​If You Touch This Plant It Will Make You Vomit In Pure Agony

The Gympie Gympie is an Australian plant with spindly stems and heart-shaped light green leaves. Brushing your hand against it can make you throw up from the pain. Using it as toilet paper has made people shoot themselves. This plant will ruin you. » 3/26/15 9:00am 3/26/15 9:00am

DNA Can Be Used As A Flame Retardant

Apply heat to DNA and it becomes useless. Try to set it on fire and suddenly you rediscover a use for it. Deoxyribonucleic acid is a great way to put out a flame. To understand why this is, we can look at its chemistry. » 3/24/15 2:55pm 3/24/15 2:55pm

The Horrible Things That Happen If You Don't Get Enough Sodium

In the 1930s, it was generally accepted that the body needed sodium to function, but no one had studied what broke down when the sodium in a person's diet was removed. One researcher researcher and four volunteers decided to find out. It was awful. » 2/25/15 7:30am 2/25/15 7:30am

Here's How An Isotope Can Let People Track You By Your Hair

Deuterium is a rare variation of hydrogen. For such a small object, it's incredibly informative. Here's how deuterium can let people track your your diet, your area, and your season. » 2/13/15 2:30pm 2/13/15 2:30pm

Why The Rare Substance These Frogs Produce Is Named After The Smurfs

Ranasmurfin often decorates trees in Malaysia. This pigment is rare, one of the few proteins in nature to be blue instead of orange, red, or yellow. Why do you see it in trees? And how is it made? » 2/11/15 9:30am 2/11/15 9:30am

What Causes Rigor Mortis?

When you're dead, you stiffen up. We all know this. But why? What is the process that goes on, inside a dead body, that causes muscle tissue to contract so tightly that the limbs can be impossible to move? We'll take you into the wonderful world of rigor mortis. » 1/30/15 12:05pm 1/30/15 12:05pm

This Natural Spermicide Turns Your Tongue Green

Vanadium is the 23rd element. It's a simple gray metal that has a remarkable property — it acts as a natural and effective spermicide. In some ways, it's a better spermicide than any of those regularly on the market. » 1/26/15 11:40am 1/26/15 11:40am

Insect Blood Can Tell Us How To Fight A Vulcan

When you swat an insect, do you see a fountain of red blood smeared on your hand? Not unless you've killed a full mosquito. Bug goo is generally green-blue, and that can tell us something about why fictional species might have green blood. » 1/23/15 1:30pm 1/23/15 1:30pm

The Chemical That Makes Whale Barf An Aphrodisiac

Here's a gem of a study. Scientists decided to see if whale vomit, perhaps better known under its far more exotic and marketable name ambergris, lived up to its reputation as an aphrodisiac. They unleashed its main component on some rats, and made my day. » 1/14/15 7:40am 1/14/15 7:40am

​What Turned Sugar-Free Candies Into Super-Laxatives?

Sugar-free candies clean out your digestive system better than a giant pipe-cleaner. Not to put too fine a point on it, they make you poop. How do these ultra-laxatives work, and why are they still on the market? » 1/09/15 12:00pm 1/09/15 12:00pm

Hey, Remember When People Used To Eat Arsenic As A Health Supplement?

Probably not, unless you're well over 100 years old. In the 1800s, arsenic began being marketed as a health supplement, even though it had been a known poison for thousands of years. So why were people suddenly eating it on purpose? » 12/30/14 8:00am 12/30/14 8:00am

"Garlic Smell" Tours Your Whole Body Before Getting to Your Mouth

Garlic smells delicious when it's being sautéed in butter, but foul when it's in someone's mouth. Why? We'll tell you about the remarkable tour a garlic compound takes around your body, and why it ends up right back in your mouth. » 12/29/14 8:20am 12/29/14 8:20am

Your Motor Proteins Are The Tiny, Swaggering Pirates Of Your Cells

The latest installment of Hank Green's SciShow tackles the many important tasks of motor proteins, a small class of molecular motors known for their role in things like cell division, and, also, for their swagger. » 12/03/14 8:40am 12/03/14 8:40am

Under the Right Conditions, Humans Can See Infrared

Humans can't see infrared. That's why we fear animals like snakes, bed bugs, and the Predator. No longer must we live with this fear! Scientists have shown that, under certain circumstances, our retinas actually can detect infrared light. » 12/02/14 10:06am 12/02/14 10:06am

Yes, You Can Buy the Scent of Rain in a Desert

You know that scent of the first rain after a very long dry spell? Two Australian researchers tracked it down and called it "petrichor." The name means something like "the essence of a stone." And you can buy it. » 12/01/14 11:40am 12/01/14 11:40am

How Toad Licking Gets You High (And Then Kills You)

Toad licking has long been recognized as a stupid, risky way to try to get high. But do you know the biochemistry that determines how stupid and risky it actually, and how high you could get. Let's squeeze some toads. » 10/07/14 7:00am 10/07/14 7:00am

This Study Proves Your Chocolate Cravings Are All Your Fault

Chocolate is awash in chemicals that resemble everything from coffee to marijuana. That's why we crave it. It's a pharmalogical wonder that we can't resist, right? Wrong. This study proves we're just greedy. » 9/16/14 12:40pm 9/16/14 12:40pm

How A Bean Becomes A Fart

If you've ever wondered what it is about beans in particular that gives you gas, or just need a farting refresher, this strangely adorable animation guides you through a bean's journey from teeth to toot. » 9/01/14 9:30am 9/01/14 9:30am

Your Morning Cup Of Coffee Is Also Your Morning Cup Of Pesticide

The thing that gets most of us up in the morning is a nice big dose of poison. Fortunately, it's not poison for us. It is, however, something that's left a trail of dead snails in labs, and that we crave every morning. » 8/28/14 6:20am 8/28/14 6:20am