These astounding inventions show that civilizations of the past were a lot more advanced than we might have thought.
A clock, designed and built in Europe, ran hopelessly at the wrong rate when brought to America. The physics of gravity explains why.
Giambattista della Porta's contributions to codebreaking changed the course of communication.
These clocks burn powdered incense along a pre-measured paths, each representing a different amount of time.
A Harvard astronomer went to the bottom of the ocean, claiming he recovered alien technology. But what does the science actually indicate?
Perhaps there was something theatrically satisfying about a learned man waving around a flask of pee, looking at it from all angles, sniffing it, and making bold proclamations.
They had the technology. So why didn't they use it?
Due to export controls from China, the Europeans had to invent their own forms of porcelain. One type involves dead cows.
A new discovery pushes back the origin of these technologies by about 40,000 years.
A wide-scale examination of early Neolithic human skeletons reveals the violent history of a supposedly peaceful period.
Some objects were softer than others.
Mesopotamian beer was not flavored with hops, and it was probably on the thick, porridgey side.
Bloodcurdling war cries, shrieking elephants, and whistling arrows all made soldiers flee in terror.
Before gunpowder was introduced to the West, medieval Arabs devised grenades using crockery.
The ancient Maya enjoyed filling their teeth with gemstones. A new study reveals how the procedure was done and how it didn't kill them.
An elaborate device called the Mechanical Turk defeated Benjamin Franklin and Napoleon Bonaparte at chess. Edgar Allan Poe revealed the hoax.
From the tablets of the Babylonians to the telescopes of modern science, humans have always looked to the skies for fundamental answers.
Understanding the factors behind recent growth could help us better approach inequality.
Researchers speculate the famous monument was one of the world’s first solar calendars, possibly inspired by trade with ancient Egyptians.
Da Vinci dreamed up a helicopter 400 years before they actually existed. Now, engineers have brought his design to life, but with a twist.
Many key inventions were unique: one-offs.
How do fireworks work? A pyrotechnics chemist explains the science behind the brilliant colors and sounds
If you put very fine black powder powder in a confined space it explodes in a cloud of heat, gas and noise.
It’s all well and good to discuss how our humanity evolved – but what even is humanity?
Air conditioning may keep a room cool, but using it is heating up the planet. It is time for something new — or old.
Evolution proves to be just about as ingenious as Nikola Tesla
A new model of the Antikythera mechanism reveals a "creation of genius."