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DOTA: Defence Of The Ancients. (Photos and Bios)

 

 

 

Please enjoy this amazing collection of DotA 2 heroes art..

I followed every image with a small Bio of the corresponding hero or heroes.

I really recommend reading them as they can be very interesting, intriguing and fascinating…

Let me know which you think looks the best? and which has the best story.

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ALCHEMIST

The sacred science of Chymistry was a Darkbrew family tradition, but no Darkbrew had ever shown the kind of creativity, ambition, and recklessness of young Razzil. However, when adulthood came calling he pushed aside the family trade to try his hand at manufacturing gold through Alchemy. In an act of audacity befitting his reputation, Razzil announced he would transmute an entire mountain into gold. Following two decades of research and spending and preparation, he failed spectacularly, quickly finding himself imprisoned for the widespread destruction his experiment wrought. Yet Razzil was never one to take a setback lightly, and sought escape to continue his research. When his new cellmate turned out to be a fierce ogre, he found just the opportunity he needed. After convincing the ogre not to eat him, Razzil set about carefully concocting a tincture for it to drink, made from the moulds and mosses growing in the prison stone work. In a week’s time, it seemed ready. When the ogre drank the potion, it flew into an unstoppable berserker rage, destroying the cell bars and exploding through walls and guards alike. They soon found themselves lost somewhere in the forest surrounding the city with a trail of wreckage in their wake and no signs of pursuit. In the tonic’s afterglow, the ogre seemed serene, happy, and even eager. Resolving to work together, the pair set off to collect the materials needed to attempt Razzil’s Alchemic transmutation once more.

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WARLOCK

As Chief Curator and Head of Acquisitions for the Arcane Archives of the Ultimyr Academy, Demnok Lannik was tireless in his pursuit of lost, rare and forbidden tomes. No cursed temple was so foreboding, no cavern path so treacherous, that any concern for his own survival could dissuade him from entering if rumors hinted that some pamphlet of primordial lore might still survive in its depths. However, so often did his investigations trigger the wrath of protector entities, that he finally found it necessary to master the arts of magic. He bent himself to learning sorcery with the same thorough obsessiveness that marked his quest for incunabula, becoming the most powerful Warlock of the Academy in less time than most practitioners required to complete a course of undergraduate work. Almost as an afterthought, he carved a staff of Dreadwood and summoned into it a captive spirit from the Outer Hells. And anticipating the day when he will have recovered every last lost spellbook, he has commenced writing his own Black Grimoire. It will undoubtedly be instructive.

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DEATH PROPHET

Krobelus was a Death Prophet-which is one way of saying she told fortunes for the wealthiest of those who wished to look beyond the veil. But after years of inquiring on behalf of others, she began to seek clues on her own fate. When death refused to yield its secrets, she tried to buy them with her life. But the ultimate price proved insufficient. Death disgorged her again and again, always holding back its deepest mysteries. Her jealousy grew. Others could die for eternity–why not she? Why must she alone be cast back on the shores of life with such tiresome regularity? Why was she not worthy of the one thing all other living creatures took for granted? Still, she would not be discouraged. Each time she returned from the grave, she brought a bit of death back with her. Wraiths followed her like fragments of her shattered soul; her blood grew thin and ectoplasmic; the feasting creatures of twilight took her for their kin.. She gave a little of her life with every demise, and it began to seem as if her end was in sight. With her dedication to death redoubled, and no client other than herself, Krobelus threw herself ever more fervently into death’s abyss, intent on fulfilling the one prophecy that eluded her: That someday the Death Prophet would return from death no more.

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BANE

When the gods have nightmares, it is Bane Elemental who brings them. Also known as Atropos, Bane was born from the midnight terrors of the goddess Nyctasha. A force of terror too powerful to be contained by sleep, he surfaced from her slumbers, fed upon her immortality, and stole his vaporous form from her inky blood. He is the essence of fear. Mortals who hear his voice hear their darkest secrets whispered in their ear. He calls to the hidden fear in every Hero’s heart. Wakefulness is no protection, for Bane’s black blood, continuously dripping, is a tar that traps his enemies in nightmare. In the presence of Bane, every Hero remembers to fear the dark.

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BOUNTY HUNTER

When the hunted tell tales of Gondar the Bounty Hunter, none are sure of which are true. In whispered tones they say he was abandoned as a kit, learning his skill in tracking as a matter of simple survival. Others hear he was an orphan of war, taken in by the great Soruq the Hunter to learn the master’s skill with a blade as they plumbed the dark forests for big game. Still others believe he was a lowly street urchin raised among a guild of cutpurses and thieves, trained in the arts of stealth and misdirection. Around campfires in the wild countryside his quarry speaks the rumors of Gondar’s work, growing ever more fearful: they say it was he who tracked down the tyrant King Goff years after the mad regent went into hiding, delivering his head and scepter as proof. That it was he who infiltrated the rebel camps at Highseat, finally bringing the legendary thief White Cape to be judged for his crimes. And that it was he who ended the career of Soruq the Hunter, condemned as a criminal for killing the Prince’s prized hellkite. The tales of Gondar’s incredible skill stretch on, with each daring feat more unbelievable than the last, each target more elusive. For the right price, the hunted know, anyone can be found. For the right price, even the mightiest may find fear in the shadows.

