Popular Science

A few facts we just couldn’t wait to share


PopSci’s team of fact-checkers makes sure that the big stories we print jibe with the evidence. In the process they often dig up some knowledge nuggets that normally wouldn’t make it to press. Here are their favorites.

“Surfing’s Big Break,” page 60 Checked by Diane Kelly

An Olympic surfer’s vertical leaps are comparable to an NBA point guard’s, and their peak oxygen uptake is akin to a top Brazilian jujitsu competitor’s. Their cognitive processing and reaction times also log way above average.

“Horseplay—Or Not?” page 9 Checked by Jake Bittle

Some songbirds will stick their beaks into anthills or roll around in clumps of ants—just for fun, perhaps. The mischief can last anywhere from 20 to 90 minutes, and may have evolved from a trick where feathered species coated themselves in buggy chemicals to avoid predation.

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