What causes a double rainbow?

A single rainbow is a beautiful sight to behold, but a double rainbow is even more rare and spectacular. You may have been lucky enough to see one first-hand, but if not, then you can witness the double rainbow’s awe-inspiring effects in Yosemitebear62’s infamous … Continued


camel mother baby

Why do camels have humps?

Many people believe that camels use their humps as big water storage tanks to ensure that they have plenty to drink during their longs treks across the desert. However, this isn’t the case. Their humps are actually used to store … Continued


Why do albino animals have red eyes?

Eye colour is determined primarily by the brown pigment melanin. Dark eyes have lots of melanin in the iris. Blue eyes only have melanin in a layer on the back surface; this absorbs long wavelengths of light and blue wavelengths get scattered back by the … Continued


How do deer know it’s rutting season?

Rutting season has evolved to ensure that young deer are born in spring when there is more new grass available for lactating mothers. This means the timing of the rut is different, depending on the gestation period of each species. But the trigger … Continued

Amazing sea view from the Great Ocean Road, Australia

5 things you should know about the ocean

You have, almost certainly, eaten from it, admired its inhabitants, dived beneath it or sailed upon it. With today marking World Oceans Day, it’s a good time to appreciate the earth’s life support system as well as the role we … Continued

Cows in a field. How a dairy farm works

Inside the milk machine: How a dairy farm works

When you pick up a pint of milk from the shop, you probably don’t consider how it got there. Of course, we all know that milk comes from cows, but what about the hard work that goes into raising, feeding and … Continued


What is the woolly bear moth?

There is a moth in the Canadian Arctic that, until recently, was thought to live for 14 years as a larva – the arctic woolly bear moth. (Its development was filmed for the BBC series Frozen Planet.) The summers there … Continued


Top 5 Facts: Elephants

Elephants are the largest land animals in the world, with African males averaging five tons. They have evolved to this huge size to protect themselves from predators but almost everything that makes an elephant unique is a consequence of this bulk. … Continued


Why do sharks go into a tonic state when flipped over?

Many animals are capable of entering a trancelike state called tonic immobility whereby they appear dead to their surroundings. In the case of sharks it has been observed on many different species such as the lemon shark, reef shark and tiger … Continued


How do stingrays eat?

Stingrays, like other members of the ray family, are bottom feeders. They are related to sharks but they don’t have sharp teeth. Depending on the species, they may either have two hard plates for crushing shellfish or just sucking mouthparts. Stingrays … Continued


How can you tell if a mushroom is poisonous?

There are many different types of mushroom, so without getting a good grasp of individual kinds of mushroom it would be difficult to say whether they are poisonous or not. A general rule would be to never consume a mushroom … Continued


Top 5 Facts: Rainforest

1) Percentage power Scientists believe up to 75 per cent of the Earth’s species are indigenous to the rainforests. Despite this stunning figure, it is also postulated that millions have yet to be discovered. 2) Parrots-et-em-all The rainforests are also … Continued

Waterfall in Luang Prabang, Laos

How do waterfalls form?

They are one of the most spectacular and majestic sites in nature, but how do waterfalls form? Find out in just 30 seconds with our simple explanation, complete with illustrations! Find the answer to more baffling questions in How It Works magazine. … Continued

Earth illustration

Top 5 Facts: Earth’s axis and tides

1) Day and night During Earth’s year-long orbit round the Sun, it also rotates once a day round its axis, an imaginary line passing through the North and South Poles, creating day and night. 2) The seasons Earth’s axis tilts at … Continued

Duck-billed platypus

Why do some mammals lay eggs?

Mammals such as the duck-billed platypus continue to lay eggs, but they actually never really stopped. Mammals began to evolve from egg-laying reptiles around 200 million years ago. An example of an early mammal-like reptile is Thrinaxodon. About 180 million … Continued


Why are butterflies born as caterpillars, not butterflies?

Nature has given butterflies the best adaptations, not only for their survival, but also for the survival of other forms of life that depend on them. Butterflies pass through a four-stage life cycle: egg, caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly. The caterpillar is … Continued


What is the wind chill factor?

The human body loses heat in a number of ways including conduction and convection. Conduction is heat transferred between two areas of matter and convection occurs within fluids and gases like air. These two combine when we lose our heat … Continued


Top 5 Facts: Climate change

1) Warming up Average global temperatures increased by 0.85°C (1.53°F) between 1880 and 2012, and that figure is likely to reach 1.5°C (2.7°F) by the end of this century. 2) Sea levels The global average sea level rose by 19cm … Continued


Volcanoes & Earthquakes bookazine now on sale!

Has the recent eruption in Chile sparked an interest in everything related to volcanoes? Perhaps you’d prefer to learn more about the cause of earthquakes? ‘Volcanoes & Earthquakes’ is the latest bookazine from How It Works. It tackles both of … Continued


Top 5 Facts: Sharks

1) Huge liver The liver of a shark can comprise up to 30 per cent of its body mass and performs an incredible number of tasks, including keeping it afloat. 2) No reverse gear Sharks can’t use their fins to paddle, … Continued

A macro photograph of an ant on a leaf

Top 5 Facts: Ants

1) Strength in numbers Approximately 12,000 known species of ant compose around about 1.4% of the world’s total insect species. 2) Survival of the fittest The family Formicidae are hardy little critters, who have existed on Earth for more than 140 million … Continued

Mesquite Sand Dunes in Death Valley

Singing sand dunes explained

Sand dunes are a spectacular feature of some of the world’s driest landscapes, but did you know that these mountains of sand can also be heard as well as seen? So called singing or booming sand dunes emit a low-pitched droning or … Continued

Bee on a flower

How do bees make honey?

Honey begins its journey as nectar, the sugar water produced by flowers. Worker bees visit up to 1,500 flowers a flight, sucking nectar through straw-like tubes and storing it in their honey sacs. The honey sac or crop contains an enzyme … Continued

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