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BREWMASTER

Deep in the Wailing Mountains, in a valley beneath the Ruined City, the ancient Order of the Oyo has for centuries practiced its rites of holy reverie, communing with the spirit realm in grand festivals of drink. Born to a mother’s flesh by a Celestial father, the youth known as Mangix was the first to grow up with the talents of both lineages. He trained with the greatest aesthetes of the Order, eventually earning, through diligent drunkenness, the right to challenge for the title of Brewmaster-that appellation most honored among the contemplative malt-brewing sect.

As much drinking competition as mortal combat, Mangix for nine days drank and fought the elder master. For nine nights they stumbled and whirled, chugged and struck, until at last the elder warrior collapsed into a drunken stupor, and a new Brewmaster was named. Now the new, young Brewmaster calls upon the strength of his Oyo forebears to speed his staff. When using magic, it is to his spirit ancestors that he turns. Like all Brewmasters before him, he was sent out from his people with a single mission. He wanders the land, striving toward enlightenment through drink, searching for the answer to the ancient spiritual schism-hoping to think the single thought that will unite the spirit and physical planes again.

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CENTAUR WARRUNNER

It’s said that a centaur’s road is paved with the corpses of the fallen. For the one called Warrunner, it has been a long road indeed. To outsiders, the four-legged clans of Druud are often mistaken for simple, brutish creatures. Their language has no written form; their culture lacks pictographic traditions, structured music, formalized religion. For centaurs, combat is the perfect articulation of thought, the highest expression of self. If killing is an art among centaurs, then Bradwarden the Warrunner is their greatest artist. He rose to dominance on the proving grounds of Omexe, an ancient arena where centaur clans have for millennia gathered to perform their gladiatorial rites. As his fame spread, spectators came from far and wide to see the great centaur in action. Always the first to step into the arena, and the last to leave, he composes a masterpiece in each guttering spray, each thrust of blood-slickened blade-length. It is the poetry of blood on steel, flung in complex patterns across the pale sands of the killing floor.

Warrunner defeated warrior after warrior, until the arena boomed with the cheering of his name, and he found himself alone, the uncontested champion of his kind. The great belt of Omexe was bestowed, wrapped around his broad torso, but in his victory, the death-artist found only emptiness. For what is a warrior without a challenge? The great centaur galloped out of Omexe that day with a new goal. To his people, Warrunner is the greatest warrior to ever step into the arena. Now he has set out to prove he is the greatest fighter who has ever lived.

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CLINKZ

At the base of the Bleeding Hills stretches a thousand-league wood-a place called The Hoven, where black pools gather the tarry blood of the uplands, and the king-mage Sutherex sits in benevolent rule. Once a sworn protector of the Hoven lands, Clinkz earned a reputation for his skill with a bow. In the three-hundredth year of the king-mage, the demon Maraxiform rose from sixth hell to lay claim to the forest. In response, the king-mage decreed an unbreakable spell: to any who slew the demon would be granted Life Without End.

Unaware of the spell, Clinkz waded into battle, defending his lands against the demon’s fiery onslaught. Clinkz drove Maraxiform back to the gates of sixth-hell itself, where on that fiery threshold the two locked in a mortal conflict. Grievously wounded, the demon let out a blast of hellfire as Clinkz loosed his final arrow. The arrow struck the demon true as hellfire poured out across the land, lighting the black pools and burning Clinkz alive at the instant of the demon’s death. Thus, the mage’s spell took effect at the very moment of the archer’s conflagration, preserving him in this unholy state, leaving him a being of bones and rage, caught in the very act of dying, carrying hell’s breath with him on his journey into eternity.

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INVOKER

In its earliest, and some would say most potent form, magic was primarily the art of memory. It required no technology, no wands or appurtenances other than the mind of the magician. All the trappings of ritual were merely mnemonic devices, meant to allow the practitioner to recall in rich detail the specific mental formula that unlocked a spell’s power. The greatest mages in those days were the ones blessed with the greatest memories, and yet so complex were the invocations that all wizards were forced to specialize. The most devoted might hope in a lifetime to have adequate recollection of three spells–four at most. Ordinary wizards were content to know two, and it was not uncommon for a village mage to know only one–with even that requiring him to consult grimoires as an aid against forgetfulness on the rare occasions when he might be called to use it. But among these early practitioners there was one exception, a genius of vast intellect and prodigious memory who came to be known as the Invoker. In his youth, the precocious wizard mastered not four, not five, not even seven incantations: He could command no fewer than ten spells, and cast them instantly. Many more he learned but found useless, and would practice once then purge from his mind forever, to make room for more practical invocations. One such spell was the Sempiternal Cantrap–a longevity spell of such power that those who cast it in the world’s first days are among us still (unless they have been crushed to atoms). Most of these quasi-immortals live quietly, afraid to admit their secret: But Invoker is not one to keep his gifts hidden. He is ancient, learned beyond all others, and his mind somehow still has space to contain an immense sense of his own worth…as well as the Invocations with which he amuses himself through the long slow twilight of the world’s dying days.

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AXE (left) DISRUPTOR (middle)

As a grunt in the Army of Red Mist, Mogul Khan set his sights on the rank of Red Mist General. In battle after battle he proved his worth through gory deed. His rise through the ranks was helped by the fact that he never hesitated to decapitate a superior. Through the seven year Campaign of the Thousand Tarns, he distinguished himself in glorious carnage, his star of fame shining ever brighter, while the number of comrades in arms steadily dwindled. On the night of ultimate victory, Axe declared himself the new Red Mist General, and took on the ultimate title of ‘Axe.’ But his troops now numbered zero. Of course, many had died in battle, but a significant number had also fallen to Axe’s blade. Needless to say, most soldiers now shun his leadership. But this matters not a whit to Axe, who knows that a one-man army is by far the best.

