The History of Virgin Births

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Zebedee spends her days largely alone, nervously swimming in a clear aquarium, there for the entertainment of tourists dining at Abu Dubai's Burj Al Arab hotel. Surrounded by only a few fish, with nary a male shark in sight, Zebedee has defied biology. For the last four years, the tiger shark has experienced… » 12/24/14 1:31pm Yesterday 1:31pm

How to induce fear in "fearless" people

The amygdala is popularly referred to as the brain's "fear center," due to the central role it plays in regulating the body's fear response. So pivotal is this small, almond-shaped structure's involvement, that S.M. (a woman whose amygdala has been ravaged by a rare condition known as Urbach–Wiethe disease), has been… » 2/04/13 6:40am 2/04/13 6:40am

Why do people pee when they're frightened?

Have you ever been so frightened or surprised by something that you peed yourself, even just a little? It's ok, you're in the company of friends — nobody is going to make fun of you. After all, it's not like it was your fault; strictly speaking, if you did leak a little bit the last time you were scared, it was… » 10/31/11 11:00am 10/31/11 11:00am

Nine substances (and one sound) that can induce fear, anxiety and dread

So you want to terrify somebody. It's the kind of thing we all want, some of the time — and it turns out there are some substances (and sounds) you can use to do it fairly reliably. For your morbid edification, we present this list of fear-inducing chemicals, proteins, hormones, and frequencies. » 10/20/11 12:01pm 10/20/11 12:01pm

How scientists discovered the "fear center" of the brain

Fear is one of the most universally understood human emotions. Every one of us is familiar with the feelings, behaviors, and symptoms engendered by fear — so familiar, in fact, that we can sense it in the voices and actions of our friends and loved ones, and even recognize it in the facial expressions of complete… » 10/12/11 9:00am 10/12/11 9:00am

Why you shouldn't challenge a breast-feeding mom to play Call of Duty

When you happen upon a couple of bear cubs in the woods, what's the first thing that should come to mind? If you answered "I wanna squeeze 'em," you're wrong. It should be "where's the mom?" And with good reason. Numerous non-human mammals are known to exhibit heightened levels of aggression in defense of their young. » 8/30/11 5:20pm 8/30/11 5:20pm

Ten Fear Responses That Make No Sense, And Why We Have Them

Nature, we are told, equipped us with all sorts of instincts to help us survive. However, most of them just get us into trouble. Especially the fear response ones. It's true that we live in a very different world than the primates who evolved these responses, but often what we do when we're afraid doesn't seem to make… » 6/03/11 10:14am 6/03/11 10:14am