Five weird thought experiments to break your brain

Thought expriments are great tools, but do they always do what we want them to?

Stokkete/Shutterstock
  • Thought experiments are quite popular, though some get more time in the sun than others.
  • While they are supposed to help guide our intuition to help solve difficult problems, some are a bit removed from reality.
  • Can we trust the intuitions we have about problems set in sci-fi worlds or that postulate impossible monsters?
Keep reading Show less

Massive 'Darth Vader' isopod found lurking in the Indian Ocean

The father of all giant sea bugs was recently discovered off the coast of Java.

SJADE 2018
  • A new species of isopod with a resemblance to a certain Sith lord was just discovered.
  • It is the first known giant isopod from the Indian Ocean.
  • The finding extends the list of giant isopods even further.
Keep reading Show less

The biology of aliens: How much do we know?

Hollywood has created an idea of aliens that doesn't match the science.

  • Ask someone what they think aliens look like and you'll probably get a description heavily informed by films and pop culture. The existence of life beyond our planet has yet to be confirmed, but there are clues as to the biology of extraterrestrials in science.
  • "Don't give them claws," says biologist E.O. Wilson. "Claws are for carnivores and you've got to be an omnivore to be an E.T. There just isn't enough energy available in the next trophic level down to maintain big populations and stable populations that can evolve civilization."
  • In this compilation, Wilson, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, Bill Nye, and evolutionary biologist Jonathan B. Losos explain why aliens don't look like us and why Hollywood depictions are mostly inaccurate.
Keep reading Show less

What does the red pill really show you?

Neo's superhuman powers were only inside of The Matrix. The outside world offered a different reality.

Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images
  • The "red pill" came into prominence as a way to break free of mental slavery in the 1999 movie, "The Matrix."
  • In a new essay, Julian Walker points out Neo's powers only worked inside of the simulation—reality is a different story.
  • The red vs blue pill question is a pop culture phenomenon, often used in questionable circumstances.
Keep reading Show less

The future of space travel is starting right now

Astronaut Garrett Reisman talks NASA, SpaceX, and where we're headed next.

  • 2020 is off to rocky start, but there are some exciting things happening on the space travel front.
  • Private companies like SpaceX and Boeing have partnered with NASA to get American spacecrafts into space, back to the moon, and onwards to Mars.
  • "I think in a hundred years first of all we're going to be celebrating 2020, so 2120 get ready for a big party," says astronaut Garrett Reisman.

Quantcast