High on the wind-ravaged steppes of Druud, a gifted young stormcrafter called Disruptor was the first to unlock the secrets of the summer squalls. Constantly under assault from both seasonal storms and encroachment from civilized kingdoms to the South, the upland Oglodi have for centuries struggled to subsist atop the endless tablelands. They are the fractured remnant of a once-great civilization–a fallen tribe, their stormcraft strange and inscrutable, cobbled together from scraps of lost knowledge which even they no longer fully understand. For those on the high plain, weather has become a kind of religion, worshiped as both the giver and taker of life. But the electrical storms that bring life-sustaining rains arrive at a cost, and many are the charred and smoking corpses left in their wake. Although small for his kind, Disruptor is fearless, and driven by an insatiable curiosity. As a youth, while still unblooded and without a stryder, he explored the ruins of the ancestral cities–searching through collapsed and long-moldering libraries, rummaging through rusting manufactories. He took what he needed and returned to his tribe. Adapting a coil of ancient design, he harnessed the power of electrical differential and now calls down the thunder whenever he wishes. Part magic, part craftsmanship, his coils hold in their glowing plates the power of life and death–a power wielded with precision against the landed castes to the South, and any interlopers who cross into ancient Oglodi lands.

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KEEPER OF THE LIGHT

Upon a pale horse he rides, this spark of endless suns, this Keeper of the Light. Ezalor long ago escaped the Fundamental plane, separating from the other ancient forces to which he was bound within the great Primordial harmony. He is a power grown sentient in the dawn of the universe, and now rides forth in all planes at once, one step ahead of pursuing chaos, bearing his gift with him at the end of a radiant staff. His majestic truth lies hidden beneath the outward appearance of a slightly doddering old man who barely stays in the saddle. However, when faced with the challenge of chaos, or the forces of darkness, his primordial light bursts forth, and his full power is revealed, transforming him once again into a force to be reckoned with.

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NYX ASSASSIN

Deep in the Archive of Ultimyr, shelved between scholarly treatises on dragon cladistics and books of untranslatable spells, there is an ancient tome of entomological curiosities. Compiled by scholars, the book describes the telepathic talents of the zealot scarab, a strange species of social insect with abilities unique to all the seven planes.

Unlike most grubs of his colony, Nyx Assassin did not arise from metamorphosis with the plodding thoughts and blunted appendages common to the worker caste of his kind. For his was a special transformation, guided by the grace of Nyx. He was the chosen one, selected from the many and anointed with an extract of the queen goddess herself. Not all survive the dark blessing of the queen’s chamber, but he emerged with a penetrating mind, and dagger-like claws–his razor sharp mandibles raking the air while his thoughts projected directly into the minds of those around him. Of all zealot scarabs, he alone was selected for the highest calling. After his metamorphosis, he was reborn, by grace of Nyx, with abilities which shaped him for one thing and one thing only: to kill in the name of his goddess.

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TROLL WARLORD

It’s an easy thing to offend a troll. A prickly and contentious race, trolls thrive on argument and strife, missing no excuse to raise their voices in dispute. Males grow to maturity in subterranean chambers beneath their matriarch’s domicile, feeding and amusing themselves while contributing nothing. Often they stay for years beyond the age of maturity, while the matriarch provides them with sustenance. When young trolls are finally pushed from their sub-chamber, they gather with others of their kind, forming roving gangs of malcontents who complain loudly about all manner of vexation.

As much as trolls love to argue, imagine how rare it is for a troll to be driven from his own kind for being too difficult to get along with. Such was Jah’rakal’s fate, a monger troll from deep in the Hoven. So deluded was he, so bitter and abrasive, that even other trolls found his company intolerable. After one particularly vitriolic outburst in which he claimed the lion’s share of loot from their latest raid, his cohorts finally snapped. They turned on him, beat him with clubs, and drove him from the encampment. Enraged at his banishment, he returned the next day, armed with steel, and slew them all, one by one. He then swore a blood oath: he would ever after be a fighting force unto himself. Now he roams the world as the Troll Warlord, bitter and angry, the Imperial high commander of an army of one.

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TUSK

It had been a brawl to remember. There stood Ymir, the Tusk, the Terror from the Barrier, the Snowball from Cobalt, the only fighter to have bested the Bristled Bruiser in a fair fight, and now the last man standing in Wolfsden Tavern. What started as a simple bar bet of supremacy ended with four regulars, a blacksmith, and six of the Frost Brigade’s best soldiers writhing against the shards and splinters of almost every bottle, mug, and chair in the building. The Tusk boasted and toasted his victory as he emptied his brew.

No sooner had the defeated regained consciousness than the cries for double-or-nothing rang out. The Tusk was pleased at the prospect, but none could think of a bet bigger than the one he just conquered. Horrified at the damage to his tavern and desperate to avoid another brawl, the barkeep had an idea. As skilled as he was, Ymir had never taken part in a real battle, never tested himself against the indiscriminate death and chaos of war. He proposed a wager to the fighter: seek out the biggest battle he could find, survive, and win it for whichever side he chose. The stakes? The next round of drinks.

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UNDYING

How long has it been since he lost his name? The torn ruin of his mind no longer knows.

