Why do we get goosebumps?

3 minutes

Why do fear, cold and sublime feelings all provoke the same response in our skin?

The reason humans get goosebumps – or, to be technical, experience horripilation – when scared is simple enough: perceived threats are met with a rush of adrenaline through the bloodstream, causing muscle contractions that make hairs stand on end. This made our much hairier ancestors appear larger to potential predators. But why does our skin react this way when we’re cold or when we’re moved by a song, a landscape or a painting? Or even when we drink lemon juice? This video from NPR’s Skunk Bear probes some of the evolutionary origins of our skin’s most mysterious adaptation.

Producer: Adam Cole, Ryan Kellman

Video/Art

How the ‘Master of Black’ uses non-colour to manipulate light in his artwork

4 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Beauty & Aesthetics

Why do audiences thrill to the negative emotions of horror fiction?

6 minutes

Video/Demography & Migration

Painted frame by frame, a vivid animation restores a history lost to deportation

6 minutes

Video/Physics

How the ‘identity agnostic’ neutrino exists in three states all at once

3 minutes

Essay/Physics

Operation: neutrino

How the neutrino went from ghost particle to vital physics tool – a tale of bombs, espionage and subtle flavours

David Kaiser

Idea/Astronomy

What high-speed astronomy can tell us about the galactic zoo

Christopher Kochanek

Video/History of Science

In 1938, a fish thought extinct for 65 million years resurfaced, nearly unchanged

7 minutes

Idea/Anthropology

It’s not that your teeth are too big: your jaw is too small

Peter Ungar

Essay/Quantum Theory

Quantum common sense

Despite its confounding reputation, quantum mechanics both guides and helps explain human intuition

Philip Ball