Smithsonian

38 articles
Avatar_57x57

From Norwegian waters to European plates.

Avatar_57x57

The life and times of James McClintock, the man behind the famed H.L. Hunley who also may or may not have faked his own death.

Avatar_57x57

Cassie Chadwick pulled her first con in 1870, at the age of 13. Over the next 30 years, she would scam her way to $633,000, about $16.5 million in today’s dollars.

Avatar_57x57

More than 50 years after Nelson Rockefeller's son went missing following a boat accident in New Guinea, the true story emerges. He made it to shore, but didn't make it much farther.

Excerpted from Savage Harvest.

Avatar_57x57

Ida Wood, who lived for decades as a recluse in a New York City hotel, would have taken her secrets to the grave—if her sister hadn’t gotten there first.

Avatar_57x57

The neurologist explores the mystery of hallucinations.

Avatar_57x57

The true story of the first Thanksgiving.

Avatar_57x57

What the popular game says about our subconscious.

Avatar_57x57

On paleopathologist Gino Fornaciari and his investigations into murders from centuries past.

Avatar_57x57

On Japan’s Hokkaido, an island the size of Ireland, and its rebel leader of lore, Shakushain.

Avatar_57x57

A trip to a pepper-eating contest in remote India.

Avatar_57x57

Searching for a mysterious whirpool on an obscure map.

Avatar_57x57
Avatar_57x57

In 1936, Karp Lykov whisked his family into the Siberian wilderness to escape Bolshevik persecution. They remained there, alone, until discovered by a helicopter crew in 1978.

Avatar_57x57

Learning of a plot against the life of the newly elected Lincoln, Alan Pinkerton decamps to Baltimore and infiltrates the conspiracy.

Avatar_57x57

An internet pioneer loses hope in the promise of web culture.

Avatar_57x57

In 1945, a fire tore through the home of George and Jennie Sodder. Four children escaped; five vanished.

Avatar_57x57

On William Cockford and his 1800s gambling hall in London, where much of the British aristocracy lost its fortune.

Avatar_57x57

A profile of Sir Dr. NakaMats, who claims to have invented over 3,000 things, including the floppy disk and karaoke machine.

Avatar_57x57
Avatar_57x57

A spy takes on his own agency.

Avatar_57x57

How a group of farmers came to believe that their relatives were returning from the grave.

Avatar_57x57

On the 1,600-year-old text that suggests that Jesus, long believed to be celibate, was a married man.

Avatar_57x57
For days I've been slogging through a rain-soaked jungle in Indonesian New Guinea, on a quest to visit members of the Korowai tribe, among the last people on earth to practice cannibalism.
Avatar_57x57

The sewer hunters, or “toshers,” of 19th century London.

Knowing where to find the most valuable pieces of detritus was vital, and most toshers worked in gangs of three or four, led by a veteran who was frequently somewhere between 60 and 80 years old. These men knew the secret locations of the cracks that lay submerged beneath the surface of the sewer-waters, and it was there that cash frequently lodged.

Avatar_57x57

“Good espresso depends on the fourM’sMacchina, the espresso machine; Macinazione, the proper grinding of a beans; Miscela, the coffee blend and the roast, and Mano is the skilled hand of the barista, because even with the finest beans and the most advanced equipment, the shot depends on the touch and style of the barista.”

Avatar_57x57
Avatar_57x57

For a half-century fires have burned under Centralia, PA.

Avatar_57x57

How movies, music and literature reproduce the disaster.

Avatar_57x57
Few men have acquired so scandalous a reputation as did Basil Zaharoff, alias Count Zacharoff, alias Prince Zacharias Basileus Zacharoff, known to his intimates as “Zedzed.” Born in Anatolia, then part of the Ottoman Empire, perhaps in 1849, Zaharoff was a brothel tout, bigamist and arsonist, a benefactor of great universities and an intimate of royalty who reached his peak of infamy as an international arms dealer -- a “merchant of death,” as his many enemies preferred it.
Avatar_57x57

A story of endurance in the face of unimaginably brutal conditions.

Avatar_57x57

How black market mining is destroying the Peruvian rain forest and enslaving child workers.

Avatar_57x57

How information replicates, mutates, and evolves.

Avatar_57x57

From his arrival in New York as a penniless 22-year-old Dutch stowaway through years of obscurity until emerging as a major artist in his 50s.

Avatar_57x57

Beyond the fact that he lacked a pulse, little is known about the man found on an Adelaide beach in 1948.

Avatar_57x57

On the endless quest to predict earthquakes.

Avatar_57x57

The Civil War started 150 years ago today. A primer on how and why.

Avatar_57x57

Prohibition couldn’t have happened without Wayne B. Wheeler, who foisted temperance on a thirsty nation 90 years ago.