Sure, it looks scary. But this genius case can protect your phone forever.

It looks like a medieval torture device when sprung open. But it might prevent any more smashed screens.

Phones. For almost a century, they hung out unassumingly on our walls or desks. Sometimes, they disguised themselves as hamburgers. But now they are everywhere. Statistically speaking, you're probably reading these very words on a phone. And chances are, you keep your phone in your pocket. But what if it falls out of your pocket? What if — heaven forbid — you drop your phone? Luckily for you, and the 67% of humanity that own a cell phone, a German inventor by the name of Phillip Frenzel has got you covered. 


For most of its life, the so-called "active damping" phone case looks like any other standard black case. But should you so much as drop it, eight springs pop out and protect against a drop by cushioning the impact of a landing. Sensors can tell when the phone is in mid-fall, and it activates in about a 10th of a second. 

It isn't available to the public yet, but Frenzel is experiencing a huge outburst of support after gifs of the case in action went viral. 

One has to imagine how much it might hurt if it were to unlock itself close to your face. Or in your trousers, as it looks for all the world like a tiny torture device. But this patent-pending invention is as close as your phone can have to an airbag. Check out a video (in German) here: 

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Keep reading Show less

We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal

The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.

Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA
Surprising Science

A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.

Keep reading Show less

New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
Keep reading Show less