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Wonderpedia magazine opens up a world of wonder for everybody, delivering the latest developments in science, history, nature, world events, technology and the human mind and body.

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Nature

Was there a cannibal shark?

Academics have made a macabre discovery in the Minto Coalfield of New Brunswick, Canada: juvenile shark teeth in the fossilised faeces of an Orthacanthus shark, which roamed the freshwater swamps of Europe and North America 300 million years ago.

Technology

Can robots save lives?

The US Army is increasingly using unmanned vehicles such as the TALON robot to disarm bombs. There are more than 3,000 of these vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan. Between them, they have already neutralised around 10,000 improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Technology

How do you build a treehouse?

You only really need three things to build a treehouse
 – regardless of whether it’s a small hut in the garden or a lofty hotel in the forest. 1) A stable tree with a trunk at least 20 centimetres thick. 2) Robust materials (larch or oak are ideal) and good tools.

Mind & Body

What happens to the brain during a diet?

The brain’s stress response is activated during an energy crisis – like a diet. During a diet, the brain’s stress response can’t return to its normal mode, meaning that the cortisol level is continually raised.

Mind & Body

Why do we wake up feeling hungry?

If this happens, it’s highly likely that a lack of energy is to blame. Usually, the brain’s energy demands are up to 40% lower at night. That’s why we normally don’t experience feelings of hunger while we sleep.

Technology

Can clothes have a mind of their own?

Do you have a wardrobe bursting at the seams with old or unworn clothes? Academics at Birmingham City University have developed a way of allowing unwanted garments to tell you when to wear or get rid of them.

Mind & Body

Why do diets make skin age faster?

When you reduce your calorie intake, you’re robbing your brain of energy. The brain declares a state of emergency to prevent this – and the level of cortisol in the body increases. The result? Fatty tissue is drawn out from areas such as the face and stored as abdominal fat.

Nature

Do sharks have a sixth sense?

Using its ampullae of Lorenzini – special pores filled with jelly – a shark can perceive electrical fields of just one millionth of a volt. That’s how it detects movements in the water, like a paddling surfer, hundreds of metres away.

Science

How was the moon formed?

  1. Countless planets were formed from gas and dust in our solar system. One of them was the young Earth, but it didn’t orbit the sun on its own. Another celestial body formed on its orbit path – a trojan called Theia. 

Nature

How do you turn the head of a female frog?

Two things generally do the trick: a booming voice and shiny green skin. Too bad, then, that tree frogs change colour depending on where they’re standing. On rough surfaces, they’re dark. Only on slippery surfaces in direct sunlight do they sparkle in that coveted green gloss.

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