Dimly he recalls armor and banners and grim-faced kin riding at his side. He remembers a battle: pain and fear as pale hands ripped him from his saddle. He remembers terror as they threw him into the yawning pit of the Dead God alongside his brothers, to hear the Dirge and be consumed into nothingness. In the darkness below, time left them. Thought left them. Sanity left them. Hunger, however, did not. They turned on each other with split fingernails and shattered teeth. Then it came: distant at first, a fragile note at the edge of perception, joined by another, then another, inescapable and unending. The chorus grew into a living wall of sound pulsing in his mind until no other thought survived. With the Dirge consuming him, he opened his arms to the Dead God and welcomed his obliteration. Yet destruction was not what he’d been chosen for. The Dead God demanded war. In the belly of the great nothing, he was granted a new purpose: to spread the Dirge across the land, to rally the sleepless dead against the living. He was to become the Undying, the herald of the Dead God, to rise and fall and rise again whenever his body failed him. To trudge on through death unending, that the Dirge might never end.

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VISAGE

Perched atop the entrance to the Narrow Maze sit the looming shapes of sneering gargoyles, the paths into the hereafter forever in their gaze. Beasts and birds, men and monsters, all creatures that die and choose to travel beyond must someday pass beneath their sight. For an untethered spirit, the decision to journey through the veil of death is irrevocable. When chance comes, and by craft or cunning some restless soul escapes their hells and heavens, it is the dreaded gargoyle Visage, the bound form of the eternal spirit Necro’lic, who is dispatched to reclaim them. Ruthless and efficient, unhindered by the principles of death and fatigue, Visage stalks its prey without mercy or end, willingly destroying all which may give shelter to the fugitive essence. That which flaunts the laws of the afterlife may never rest, for while it is true that the dead may be revived, it is only a matter of time before Visage finds and returns them to their proper place.

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LIFESTEALER

In the dungeons of Devarque, a vengeful wizard lay in shackles, plotting his escape. He shared his cell with a gibbering creature known as N’aix, a thief cursed by the Vile Council with longevity, so that its life-sentence for theft and cozening might be as punishing as possible. Over the years, its chains had corroded, along with its sanity; N’aix retained no memory of its former life and no longer dreamt of escape. Seeing a perfect vessel for his plans, the wizard wove a spell of Infestation and cast his life-force into N’aix’s body, intending to compel N’aix to sacrifice itself in a frenzy of violence while the mage returned to his body and crept away unnoticed. Instead, the wizard found his mind caught in a vortex of madness so powerful that it swept away his plans and shattered his will. Jarred to consciousness by the sudden infusion of fresh life, N’aix woke from its nightmare of madness and obeyed the disembodied voice that filled its skull, which had only the one thought: To escape. In that moment Lifestealer was born. The creature cast its mind into dungeon guards and soldiers, compelling them to open locks and cut down their companions, opening an unobstructed path to freedom while feeding on their lives. Lifestealer still wears the broken shackles as a warning that none may hold him, but on the inside remains a prisoner. Two minds inhabit the single form–a nameless creature of malevolent cunning, and the Master whose voice he pretends to obey.

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LONE DRUID

Long before the first words of the first histories there rose the druidic Bear Clan. Wise and just they were, and focused in their ways to seek an understanding of the natural order. The arch forces of nature saw this, and so sought the most learned among them. Wise old Sylla, clan justiciar and seer, stepped forward for his kin, and to him was given the Seed with these words: ‘When all of the world has dimmed, when civilization has left these lands, when the world is slain and wracked by the endless deserts at the end of ages, plant the Seed.’ As he grasped his trust, Sylla felt his years recede and his vitality returned. Vast knowledge burst into his mind. He found himself able to project his very will into reality and, with some concentration, alter his own physical form as well. Yet subtle whispers and cruel ears brought word of the Seed and its power to other peoples, and a terrible war crashed upon the Bear Clan. As his ancestral home burned, Sylla took his burden and fled to the wild places. Ages passed, and time and myth forgot the Bear Clan, forgot Sylla and the Seed, forgot wondrous civilizations that rose and fell in Bear Clan’s wake. For millenia Sylla has waited, waited for word from his deities, waited for peace to come to the ever warring realms, waited in exile and in secret for the end of all things and for the conclusion of his sacred commitment, preparing himself always to face and destroy whatever would dare threaten his purpose.

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LYCANTHROPE

Banehallow was noble-born to the house of Ambry, the greatest of the landed castes in the old kingdom of Slom. Before the Fall, as the King’s wants grew strange, and his court grew crowded with sorcerers and charlatans, the house of Ambry was the first to rise against the avarice of the throne. No longer willing to pay homage and fealty, they instead sent six-thousand swords into the capital, where they were wiped out in the Massacre of the Apostates. And then came the teeth behind the old truth: When you strike a king’s neck, you had better take his head. Enraged by the betrayal, the king exterminated the vast Ambry bloodline, sparing only the lord of the house and his youngest son, Banehallow. Before all the royal court, with the disgraced lord chained to the ornate marble floor, the King bade his magicians transform the boy into a wolf so that he might tear out his own father’s throat. “Do this,” the king said, “so that Lord Ambry will understand the bite of betrayal.” Powerful magic was invoked, and the child was transformed. But though his body was changed, his spirit remained intact, and instead of biting the exposed neck of his father, he attacked his handlers, tearing them to pieces. A dozen of the King’s knights perished under the wolf’s teeth before they managed to drive it off into the night. Lord Ambry laughed from his chains even as the King ran him through with a sword. Now the heir to the lost house of Ambry, Banehallow wanders the trail as the Lycan, part warrior, part wolf, in search of justice for all that he lost.

