How It Works Feed your mind with fascinating facts about the world around you

What did the Tudors eat?

Question from Kevin Watson Tudor England was generally selfsufficient, not needing to rely on imports. People ate a lot of fresh food because storing food was difficult. Even peasants had small pieces of land,...

Golf ball anatomy

Professional balls are specially engineered to maximise your game At their simplest, golf balls are made from a single layer of scratch-resistant resin. These basic balls are hard wearing and fly long distances through...

Alchemy: The birth of modern-day chemistry

The ancient practice of trying to turn lead into gold was the protoscience that led to a chemical revolution The origin of alchemy lies in ancient Egypt, where the cultures of the ancient Greeks...

FREE eBook: Brain Dump

Discover the answers to some of your curious questions in this free Brain Dump eBook Get eBook For more science and technology articles, pick up the latest copy of How It Works from all good...

Spotting near-Earth asteroids

Could you be the one who discovers the next asteroid making its way towards Earth? Searching the skies The night sky is already abundant with faint specks of light, but somewhere among them is...

Thor’s Well: Down the Pacific plughole

Image credit: John Fowler  What created Thor’s Well and where does all the water falling into it go? Along a large, forested headland of Oregon, US, sits a sinkhole that appears to drain away...

Biosphere 2: Earth in a bottle

Image credit: Katja Schulz  Since the early 1990s Biosphere 2 has demonstrated the possibilities and shortfalls of creating a second home on Earth Completed in 1991, it took four years to create Biosphere 2,...

Gut feeling: Exploring the gut-brain axis

How does the bacteria in your gut act like a ‘second brain’? Scientists are only just beginning to understand the impact your microbiome can have on your brain We all know that our mood...

How does a desert form?

Discover the world’s largest deserts and why these dry (but not barren) areas exist Across vast expanses of thirsty land, silence is met with the occasional caw of a passing vulture or the howl...