The danger lurking in an African lake

Kivu is no ordinary lake, with dense depths packed with methane and carbon dioxide gas. Its features hold aquatic puzzles, explosive hazards and the capacity to provide valuable energy.

John Wenz • knowable
Oct. 7, 2020 ~11 min

story-behind-a-picture physical-world

The weapons of sexual rivalry

Male-male competition, and sometimes female preferences, have driven arms races for the flashiest horns, antlers, pincers, tusks and claws

Kendall Powell • knowable
Dec. 5, 2019 ~12 min

story-behind-a-picture living-world

Hotter than the sun: The mysterious solar corona

Several new missions aim squarely at a long-standing astronomical conundrum, with the promise of improving space-weather predictions

Christopher Crockett • knowable
Sept. 23, 2019 ~9 min

space-astronomy story-behind-a-picture physical-world

Tiny, living stones of the sea

How limestone-covered algae sway global climate — and how their fate may shift as the oceans acidify

Laura Poppick • knowable
June 25, 2019 ~9 min

climate-change story-behind-a-picture living-world

How 3-D printing could help shape surgery

Technology is enabling increasingly lifelike models of organs to help doctors practice operations.

Sarah Webb • knowable
June 19, 2019 ~11 min

technology story-behind-a-picture health-disease

Life’s a blur — but we don’t see it that way

Our brains manage to construct stable images even as our eyes keep darting around. Here’s what we know about how that happens. 

Tim Vernimmen • knowable
June 12, 2019 ~9 min

story-behind-a-picture living-world

Sticky science: Evolution of spiderwebs

The eight-legged weavers have been hunting insects for almost 400 years, flaunting their long history in a rich array of architectures. Scientists are still figuring out the taxonomy of them all.

Lindzi Wessel • knowable
Oct. 31, 2018 ~7 min

story-behind-a-picture living-world