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MAGNUS

The master-smiths of Mt. Joerlak agree on only a single point: that the horn of a magnoceros is more precious than any alloy. And of all such horns, the largest and sharpest belongs to the beast they call Magnus. For half a generation, Magnus took easy sport goring hunters come to claim the treasures of his kin. Each time he would return to his cave with hooves and horns stained red, until his Matriarch urged him and all their kin to seek refuge to the north beyond the shadow of the mountain. But Magnus scoffed, having never failed to defend his people. The magnoceroi would stay, he decided, for a magnoceros does not believe in chance… nor does it ever change its mind. But when Mt. Joerlak erupted without warning, and half his kin perished in the fire and ash, Magnus changed his mind after all. The survivors pushed north, until they reached a blockade watched over by a hundred hunters armed with bow and steel. Magnus expected no less. He led his fiercest brothers and sisters in a charge against their enemies, and fought with a ferocity matched only by the fire-spewing mountain at his back. Meanwhile the magnoceros elders, mothers, and calves vanished into the drifts. The master-smiths are divided about what happened next. Some say Magnus reunited with his kin, while others claim he suffered mortal injuries and expired alongside the body of his Matriarch. Neither theory is correct. Magnus did vow to rejoin his kin…but only after seeking out those responsible for the eruption of Mt. Joerlak and watching them die upon his horn, for a magnoceros does not believe in chance.

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MEEPO

“If you ask me, life is all about who you know and what you can find. When you live up in the Riftshadow Ruins, just finding food can be tough. So you need to cut corners, you need to scrounge, you need to know your strengths. Some of the beasts up there can kill you, so you need a way to trap the weak and duck the strong. On the upside, the ruins have history, and history is worth a lot to some people. There used to be a palace there, where they had all these dark rituals. Bad stuff. If you survived the ceremony, they would shatter a crystal and split your soul into pieces. They made great art though! Sculptures and such. Let me tell you: sometimes you stumble onto some of those old carvings. Take a pack full of those to town and sell them, then get yourself food for a few weeks. If luck is really on your side, you might find a Riftshadow crystal. Get it appraised and start asking around. Someone always knows some crazy fool looking for this kind of thing. If all else fails, sell it to a Magus the next time one’s in town. They love that stuff. Still, whatever you do, be careful handling those crystals. You do not want one to go off on you. It really hurts.”

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NAGA SIREN

Among the high-sworn of the Slithereen Guard there is a solemn vow oft repeated before battle: No Slithereen may fail. In truth, these words are equal parts oath and enforceable covenant, for those who fall short of their duty are banished from the order. To fail is to be other than Slithereen.

Once most highly esteemed of her race, Slithice for many years commanded a battalion of her fellows, using her formidable voice as her greatest weapon. Powerful, sinuous, serpentine, she led her deadly Guard in defense of the Deep Ones, and the great wealth of the sunken cities. But in the final battle of Crey, her forces were driven back by a marauding army of levianths intent on finding tribute for their god Maelrawn. After the long and bloody onslaught, as the bodies were cleared from the sunken halls, a single jeweled chalice was found missing from the trove. Of her hundred Guard, only a handful survived, but their bravery and sacrifice were of little consequence. What mattered was that treasure was taken. Honor destroyed. And so Naga Siren was cast out. Banished to search for the stolen chalice. Though she might add a hundred times her weight to the golden trove, she is doomed to live apart until that day she returns that which was taken. For no amount of gold is equal in honor to the honor she lost.

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OGRE MAGI

The ordinary ogre is the creature for whom the phrase ‘As dumb as a bag of rock hammers’ was coined. In his natural state, an ogre is supremely incapable of doing or deciding anything. Clothed in dirt, he sometimes finds himself accidentally draped in animal skins after eating lanekill. Not an especially social creature, he is most often found affectionately consorting with the boulders or tree-stumps he has mistaken for kin (a factor that may explain the ogre’s low rate of reproduction). However, once every generation or so, the ogre race is blessed with the birth of a two-headed Ogre Magi, who is immediately given the traditional name of Aggron Stonebreak, the name of the first and perhaps only wise ogre in their line’s history. With two heads, Ogre Magi finds it possible to function at a level most other creatures manage with one. And while the Ogre Magi will win no debates (even with itself), it is graced with a divine quality known as Dumb Luck–a propensity for serendipitous strokes of fortune which have allowed the ogre race to flourish in spite of enemies, harsh weather, and an inability to feed itself. It’s as if the Goddess of Luck, filled with pity for the sadly inept species, has taken Ogre Magi under her wing. And who could blame her? Poor things.

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OUTWORLD DEVOURER

One of a lordly and magisterial race, Harbinger prowls the edge of the Void, sole surviving sentry of an outpost on the world at the rim of the abyss. From this jagged crystalline Outworld, forever on guard, he has gazed for eternities into the heavens, alert for any stirring in the bottomless night beyond the stars. Imprinted deep in the shining lattices of his intellect lies a resonant pattern akin to prophecy, a dark music implying that eventually some evil will wake out there, beyond the edges of creation, and turn its attention to our world. With his whole being focused on his vigil, Outworld Devourer paid little attention to events closer in to the sun. But at last the clamor of the Ancients, and a sense of growing threat from within as well as without, sent him winging sunward to visit the plains of war. Harbinger’s place in our own prophecies is unambiguous: he must be considered an omen of worse things to come. But his arrival in itself is bad enough.

