Alien in a car at Baker, San Bernardino County, California, USA

Our Space Brothers Might Not Actually Look Like Little Green Men after All

If we find aliens, chances are they'll be nothing like we ever imagined.
Photographs of criminals, with mask in the centre, from Cesare Lombroso's l'Uomo Delinquente, 1889

Criminal Minds? Try Criminal Bodies

Cesare Lombroso wanted to use science to understand who criminals were. But his ideas about biological "atavism" easily transferred to eugenics and nativism.
People visiting the morgue in Paris to view the cadavers

The Paris Morgue Provided Ghoulish Entertainment

With its huge windows framing the corpses on display, the morgue bore an uncomfortable resemblance to a department store.
The Book of Miracles, c. 1550

The Long History of Comet Phobia

Even the invention of the telescope couldn't convince all people to put aside superstitions about comets.
A 19th century advertisement for fish glue

Isinglass; or, The Many Miracles of Fish Glue

Isinglass comes from the swim bladders of certain kinds of fish and can be found in everything from beer recipes to illuminated manuscripts. Ew? No way.
Tremolite asbestos from the Aure Valley, French Pyrenees

When Asbestos Was a Gift Fit for a King

File under: “don’t try this at home.”
An Ancient Roman latrine

This Is How They Wiped Themselves in Ancient Rome

A very gross but extremely informative look at the archaeology of toilet hygiene.
A hand holding a trading card featuring Ruby Dee

How Trading Card Collectors Have Fought Stereotypes

By making what may have been unseen visible, trading cards have often provided an opening into larger conversations on race, gender, and representation.
The Loch Ness Wellington

Bomber Plane or the Loch Ness Monster?

A Vickers Wellington plane was submerged for decades in the Loch Ness, till a group of Nessie hunters stumbled across mysterious sonar readings.

Martin Luther’s Monsters

Prodigies, or monsters, were opaque and flexible symbols that signaled that God was sending some message.