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Why Can't You Put Metal in the Microwave?

Daven Hiskey

Daven Hiskey runs the wildly popular interesting fact website Today I Found Out. To subscribe to his “Daily Knowledge” newsletter, click

The True Story of the Southwick Jog

Matt Soniak

Wikimedia Commons If you were very bored one day and built a 3D model of the state of Connecticut, then ran your hand along the top, you’d get to a place, just north of the town of Granby, where yo

Making Art From Shavings

Jill Harness

Usually, pencil shavings are a mere byproduct of artwork made with pencils, but artist Marta Altes knows that just because most people throw something away doesn't mean you can't make art ou

We've Got the Perfect Thing for Your Shiny New Tablet

Mangesh & Jason

If you got your hands on a new tablet this holiday season, your next move should be downloading the mental_floss magazine app.

Octopi: The New Kings of Disguise

the mag

by Ed

Camera Fun - Making Crazy Art Using Christmas Lights

Chris Higgins

It's that time of year -- strings of tiny lights are everywhere, and families are wandering around, checking out those lights.

Are Santa's Visits Legal?

Jill Harness

A fat man in a red suit may have shimmied down your chimney overnight to leave presents (or, if you were naughty, coal) under your tree.

All the Presidents' Menus: What First Families Eat on Christmas

Adrienne Crezo

People are strangely fascinated by what other people eat, and even more so when that other person is the president. Here are 10 Christmas dinner menus from presidents past and present. 1.

Why Is Toy Packaging So Difficult to Open?

Matt Soniak

Whether you’re buying them for your kids or yourself, you’ve surely noticed that Barbie dolls, action figures, and other toys often come packed in their own tiny Fort Knoxes, with layers upon layers o

The Late Movies: Christmas Lights Set to "Call Me Maybe"

Erica Palan

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas or enjoy the acoustical stylings of Carly Rae Jepsen, I think we can all agree on one thing: Thank goodness we don't live across the street from any of thes

The WWI Christmas Truce of 1914

Chris Higgins

Not much about life in the trenches of World War I is very festive.

Santa Claus Is From New Jersey

Nicholas Ferroni

Thomas Nast began drawing Santa as early as 1863.

Last Week's Most Popular Stories

Jason English

In case you weren't obsessively refreshing mentalfloss.com all week, here's what you

Weekend Links: The Most Relaxing Song in the World

Allison Keene

MC Frontalot’s toilet paper factory rap (wrap?) created for Sesame Street taught me many things I did not know and always wondered ...

How MythBuster Adam Savage Solves Problems

Chris Higgins

In this Maker Faire talk from 2010, Adam Savage explains how he went from being a billiards player to a prop-maker to a special effects master, and ultimately a MythBuster (among much else).