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PHANTOM LANCER

The remote village of Pole had no knowledge of the wars raging in the heart of the kingdom. For them, the quiet of spear fishing, and a family meal were all that a full life required. Yet war came for them nonetheless. Joining the able-bodied conscripts as they filed passed their homes, the humble lancer Azwraith vowed to bring peace to his kingdom, and in so doing, his people. Placed with his kin in the vanguard of the final assault against the Dread Magus Vorn, the cost to his fellows was absolute. As the charging force battled toward the fortress, Azwraith alone among his kind remained standing, and he alone was able to infiltrate the keep. Focused and infuriated by the slaughter of his brothers, Azwraith bested each of the wizard’s deadly traps and conjured guardians. Soon the simple fisherman arrived at Vorn’s tower sanctum. The pair dueled through the night, pike to staff, as chaos raged below, and with a deafening cry Azwraith pierced his enemy. But the wizard did not simply expire; he exploded into uncountable shards of light, penetrating his killer with power. As the dust settled and the smoke of combat began to clear, Azwraith found himself standing among a throng of his kin. Each seemed to be dressed as he was, each seemed armed as he was, and he could sense that each thought as he did. Aware that his allies were approaching, he willed these phantoms to hide themselves, and one by one they began to vanish into nothingness. As the soldiers came upon the sanctum, they found the warrior that had bested the wizard. When they approached their champion, the lancer vanished. The pikeman who had stood before them was no more than another phantom.

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SLARK

Little known to the inhabitants of the dry world, Dark Reef is a sunken prison where the worst of the sea-bred are sent for crimes against their fellows. It is a razor barbed warren full of murderous slithereen, treacherous Deep Ones, sociopathic meranths. In this dim labyrinth, patrolled by eels and guarded by enormous anemones, only the vicious survive. Pitched into Dark Reef for crimes unknown, Slark spent half a lifetime without kin or kindness, trusting no one, surviving through a combination of stealth and ruthlessness, keeping his thoughts and his plans to himself. When the infamous Dark Reef Dozen plotted their ill-fated breakout, they kept their plans a perfect secret, murdering anyone who could have put the pieces together–but somehow Slark discovered their scheme and made a place for himself in it. Ten of the Dozen died in the escape attempt, and two were captured, hauled back to Dark Reef, then executed for the entertainment of their fellow inmates. But Slark, the unsung thirteenth, used the commotion as cover and slipped away, never to be caught. Now a furtive resident of the carnivorous mangrove scrub that grips the southern reach of Shadeshore, Slark remains the only successful escapee from Dark Reef.

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SILENCER (left) SPIRIT BREAKER (right)

Part of the seventh and final generation of a carefully designed pedigree, Nortrom was bred by the ancient order of the Aeol Drias to be the greatest magic user the world had ever seen. He was the prophesied one, the culmination of two-hundred years of careful pairings, a war-mage who would bring glory to the order, and destruction to their sworn enemies, The Knights of the Fold. Raised with other young mages in a hidden cantonment among the hills of the Hazhadal barrens, the order’s preceptors waited for Nortrom’s abilities to manifest. While the other students honed their talents with fire, or ice, or incantatory spells, Nortrom sat silent and talentless, unable to cast so much as a hex. As the day of final testing approached, he still hadn’t found his magic. In disgust, the preceptors berated him, while the children laughed. “You are no mage,” the head of the order declared. Still, Nortrom did not slink away. He entered the day of testing and faced down the young mages who had mocked him. And then his preceptors learned a valuable lesson: a lack of magic can be the greatest magic of all. Nortrom silenced the young mages one by one and defeated them in single combat, until he alone stood as champion of the Aeol Drias, in fulfillment of the prophecy.

Barathrum the Spirit Breaker is a lordly and powerful being, a fierce and elemental intelligence which chose to plane-shift into the world of matter to take part in events with repercussions in the elemental realm that is his home. To that end, he assembled a form that would serve him well, both in our world and out of it. His physical form borrows from the strengths of this world, blending features both bovine and simian-horns, hooves and hands-as outward emblems of his inner qualities of strength, speed and cunning. He wears a ring in his nose, as a reminder that he serves a hidden master, and that this world in which he works is but a shadow of the real one.

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TREANT PROTECTOR

Far to the west, in the mountains beyond the Vale of Augury, lie the remains of an ancient power, a fount of eldritch energy nestled deep in the high woods. It is said that the things that grow here, grow strangely. To the forces of nature this is a sacred place, made to stay hidden and unknown. Many are the traps and dangers of this land–all-consuming grasses and crossbred fauna and poisonous flowers–but none are so fierce as the mighty Treant Protectors. These ageless, titanic beings, charged with keeping the peace in this dangerous land, ensure that none within encroach without reason, and none without poach their secrets. For time untold they tended to their holy ground, uninterrupted, only dimly aware of the changing world beyond. Yet inevitably the wider world grew aware of this untamed land, and with each passing winter the outsiders grew bolder. Soon they arrived with tools to cut and with flames to burn, and often the Treants would ponder: who are these fragile, industrious creatures? What now had become of the wild, green world? There came and went an age of questions and of doubts, a thousand summers of long traditions set to scrutiny, while more and more the outsiders died and fed their earth. When all that bloomed had finally finished their say, curiosity had overcome caution. It was decided: a lone Protector would be sent into the wider world, and instructed to wander until the glaciers arose once more, to observe the changing land and its creatures, and to discover what unknown dangers could threaten their sacred ground.

