This Halloween, don't be afraid of the hammerhead bat, discover the science of scary noises, and learn about the (un)natural history of owls. Finally, watch an interview from IFLScience's first-ever virtual science festival, CURIOUS Live, where we spoke to the authors of Plague-Busters! Medicine's Battles With History's Deadliest Diseases.
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The Hammerhead Bat Is Real, But You Don't Need To Be Scared
Some animals look more like Pokémon than Pokémon do, and this is surely true of the hammerhead bat. With the intimidating species name Hypsignathus monstrosus, it sounds like a villain, but the hammerhead bat is a fruit-slurping sweetie. Read the full story here
Non-Linear Sounds: There's A Science To Scary Noises
Have you ever noticed how some sounds seem to scare us way more than others? According to Jodi Sasaki-Miraglia, AuD (Doctor of Audiology) and Director of Professional Education Programs for Widex USA, there’s a science to the art of frightening noises. Read the full story here
Is Ireland’s Cave Of The Cats The Birthplace Of Halloween?
A cave in Ireland’s County Roscommon is believed to be the site of some seriously spooky goings on. Oweynagat cave, also known as the Cave of the Cats, is said to be Ireland’s "Gate To Hell", a place that acts as a portal to the otherworld each year on October 31. Read the full story here
The Deadly Reason Some Old Glass Bottles Are Textured
A distinctive, unusually shaped, or intricately textured glass poison bottle can be an interesting collector’s item or decoration – but for those in the past, these aesthetically pleasing vessels were made for a life-saving reason. Read the full story here
The “Ghost Planets” That Turned Out Not To Exist
What happened to the "ghost planets" – those that once existed and those that never did? Some were plausible ideas that ended up being proven wrong, while others were ridiculous from the start, and some may yet be found. Read the full story here
Owls – An (Un)Natural History
For much of history, and across the world, various people have seen owls as wholly contradictory creatures. So, here is a brief unnatural history of owls and what people have said about them over the centuries. Read the full story here
Papyrus Containing Egyptian Book Of The Dead Found Alongside Mummies At Ancient Cemetery
Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered an exceptionally long papyrus scroll containing excerpts from the legendary Book of the Dead alongside the mummified inhabitants of an ancient cemetery. Read the full story here
Spooky Green Foxfire Could Be Lighting Up A Forest Near You
In a weird quirk of the natural world, lots of species glow. While the sea has a bioluminescent glow created by dinoflagellates, known as sea sparkle, fungi are also joining the glow up, with their own bioluminescence known as foxfire. Read the full story here
Medicine's Worst "Cures" For History's Deadliest Diseases
Rachael Funnell leads this discussion with medical historian and best-selling author Dr Lindsey Fitzharris and caricaturist Adrian Teal – authors of Plague-Busters! Medicine's Battles With History's Deadliest Diseases – diving into some of the strangest chapters of medical history. This interview originally appeared at CURIOUS Live, IFLScience's first virtual festival of science. Read the full story here
Check out season 3 of IFLScience's The Big Questions Podcast, in which we've asked: