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bones

This Five-Legged Cat Mummy Is Not as Strange as It Seems

A recently scanned cat mummy was probably not a scam, but the remains of animals that died on a sacred site.
November 13, 2019
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chemistry

Found: Surprisingly Modern Paint on an Ancient Egyptian Gate

How did a pigment that Vermeer used in the 1600s wind up on Egyptian art from the 6th century BC?
November 12, 2019
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glass

For Sale: Two Tiffany-Style Windows From a Historic South Side Church

The auctioneers think they’re Tiffany, but it’s actually hard to prove.
November 12, 2019
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seaweed

A Minefield of Purple Urchins Devastated Kelp Forests in California

Warm water and "sea star wasting disease" helped urchins take over the coast, a new study finds.
November 8, 2019
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mounds

The Glittery Legacy of Lead at a Historic Native American Site

A shiny mineral called galena, once prized by the Mississippian people, left its mark on the soil.
November 7, 2019
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company town

The Strange Second Life of Ohio's 'Big Basket' Building

In 2020, guests will be able to bask in the glory of a seven-story, basket-shaped hotel.
November 5, 2019
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mosques

The Sacred Afterlives of Buffalo’s Vacant Churches

The best way to preserve a church in a shrinking city is often to convert it to a mosque or temple.
November 4, 2019
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woods

How an Ancient Himalayan Forest Wound Up at the Bottom of the Indian Ocean

Trees seem to have cascaded down mighty mountain rivers in a matter of weeks.
November 1, 2019
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legendary afterlives

The Ghostly Japanese Fireball Spirits That Live On in Pokémon

The digital descendants of 'yōkai' can be spotted in many Japanese games.
October 29, 2019
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spirits week

Ghost Nets Haunt the World's Oceans, Hunting Beyond the Grave

Who you gonna call?
October 28, 2019
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spirits week

How Victorian Mediums Gave Shy Ghosts a Megaphone

Spirit trumpets helped the dead speak above a whisper.
October 23, 2019
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secret lives of museums

In London, Natural History Museums Confront Their Colonial Histories

It's not as easy as returning stolen statues.
October 14, 2019
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destination southern africa

Are These Markings in South Africa the World's Earliest Sand Sculptures?

It depends on whether a natural process could explain them.
October 11, 2019
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renaissance

Why Renaissance Paintings Aren't as Green as They Used to Be

Once a brilliant hue, the pigment verdigris is now mostly brown.
October 10, 2019
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sound

Biologists in Panama Eavesdrop on Manatees for Their Own Good

In the murky waters of Bocas del Toro, you can't see the manatees, but you can hear them.
October 9, 2019
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mud volcanoes

Baby Alaskan Fur Seals Are Thriving Atop a Bubbling Undersea Volcano

They don't seem to mind the eruptions of Bogoslof Island, as long as there's squid and smoothtongue to eat.
October 4, 2019
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neolithic

Found: 588 Carp Teeth From China's Oldest-Known Fish Farm

Chinese farmers domesticated the common carp as early as 6200 BC, researchers say.
October 1, 2019
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siberia

This Terrible Mammoth Drawing Was a Giant Help to 19th-Century Naturalists

The first reconstruction from a flesh-and-blood mammoth looked more like a pig.
September 27, 2019
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frank lloyd wright

For Sale: 19 Frank Lloyd Wright Houses, Including His Last

If you're over six feet tall, you may need to duck to enter.
September 25, 2019
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bat caves

To Save a Rare Cuban Bat, Biologists Conducted a Census by Pedicure

Studying the highly endangered species requires a little colorful creativity.
September 24, 2019
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migration

Australian Pygmy-Possums Are Starving Because Billions of Bogong Moths Are Missing

Without the moths, the possums (cute) may starve (not cute).
September 23, 2019
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botany

Centuries Later, America's First Female Botanist Lives On in a Community Garden

Jane Colden defied gender barriers to become an early expert in Linnaean taxonomy.
September 20, 2019
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irish

The Merriam-Webster of Medieval Irish Just Got a Major Update

A tiny group of scholars added 500 words and made 5,000 revisions to the Dictionary of the Irish Language.
September 19, 2019
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crime museums

For Sale: Bonnie and Clyde’s Sawed-Off Shotgun

Plus Bonnie’s poetry, wanted posters, and a bloodied bandage.
September 18, 2019