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URSA

Ulfsaar the Warrior is the fiercest member of an ursine tribe, protective of his land and his people. During the long winters, while the mothers sleep and nurse their cubs, the males patrol the lands above-as tireless, vigilant defenders of their ancient ways. Hearing dim but growing rumors of a spreading evil, Ulfsaar headed out beyond the boundaries of his wild wooded homeland, intending to track down and destroy the threat at its source, before it could endanger his people. He is a proud creature with a bright strong spirit, utterly trustworthy, a staunch ally and defender.

 

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Contact Lens Mouse Kinda Makes You Cyborgy

This one’s kinda hard to swallow so take a deep breath, open your minds, and pretend it’s 2100. I CONTACT is essentially a mouse fitted to your eyeball. The lens is inserted like any other normal contact lens except it’s laced with sensors to track eye movement, relaying that position to a receiver connected to your computer. Theoretically that should give you full control over a mouse cursor. I’d imagine holding a blink correlates to mouse clicks.

The idea was originally created for people with disabilities but anyone could use it. Those of us too lazy to use a mouse now have a free hand to do whatever it is people do when they sit at the computer for endless hours. I love the idea but there is a caveat. How is the lens powered? Perhaps in the future, electrical power can be harnessed from the human body, just not in a Matrix creepy-like way.

Designers: Eun-Gyeong Gwon & Eun-Jae Lee

What would happen if I drilled a tunnel through the center of the Earth and jumped into it?

Earth

Although it would be impossible to do this on earth, you actually could do this on themoon. The moon has a cold core and it also doesn’t have any oceans or groundwater to mess things up. In addition, the moon has no atmosphere, so the tunnel would have a nice vacuum in it that eliminates aerodynamic drag.

So, imagine that the tunnel through the moon is 20 feet (7 meters) in diameter. Down one side is a ladder. If you were to climb down the ladder, what you would find is that your weight decreases. Gravityis caused by objects attracting one another with their mass. As you descend into the tunnel, more and more of the moon’s mass is above you, so it attracts you upward. Once you climbed down to the center of the moon you would be weightless. The mass of the moon is all around you and attracting you equally, so it all cancels out and you would feel weightless.

If you were to actually leap into the tunnel and allow yourself to fall, you would accelerate toward the center to a very high speed. Then you would zoom through the center and start decelerating. You would eventually stop when you reached the tunnel’s lip on the other side of the moon, and then you would start falling back down the tunnel in the other direction. You would oscillate back and forth like this forever.

If you could do this on earth, one amazing effect would be the ease of travel. The diameter of the earth is about 12,700 kilometers (7,800 miles). If you drilled the tunnel straight through the center and could create a vacuum inside, anything you dropped into the tunnel would reach the other side of the planet in just 42 minutes!

6 Scientific Discoveries That Laugh in the Face of Physics

There are some startlingly simple questions that science can’t answer. And then there are the special occasions where the universe up and does a freaking magic trick that seems to be designed by an unjust, all-powerful entity dedicated to making scientists slowly pull off their glasses while saying, “What in the hell?” For instance …

#6. The Sun Can Make Stuff Hotter Than Itself

We intuitively understand the direction that energy travels — from the thing with energy to the thing with less energy. That’s why the second law of thermodynamics is among the first things you learn in science class that makes you say, “Well, shit, I could have told you that.” If you’re too hot, you move away from the campfire, not toward it. You don’t need science to tell you that heat energy travels from the hot thing to the less-hot thing. Well, everywhere in the universe except the sun.

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That asshole always has to be the center of attention.

There’s a discrepancy between what science says should happen and what the sun actually does, and it’s known as the sun’s coronal heating problem. Essentially, when heat leaves the sun, the laws of thermodynamics just totally break down for a few hundred miles, and nobody can quite figure out why.

The facts are pretty straightforward; the sun’s surface sits comfortably at a blazing temperature of roughly 5,500 degrees Celsius. No problem there. However, as the heat travels from the sun’s surface to the layer a few hundred miles away from its surface (known as the sun’s corona), it rises to a temperature of 1,000,000 degrees Celsius. Which is 995,000 degrees Celsius, or 1,791,000 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1 billion gigawatts per 1/4 gigabyte jiggawatt hour (metric) hotter than it has any right to be.

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He’s a loose cannon!

The heat source (the giant ball of nuclear explosions and plasma) should be the hottest thing, not the empty vacuum of space around it. This is the only instance in the known universe where the thing doing the heating is actually cooler than the thing it’s heating.

And it’s been plaguing solar physicists worldwide since they discovered the little disagreement reality has with our universe in 1939. How is it possible that the area around the sun is about 200 times hotter than its surface? It’s not, according to the second law of thermodynamics and everything else we’re supposed to know about how the universe works.

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Would anything this awesome-looking follow rules dreamed up by some nerds?

#5. When You Look Closely, Gravity Stops Making Sense

There’s a certain order to the world. Mice get eaten by wolves, motorcyclists get demolished by 18-wheelers and gravity presides over the whole crazy parade, keeping it stuck to the ground like a boss. Understanding where forces rank compared with one another allows us to predict and explain all the different ways in which they will interact. The problem is that gravity, the one force that’s involved in just about every interaction that happens here on Earth, is kind of all over the map.

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It’s the functional alcoholic of forces.

