Erin McCarthy, Mental Floss

Erin McCarthy

Mental Floss

New York, NY, United States

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Recent articles by Erin:

5 Fast Facts About Cordyceps, the Fungus from HBO's 'The Last of Us'

In HBO’s new series ‘The Last of Us,’ Cordyceps fungus has infected humanity, turning those unlucky enough to become hosts into clicking, screaming, mushroomy monsters. Here’s what you need to know about the real fungus. → Read More

Albert Einstein’s Letter About UFOs

By July 1952, UFOs were a hot topic—and Reverend Louis A. Gardner wanted to know Albert Einstein’s thoughts. Did flying saucers come from space? Or were they military technology? → Read More

14 Nobel Prize-Winning Authors

The Swedish Academy has been awarding Nobel Prizes in Literature since 1901; here are a few laureates whose books you might want to consider picking up. → Read More

The History of the Trapper Keeper

Until now, the full story of the Trapper Keeper had only been told in a marketing textbook. Here's how your favorite school supply became an icon. → Read More

13 Old and Unusual Ways to Say You’re Burned Out

The term ’burned out’ dates back to the early 19th century—and people have had other names for it for much longer than that. → Read More

Caraway Bakeware Review: Is This Trendy Ovenware Worth the Hype?

How does the loaf pan do with a sourdough? Here's what happened when we tried out Caraway's trendy bakeware. → Read More

26 Terrific Slang Terms for Toilets and Toilet Paper

You've called it the John and the Crapper—now how about the FDR? → Read More

9 Fascinating Facts About Kazuo Ishiguro's 'Never Let Me Go'

'The Guardian 'named Kazuo Ishiguro’s sixth novel, 'Never Let Me Go'—a subtle, heartbreaking sci-fi tale about clones whose lives are barreling toward a sad and mysterious end—one of its 100 best books of the 21st century. Here's what you need to know. → Read More

24 Fascinating Facts About UFOs

From the time the White House had a close run-in with unidentified flying objects (a.k.a. UFOs) to the truth behind what happened at Roswell, New Mexico, these are UFO facts you need to know. → Read More

7 Things You Should Know About Virginia Woolf's 'To the Lighthouse'

Virginia Woolf's fifth novel has thrilled and frustrated readers since it was published in 1927; today, it’s considered a masterpiece. → Read More

9 Fascinating Items That Went Down With the 'Titanic'

Priceless manuscripts, rare art, and jewelry all sank with the ship. → Read More

11 Artifacts Recovered From 'Titanic'

Starting in 1987, two years after the Titanic wreck was discovered, seven trips have been made to the debris field, and more than 5500 artifacts have been salva → Read More

15 Fun Slang Terms to Creatively Say You're Tired

If you’re so exhausted that saying “I’m tired” just doesn’t cut it, don’t worry—we have you covered. → Read More

20 Heads That Changed History

The heads on this list—whether human or animal, ancient artifact or geological feature—have actually changed the course of history, some in surprising ways that impact us every day. → Read More

22 Creepy Cryptids From Around the World

From Bigfoot and Yeti to the Loch Ness Monster and Ogopogo, the world is full of cryptids. Here are just a few of the many cryptids around the world that you should know. → Read More

14 Fascinating Facts About Dateline

This year marks the 30th season of NBC’s 'Dateline.' To celebrate, here’s what you need to know about the show’s early days, how “To Catch a Predator” came to be, the show’s pivot to true crime, and what Keith Morrison really thinks of Bill Hader’s impression of him. → Read More

5 Excellent Items on Daniel Radcliffe's Shelves

Which board game gets special placement on Daniel Radcliffe's shelves, and which pandemic hobby occupies a ton of space? → Read More

20 Weird Old Words for Bodily Ailments

Need a better word to describe what ails you? Look no further than this list of old, unusual ways to describe your aches, pains, and whatever else is happening in your body. → Read More

25 of the Longest-Reigning Monarchs in History

Heavy is the head that wears the crown—and no one wore that headpiece longer than the men and women on this list. → Read More

56 Delightfully Unusual Words for Everyday Things

From 'asportation' to 'nicknackatory' to 'yex,' these old, delightfully unusual words are ones you'll want to use regularly. → Read More