It’s not like “strange phenomena” have totally left our TV screens – there is, after all, FOX’s Fringe – and if you’re looking for a more sober, non-fiction investigation into the fringes of science, history and human belief, you can find it among the documentaries right here on the National Geographic Channel (see our Mysterious Science episode guide for the latest).
In an age when the X-Files is no longer telling us the “Truth is Out There” and the real, fictional Kolchak is a faded memory, when we have so many real-world concerns biting at our heels, what is it about the possibilities of the strange, the paranormal, the just plain “out there” that still mystify and entertain?
But why are we, collectively, fascinated by the possibilities of the unexplained? There are probably some interesting sociological insights that could serve as an answer to that question, but for me the answer is simple: it’s fun! It’s fun and fascinating to speculate about what may be going on at the intersection of our modern myths and our latest understanding of how the world works.
Here’s an example: ghosts – “there’s no such thing” right? There’s certainly no hard proof of their existence. But people have been reporting phenomena that collectively can be called ghosts and hauntings for as long as there have been people. Even if a ghost, as the purported spirit of a deceased human being, is not something that is objectively real, then certainly as psychological phenomena, it’s fascinating to explore why people keep seeing them! And if they were real, how might they work? What are the physics of ghosts? A theoretical astrophysicist in our show, American Paranormal: Haunted Prison takes on that very question…
So what is the idea behind our Mysterious Science site and this blog? Through the lens of our shows, and with a healthy dose of open-minded skepticism (we are the National Geographic Channel, after all), we’ll explore the intersection of pop-culture beliefs, unexplained phenomena, and the fringes of science and human history. And we’ll do it with a galloping sense of fun and geeky enthusiasm.
Let us know what you think, what you’re interested in and what you want to see here. Leave your comments on this blog or in the Mysterious Science Forum. We’re listening, and we’re ready to believe you!