The most popular science stories of 2016

This year felt like it was never going to end. But, as it does every year, the Earth finished its 149,600,000 million kilometre orbit around the Sun like it does every year.

If it felt like 2016 was actually longer than a normal year, you would be totally right even if it is only a second longer.

Before you totally move onto 2017, here are The Ubyssey's top 10 most-read science stories from 2016.

Here's to a better and very slightly-only-by-a-second shorter 2017. And stay curious, keep looking up and to infinity and beyond.


10. Tall Wood Building ahead of schedule

Construction of UBC's newest resident building and what they called the world's tallest wood building (even though it really isn't) was really, really, really fast. Plus, the building is (mostly) fireproof and inspired a multi-part feature cover story.

9. Tip of the Iceberg

No, this story is not about climate change and melting sea ice, but it's still important. Learn about all of your options for contraception so you don't have to juggle a baby and a full course load.

8. Shrooms 101: A beginner's guide to magic mushrooms

Weed may be Vancouver's signature drug, but magic mushrooms don't look too far behind — at least in science story readership. Learn about why the tasty fungi can lead to some pretty trippy experiences and how to stay safe.

7. There's a mammography bus on campus. Don't get one.

The BC Cancer Agency had a mobile mammography bus parked in front of The Nest in December, but it wasn't for students. Getting a mammogram as a 20-something is probably more dangerous than not getting one. It's all in the numbers.

6. Do graphic abortion protests actually work?

File photo Jack Hauen / The Ubyssey

Does walking by bloody and gory pictures change your mind? Does it changes anyone's? We dig into psychology to find out.

5. New dwarf planet found near Neptune with UBC's help

Image courtesy Alex Parker/OSSOS team

This year was a big year for space at UBC and this list reflects it. UBC astronomers, using a Hawaiian telescope, were part of a team that discovered a new dwarf planet, the same species of object as Pluto.

4. Are you smarter than an American?

Illustration Mary Buckland/The Ubyssey

This interactive quiz, based off of a 2014 US National Science Foundation report, tests your scientific knowledge against the average American's. More than anything, it's frightening.

3. NASA and UBC team up to map an asteroid with lasers

Photo courtesy NASA/Kim Shiflett

More space. More NASA. More lasers. UBC scientists put tech on a space mission currently in progress to bring an asteroid sample back to Earth. UBC is focused on mapping the asteroid very precisely using lasers.

2. What does science have to say about abortions?

File photo Jack Hauen/The Ubyssey

However you feel about reproductive rights, having more knowledge and getting the facts straight is always a good thing — and you, the readers, agreed. Dispel all your misconceptions with this story.

1. UBC student discovers four new planets that NASA missed

Photo courtesy Martin Dee

Everyone wants to beat the best. This year, UBC student Michelle Kunimoto discovered four planets outside our solar system that space-titan NASA missed. Better yet, Kunimoto did it with NASA's own data.