Erika Engelhaupt

Erika Engelhaupt is a freelance science writer and editor based in Knoxville, Tenn. She began her blog, Gory Details, while she was an editor at Science News. She continues the blog at National Geographic, where she was online science editor and managed the Phenomena science blog network. Her work has also appeared at NPR, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Story Collider podcast, and in other newspapers and magazines. 

All Stories by Erika Engelhaupt

  1. Psychology

    Schadenfreude starts young

    Children as young as 2 years old feel joy at another’s misfortune, new research suggests, showing jealousy’s deep roots.

  2. fecal map

    Front doors carry ‘thin patina’ of poop bacteria

    A new map shows that Americans’ front door frames are coated in gut-dwelling microbes.

  3. Ecosystems

    If you really hate a species, try eating it

    Dining on invasive fish such as snakehead and lionfish can reduce their numbers, but we can’t entirely eat our way out this problem.

  4. Genetics

    Finally, some solid science on Bigfoot

    DNA analysis finds no Bigfoot, no yeti, two weird bears and one scientist on a quest for the truth.

  5. Anthropology

    Neanderthals reveal their diet with oldest excrement

    50,000-year-old fossil poop hints at Neanderthals’ omnivorous, but meat-heavy, diet.

  6. voodoo doll

    Why stabbing a voodoo doll is so satisfying

    To measure how aggressive a person is, psychologists turn to voodoo dolls and hot sauce.

  7. Health & Medicine

    Urine is not sterile, and neither is the rest of you

    Despite what the Internet says, urine does contain bacteria, a new study finds. And so does your brain, the womb, and pretty much everywhere else.

  8. Animals

    Anemone eats bird, and other surprising animal meals

    A fuzzy green anemone eating a bird many times its size shows that you can’t take anything for granted when it comes to which animals can eat each other.

  9. Psychology

    Why every face you draw looks a little Neandertal

    Just about everyone draws faces with the eyes too high and a low Neandertal forehead, maybe because of the way we perceive the shape of the head.

  10. Psychology

    Leonardo da Vinci may have invented 3-D image with ‘Mona Lisa’

    A mysterious copy of the ‘Mona Lisa’ combines with the Louvre painting to make a stereoscopic image of the woman with the enigmatic smile.

  11. Humans

    Could the menstrual cycle have shaped the evolution of music?

    A new study suggesting that women select better musicians shows how women’s role in evolution is being redefined.

  12. Life

    Find your inner fish with PBS series on human evolution

    A new documentary explores how the human body came together over 3.5 billion years of animal evolution.