Hot answers tagged

225 votes

Is this picture showing an eagle flying upside-down genuine?

This image can be attributed to Pam Mullens a Canadian wildlife photographer sometimes going by the pseudonym EagleHunter. This image and other photos of eagles flying in interesting and unusual ...
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183 votes

Do studies show that viruses are contagious?

A qualified doctor challenging the Germ Theory of Disease after 1900? Wow. This is just a smattering - just a random tasting - of the thousands - or perhaps millions - of studies showing that ...
  • 134k
158 votes

Are 30% of human embryos "spontaneously aborted"?

Trivially true, yes. It's more commonly called Miscarriage: Among women who know they are pregnant, the miscarriage rate is roughly 10% to 20%, while rates among all fertilisation is around 30% to ...
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153 votes

Is eating rice harmful to birds?

The following has been disproven, based on this study: James J. Krupa. A CLASSROOM EXERCISE FOR TESTING URBAN MYTH: Does Wedding Rice Cause Birds To Explode or Were Ann Landers, Martha Stewart &...
128 votes

Is this picture showing an eagle flying upside-down genuine?

It's definitely possible for an eagle to be upside down during flight. Here's a Youtube video titled "Bald Eagle barrel roll". It shows some eagles playing or fighting or something and doing barrel1 ...
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124 votes

Is phosphine evidence of life on Venus?

TL;DR The claimed detection of phosphine is not conclusive evidence of life on Venus; it simply indicates that there are unknown chemical pathways on the planet that are producing it. While these may ...
  • 11.1k
112 votes

Do drop bears exist?

I'm going to take a wild guess, and say the first time you heard of drop bears was from a recent Pharyngula post that mentioned them. I'm guessing a few people were introduced to the concept by that ...
  • 134k
109 votes

Are human fetal cells used to produce Pepsi?

The claims people bring to this site never fail to impress! This is more false than it is true. Pepsi does not contain HEK-293 cells. HEK cells were used to test different kinds of sweeteners to ...
  • 40.5k
91 votes

Do predators tend to have vertical slit pupils versus horizontal for prey animals?

Generally true. Some nuance applies, plus exceptions. It is generally true that eyes of predators are different than eyes of prey. Not only are the pupils sometimes different in the way suggested in ...
  • 10.4k
89 votes

Do humans share 50% of their DNA with bananas?

Finally, a question covering my nominal area of expertise. To answer this question meaningfully we'll need to define some concepts but first. Yes, sort of. The statement is factually correct for ...
  • 9,436
89 votes

Does milk make your bones stronger?

A summary of recent evidence suggests: In children with initial low calcium intake, an increase in milk/dairy intake is associated with an increase in bone density. In adults, milk/dairy consumption ...
  • 4,969
83 votes

Russian scientist injects himself with 3.5 million-year-old bacteria, says he is now stronger and hasn't gotten ill in 2 years

The "mad scientist" seems to be Anatoli V. Brouchkov, one of the authors of Draft Genome Sequence of Bacillus cereus Strain F, Isolated from Ancient Permafrost, detailing the organism's name ...
  • 43.6k
82 votes

Does dyeing elephant tusks help discourage poachers?

I cannot speak to the viability of dying tusks, but it does appear that the photo cited in the question is a fake, as noted on the blog Here's the ...
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78 votes

Is this picture showing an eagle flying upside-down genuine?

This is a normal bird "thing". It's known as "whiffling": Whiffling is a term used in ornithology to describe the behavior whereby a bird rapidily descends with a zig-zagging, side-slipping motion. ...
62 votes

Do teenagers fall asleep and rise up later than kids or adults for biological reasons?

There does appear to be fairly solid research backing this claim. A summary page from UCLA: Sleep and Teens One change in the body during puberty is closely related to how you sleep. There is a shift ...
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59 votes

Can social isolation kill babies?

We cannot be sure exactly what happened 7 centuries ago; we only have the one account. However something akin to this experiment did occur, albeit without the controlled conditions. In Romania during ...
  • 15.8k
56 votes

During pregnancy, do babies send stem cells to their mothers to repair organ damage?

The following is true, look up: Dawe GS, Tan XW, Xiao ZC. Cell migration from baby to mother. Cell Adh Migr. 2007;1:19–27. [PMC free article] [PubMed] The scientific name of this process is ...
51 votes

Is this what "happiness looks like"?

No, this is not an image of "myosin dragging a ball of endorphins". As you suspected, it is showing kinesin walking up a microtubule. The reason the animated GIF looks uncannily similar to ...
  • 134k
50 votes

Do mosquitoes urinate on you when they bite you?

Yes. (Photo by James Gathany, Public Health Image Library (PHIL), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) But it could be worse. Most blood-sucking insects urinate while they feed so they can ...
  • 2,402
46 votes

Has carbon dating indicated that live humans are 4000 years old?

The use of Carbon-14 for dating is not completely precise. In general, 500 years is the minimum and 50,000 years is the maximum due to the need to calibrate for background C-14 levels, and to have ...
  • 5,964
45 votes

Is all disease caused by the electron spin of food?

The quoted text seems to refer to quantum-mechanical "spin". However "left" or "right" spin are not part of that concept, and it has nothing at all to do with the food we ...
  • 15.8k
44 votes

Is the O-type blood used as a universal donor?

The Australia and New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion has published a document entitled Guidelines for the Administration of Blood Products, which specifically deals with recommended practice for ...
43 votes

Is Michelle Obama a transgender woman?

It's pretty obviously a conspiracy theory rooted in transmisogyny and racism. Now, your question is a bit vague on what exactly the claim is. "chromosome abnormality" seems to indicate that Michelle ...
  • 50.6k
42 votes

Do biological males who were castrated at birth and raised as females often behave like stereotypical men?

tl;dr- This claim is true. It may sound weird that some biological males are castrated and then raised as though they were female, however it's been done to address a birth defect where genitals ...
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41 votes

Is the O-type blood used as a universal donor?

The central problem is differentiating transfusion of whole blood, red blood cells, and plasma. Traditionally, when people speak of "blood types", they're discussing their Red Blood Cell type. The ...
  • 5,964
41 votes

Does dyeing elephant tusks help discourage poachers?

There is at least one organisation that dyes Rhino Tusks pink, although there are also plenty of doctored photographs of that too. The Rhino Rescue Project has a dye which, while harmless to the ...
  • 527
37 votes

Is slime mold eaten in Mexico as a dish called "feces of the moon"?

Enteridium lycoperdon, a slime mold, is consumed by certain populations in Mexico and has the common name "caca de luna." Fuligo septica, another slime mold, is also consumed in Mexico. (...
36 votes

Does science define life as "beginning at conception"?

Interestingly there's a survey: "Biologists' Consensus on 'When Life Begins'", 2018 of US biologists on this (the choice of profession/experts was motivated by a pre-survey of the US population at ...
  • 52.6k
35 votes

Are 30% of human embryos "spontaneously aborted"?

For those pregnancies that have already lasted 5 weeks, recent research sets an upper limit on the American public's cumulative "spontaneous abortion" of 22%, presenting the rate as a range from 11% ...
34 votes

Did the US Government invent ebola to test bioweapons in Africa?

EBOV, SUDV, RESTV, TAFV, and BDBV1 The natural reservoir for ebolaviruses is undetermined[1], but the current hypothesis is bats, as several bat species have been discovered capable of carrying the ...
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