Mystery Solved

  1. Physics

    Raindrops kick up soil chemicals

    The champagne-like fizz produced when a raindrop hits the ground may be responsible for the earthy aroma after a rainstorm.

  2. Animals

    Earth’s magnetic field guides sea turtles home

    Over 19 years, geomagnetic fields changed slightly and so did loggerheads’ nesting sites.

  3. Earth

    Death Valley’s sailing stones caught on the move

    Mysterious sailing stones wandering around Death Valley are powered by ice and wind.

  4. Paleontology

    Baby mammoths died traumatic deaths

    CT scans show that two young mammoths probably suffocated.

  5. Psychology

    How string quartets stay together

    New data tracking millisecond-scale corrections suggests that some ensembles are more autocratic — following one leader —while other musical groups are more democratic, making corrections equally.

  6. Animals

    Synchronous birth

    For young banded mongoose moms, there’s only one choice for when to give birth — the same day as older, dominant mothers. In communities of these cat-sized animals, all females give birth together, no matter when they became pregnant.

  7. Physics

    Transfixing tetrahedrons

    Dervishes are Sufi Muslims who represent the revolving heavens with their spinning dance.

  8. Physics

    Tea time

    Leave it to the English to solve the mystery of a tea kettle’s whistle.

  9. Physics

    Ripple effect

    If you want ripples in your icicles, just add salt. This recipe comes from physicists reporting in the October New Journal of Physics.

  10. Chemistry

    How butterflies stay dry

    Slightly bumpy surfaces reduce water drops’ contact time.

  11. Paleontology

    Dinosaur dreams dashed

    Fans of 'Jurassic Park' may be disappointed (or possibly relieved) to learn that you can’t get ancient DNA from amber.