2016 Ig Nobel prizes were awarded last night, and the honorees included, as always, the best, brightest and wackiest minds in science.

New Hieroglyphics Translations Offer a Glimpse of Ancient Egyptian Life

"Man perishes; his corpse turns to dust; all his relatives pass away. But writings make him remembered in the mouth of the reader.

Ötzi the Iceman Sounded Like a Chain-smoker

Ötzi the Iceman is speaking from beyond the grave. It's not a seance that brought his voice — or a rough approximation of it — to life though, but instead a careful reconstruction of his vocal cords.

How to Read An Ancient Scroll Without Ever Unwrapping It

A new image processing technique has peered into an ancient parchment scroll from Israel, allowing researchers to virtually unwrap the brittle parchment and read the text contained inside for the first time.

This Is Where Space Blobs Come From

A combination of observation and modelling sheds new light on how Lyman-Alpha blobs form and why they shine so brightly.

Tardigrade Genome Reveals Multiple Unique Adaptations

A new analysis of the tardigrade genome reveals that the microscopic creatures possess genetic adaptations shared with no other creatures on Earth.

Quantum Teleportation Enters the Real World

Two separate teams of scientists have taken quantum teleportation from the lab into the real world. Researchers working in Calgary, Canada and Hefei, China, used existing fiber optics networks to transmit small units of information across cities via quantum entanglement — Einstein's "spooky action at a distance." Stepping Outside the Lab According to quantum mechanics, some objects, like photons or electrons, can be entangled.

Pigeons Can Distinguish Real Words from Gibberish

Birds are rapidly building their reputation as a brainy bunch, and the latest credit goes to four pigeons who can visually recognize written words.

Diego the Tortoise Fathers 800 Offspring, Helps Save Species

It's a tough job, but someone has to do it. Diego, a 100 year-old Galapagos giant tortoise that was one of the last of his species, has played an outsize role helping the population rebound.

How a Russian Scientist Bred the First Domesticated Foxes

In just five decades, an experiment in Russia has accomplished something that took ancient humans thousands of years.

Caught Red-handed: Charon Is Stealing Pluto's Atmosphere

When NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft sent back the first high-resolution images of Pluto and its moon Charon, scientists quickly realized the outer solar system was more active than they’d previously thought.

Nose, Nase, Nez: Shared Sounds and Meaning Link World Languages

In English we say "nose", the French say "nez" and Germans pronounce it "nase." The words that different cultures use to describe the same objects or concepts might be more similar than we realize.

Rethinking the Moon's Violent Origin

Our moon has a violent past that just got a little more fearsome. Planetary formation is not for the weak of heart.

Self-driving Shopping Carts Could Greet You at Walmart

If it has wheels, there’s a good chance someone, somewhere is going figuring out how to make it roll on its own.

Can the Moon Make an Earthquake Worse?

When an earthquake occurs, it represents the release of years, sometimes decades or centuries, of pent-up stress.

Why This 12-Dot Illusion Is Giving People Fits

With one Facebook post, Japanese psychology professor Akiyoshi Kitaoka has sent the internet into fits.

Jeff Bezos's Bigger, Badder Rocket Named After John Glenn

Blue Origin on Monday announced it's adding a bigger, badder addition to its future stable of reusable rocket boosters.

How to Read a Closed Book

You still can’t judge a book by its cover, but it’s possible to read one without ever opening it. That certainly adds a new wrinkle to an age-old idiom.

OSIRIS-REx Is Headed for an Asteroid Encounter, Following 'Perfect' Launch

Smoke and fire covered the ground as the NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission launched into space. Blasting out of Earth’s orbit on Thursday, the mission begins its two-year journey to sample an asteroid.

Google DeepMind's WaveNet AI Sounds Human, Rocks the Piano

Google’s DeepMind brought us artificial intelligence systems that can play Atari classics and the complex game of Go as well as — no, better than — humans.