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

How is money made?

From workshop to wallet, how does the world’s money reach our back pockets (Image source: Pixabay) As online banking and contactless cards continue to grow as our preferred method of payment, physical money may...

The science of lie detectors

Do polygraphs really reveal the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? (Image credit: Federal Bureau of Investigation) Since the early 1920s ‘lie detectors’ have been used to evaluate whether or not...

What are eye floaters?

Discover what causes these optical oddities (Image credit: Marina Vitale) Gazing up at clear blue skies can sometimes be interrupted by what appear to be bouncing squiggles of dust that evade our attempts to...

Why do some animals live together?

Different organisms can benefit from living with each other – but is it always a fair deal? (Image source: Pixabay) Clownfish find protection in the anemone’s tentacles, while they chase away fish that would...

What substances make paints matte or glossy?

(Image credit: David Pisnoy) Question from Rachel Sampson Both types of paint contain matte powder pigments, but each has a different binder. Gloss paints contain long polymers called alkyd resins, which cover the pigments...

What is an ion wind plane?

This futuristic concept could revolutionise aviation with silent and non-polluting power systems Image credit: Future PLC Air travel is one of the greatest barriers to reducing carbon emissions. Fossil fuel-powered jets and propellers have...

How to read braille

What is it about these tiny dots that lets them communicate the world’s languages? (Image source: Pixabay) Braille, the tactile reading system blind people can use to read text, is in more places than...

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Why do we have body hair?

Some have more of it than others, but what is the purpose of our hairy patches? (Image source: Pixabay) Body hair is not there by chance – it has played a vital role in...

Animal Antivenom

How do some creatures survive being bitten and stung by the most venomous nasties on Earth? Image source: Pixabay Whether it’s the bite from a viper, a sting from a scorpion or the subtle...