Matt Soniak

Matt is a long-time mental_floss regular and writes about science, history, etymology and Bruce Springsteen for both the website and the print magazine. His work has also appeared in print and online for Men’s Health, Scientific American, The Atlantic, and others. He tweets as @mattsoniak and blogs about animal behavior at He lives in Philadelphia with his girlfriend, two cats and a large collection of bourbon whiskeys.

Why Is Toy Packaging So Difficult to Open?
What are Frankincense and Myrrh, Anyway?
Can Bacteria and Viruses Get Sick?
What Does SOS Stand For?
Do Cameras Really Add 10 Pounds?
Are Poinsettias as Dangerous as Everyone Says?
Preserving the President: Abraham Lincoln, Grave Robbers, and an Excellent Embalmer
More Than You Ever Needed to Know About Mistletoe
The First Christmas Card Was Sent in 1843
Dirty Laundry and Civil War Espionage
When and Where Was the First Car Accident?
Why Are Flea Markets Called That?
Cheap, Sustainable Bricks Made from Cow Blood
Why Do They Click That Board Thing Before Filming A Movie Scene?
Chasing Bookworms: What Missing Art Can Tell You About Insects
What is a Pigeonhole?
Why Does Skin Get Pruney in the Tub?
45 Everyday Words that Mean Something Different to WWII Navy Veterans
The Late Movies: The Ramones
Why Do Chile Peppers Make People Cough?
How to Build a Blue Whale Without Having Seen One: Part II
How to Build a Blue Whale Without Having Seen One: Part I
Why Do Flocks of Geese Fly in a “V” Shape?
What Ever Happened to Acid Rain?
Will There Be a Hurricane Sandy Baby Boom?
There Are Only 22 Countries in the World That the British Haven’t Invaded
How the Presidency Sort of, Maybe, Almost Might Have Gotten Cursed
How Do Blood Pressure Tests Work, And What Do Those Numbers Mean?
What Were They Thinking?: The Psychology of Riding Out the Storm
Why Do Dogs Kick Their Legs When You Scratch Their Bellies?
How Do Hurricanes Get Their Names?
Do People Really Walk in Circles When They’re Lost?
Jim Thorpe: The Man, The Myth, the Small Pennsylvania Town
Why Do We Say “Pardon My French” When We Curse?
On The Table With One of History’s Most Infamous Surgeons
What's Up With "10-4" And Other Radio Lingo?
The Life And Times Of The MGM Lion
What a Big Baby: The Life and Times of the Paradox Frog
Mmmm, Brains: Everything You Wanted to Know About Cannibalism But Were Afraid to Ask
What is Rubella?
Why Is Cranberry Juice Good For UTIs?
Happy Alaska Day (and an Alaska Fact You Never Thought You’d Hear)
Why Is Abruptly Quitting Something Called "Going Cold Turkey"?
50 Prison Slang Words To Make You Sound Like a Tough Guy
The Social Security Number, A Biography: Part 3
Why Are Blueprints Blue?
The Social Security Number, A Biography: Part 2
How Do Tongue Twisters Twist The Tongue?
Slow, but Scary, Killer Snails
The Social Security Number, A Biography: Part 1


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