ENGLISH AND BAD ENGLISH | A gorgeous matte painting from The Fifth Element by artist Wayne Haag. See more of his incredible work here.

Can you grow a beard with consistent applications of Rogaine?

If you lack a lovely beard and are well past puberty, could you use a hair growth treatment to create one? Tales of people using Rogaine to paint on a beard sound believable, but is there any scientific validity to them? More »

Why I Write "Strong Female Characters"

If you're familiar at all with my work, you've noted that, not only do I frequently write stories with female characters as my protagonists, but these women share certain traits. They tend to be quite smart, if not all of them well-educated. They tend to be physically active, most capable of taking a punch as well as throwing one. They tend to be driven, goal-oriented, and willing to go to great lengths to secure their aims. More »

Lies You've Been Told About the Pacific Garbage Patch

You've probably heard of the "Pacific garbage patch," also called the "trash vortex." It's a region of the North Pacific ocean where the northern jet stream and the southern trade winds, moving opposite directions, create a vast, gently circling region of water called the North Pacific Gyre. More »

DC plans to bring a prominent character out of the closet

DC Comics' New 52 has brought plenty of changes to its superpowered characters, but the publisher's policy has been not to change the sexual orientations of any existing characters. More »

Do You Suffer From Answer Syndrome?

Answer syndrome is the affliction of the hyper-educated, the detail-oriented, the obsessive, and the internet-saturated. It plagues people whose highly technical and specialized knowledge means that they often spend their days explaining things to people who have no idea what they are talking about. That computer scientist at MIT, for example, could have told you things you never even knew you wanted to ask about PGP encryption. People with answer syndrome get used to having all the answers. And then . . . they don't know when to stop. More »

Illusion tricks you into thinking these celebrities are downright hideous

Society harbors a strange obsession with seeing celebrities disheveled, out of makeup, and out of shape. The video featured here takes that fascination and turns it totally inside out, by using normal photographs of good-looking celebrities to illustrate what's known as the "Flashed Face Distortion Effect." More »

10 Painful Insect Stings, as Measured by Science

Getting stung by a fire ant hurts. Getting stung by a tarantula hawk hurts much, much more. But how much more does it hurt, exactly? And where does something like a honey bee rank on the pain scale? More »

This optical illusion can trick the eyes of almost all living things

Here's an optical illusion that can confuse pretty much any creature with eyes. It's a simple trick caused by a quirk in the way many animals (including humans) see contrasts. More »

Who is this mysterious new Dark Knight Rises character?

A new crop of freshly released Dark Knight Rises toys from the Quick Tek line has potentially revealed the a brand new Batman character. Thanks to an io9 reader, we now have a close look at a brand new face, well a toy face. More »

The Wrong Way to Plan for the Future

We all know that thinking ahead is the only way to succeed in life. But a ton of new research shows that the more you think about future goals and events, the more mistakes you're likely to make. More »

Vintage Disneyland character costumes were the fabric of nightmares

There's something immensely jarring about pictures of retro Disneyland character costumes. Between the blank soulless eyes, rumpled fabric, and yellowing photographs, every one of these snapshots would not be out of place in a scrapbook bound with human bones. More »

What is catnip, and why do felines love it?

Catnip drive felines crazy, causing them to roll around on the floor and paw at invisible birds flying in their vicinity, but why? Humans have used catnip for recreational purposes, as smoking the substance produces some interesting effects. More »

Artist helps wife fight cancer by turning her into a sexy pulp warrior

Concept Artist Ron Miller (who often contributes to io9) wanted to celebrate his wife Judith's recent victory over cancer with something spectacular - something bold and glorious like the Planet Stories covers they both love. So they created Captain Judikha. Together they stitched a glorious vintage super suit and photoshopped Judikha fighting topless angels (maybe NSFW), giant robots, rescuing alien astronauts all while looking sexy as hell! Eat Judikha's ray gun blasts, cancer! More »

See Pixar characters cosplay as the Avengers

What do you dress up as when you're already a superhero or a giant fuzzy monster? How about a crew of box office-busting superpowered movie stars? See several Pixar characters recast as members of the Avengers. Artist JM Walter created this mashup piece. More »

Best and Worst Movie Threequels of All Time

When it comes to movie series, the third time is definitely not the charm. Some of the best movies ever made are the second films in a franchise - but it's a rare third film that achieves true greatness. More »

Men in Black 3 will erase all meaning in your life

Will Smith has starred in lots of formulaic movies. And he knows better than anyone that there's something comforting as well as exhilarating about a movie that plays out according to a set of steps. More »

Vintage ventriloquism portraits were incredibly unnerving

Thanks to The Twilight Zone, it's not easy to succeed as a ventriloquist in this day and age. No matter how hard you and your dummy try to bring joy to the world, your audience is left silently wondering who will be next. More »

Whales have a sensory organ unlike anything we've ever seen

It's possible that whales can sense things that no other living creatures can. Scientists have discovered a grapefruit-sized mass of vessels and nervous tissues located in whales' chins, and they believe it's an entirely new kind of sensory organ. More »

There's more water on Jupiter's moon Europa than there is on Earth

Remember that image from a few weeks back that showed Earth with all its water gathered up in a sphere beside it? Well here's that image again, only this time, it also features Jupiter's moon Europa, along with all of its water. More »