When you look at it up close, gravity is decidedly on the mouse side of the hierarchy. Rub a balloon on your wool sweater (nice sweater, nerd) and pass it over a piece of paper. The tiny electromagnetic charge your sweater transferred to the balloon will lift the paper off the table, overcoming the Earth’s gravitational pull. That’s the same gravitational pull that tethers the moon in orbit around Earth. Up close, gravity gets its ass handed to it by a bond that’s about as strong as worn-out Velcro. But over a distance of 234,000 miles, it acts like the chain on a mace being swung around the head of a planet-sized Viking.

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Gravity: It’ll smash your head in and violate your women.

This is what’s known as the Higgs mass hierarchy problem. Gravity has a tendency to wreak havoc on scientific hierarchies because the closer you look at it, the more likely it is to disappear. It’s predictable when you take a step back and watch it yank things out of midair, but on closer inspection, it completely vanishes. In fact, at the realm of particle physics, gravity is 10 ^ 32 times weaker than the second weakest force.

The Earth’s mass is 5.97 x 10 ^ 24 kilograms, which allows it to generate the supremely powerful and inescapable force that has held you on the surface of the Earth since you popped out of your mom. The fact that the stray electricity hanging out on your sweater could counteract it makes as much sense as a starving African child being able to bench-press a skyscraper.

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The second she puts a hat on, the tides will be fucked.

#4. Satellites Speed Up for No Reason

Imagine you’re pushing a baby on a swing set. At a certain point his squeals of delight start to turn anxious, so you stop pushing him, muttering something about it being true what they say about babies being little cowards. Once you stop pushing the baby, instead of slowing to a stop, he starts swinging higher and higher. The baby is just sitting there, not moving, and yet he appears to be gaining momentum. Your only option is to pull out your phone and curse the Ghostbusters theme for not including a phone number, because the universe is suddenly behaving like it’s been run backward through a film projector.

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The universe was slow to go digital.

This might be because you remember the law of conservation of energy, which says that energy can’t be created or destroyed, just transferred. So you’ll never get more energy out of something than what you started with unless you add it. Unfortunately, one of the simplest laws of physics has to have an asterisk next to it. Go down to the bottom of the page and you’ll find something along the lines of “This is usually the case, but occasionally the universe gets a hankering to let an object passing by the Earth just up and gain speed for no real reason. We assume this is because someone somewhere is fucking with us.”

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Reality makes so much sense if you just assume God likes to get fucked up as often as the rest of us.

It’s called the flyby anomaly because there are multiple instances where NASA’s Galileo, NEAR, Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 spacecraft have experienced an unexplainable increase in speed over massive distances. It’s always when they’re passing Earth at enough of a distance to not be affected by its gravitational pull, yet they somehow pick up speed, like some universal force is inside stepping on the accelerator.

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“Is this where we speed up for no particular reason?” “Nope, the blue one.” — Whoever’s screwing with us.

The anomaly was only first noticed in 1980, and science has spent the ensuing decades trying to figure out what the hell is going on. They’ve accounted for every type of energy that’s ever been discovered. So far, they don’t even have a real theory. So we could suggest that the spacecraft are just showing off for the home crowd, and that would be as good as anything science has come up with so far.

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“Wizards. We’re chalking it up to wizards.”

#3. The Law of Conservation of Energy? More of a Suggestion, Really

Let’s say you have a toy truck, and you angrily smash it into bits with a hammer (because you’re a troubled child). You would still have the same amount of truck that you started with, just in a different form than the original. But as you lift your hammer from the pile of toy parts following your last whack, you find that they’ve completely disappeared from existence.

You know this can’t happen because matter cannot be created or destroyed. So at the end ofTerminator 2, when the T-1000 fell into the pit of molten ore, that glowing pool of lava had the T-1000’s mass and atomic components swimming around in there. The same thing happens when an asteroid gets sucked into a black hole. Even though we can’t see inside the black hole, we can tell matter isn’t being destroyed because the mass of the black hole increases by one asteroid. This is all making good sense, and then the universe makes like the Terminator timeline and just goes nuts. This happens when the black hole just up and evaporates, leaving scientists wondering where everything that got sucked in there went.

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Detroit?

Black holes evaporate over time, and by “evaporate” we mean “disappear from existence,” along with everything it sucked in. The science behind this gets pretty complicated, but to put it as simply as possible, when black holes evaporate, they should emit a record of everything that was sucked in there written in the radiation. But according to Stephen Hawking, the black hole only gives off random heat energy.

In layman’s terms: If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of getting sucked into a black hole, you disappear completely from existence, as does any evidence that you ever existed.


“And this is possible thanks to a little principal called no goddamn clue. Sorry, guys.”

If they’d only thrown the T-1000 into a black hole, and the Terminators had to go back in time before that happened, he wouldn’t be in that timeline. Even with time travel, the universe wouldn’t know how to put him back together since the black hole that ate him disintegrated into nothing.

#2. The Particle That Knows We’re Watching

If you’re a sports fan, you’ve probably experienced the irrational belief that your team’s success relies on whether or not you’re watching the TV. If you’re a nerd, you’re probably familiar with the weeping angels from Doctor Who who never moved when being observed. Old wives have been documenting the dramatic effect observation has on whatever you’re watching when they noted that “a watched pot never boils.”

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Tireless research by our interns and the people who hold our interns at gunpoint has found that watched pots do, indeed, boil.

This is, of course, just the human mind finding patterns where they don’t exist. To believe their eyes are controlling the outcome of the game, sports fans have to ignore the fact that they are one of thousands who probably believe the timing of their piss break is crucially important to the outcome of the game. The old wives’ tale is really just a testament to how boring life used to be for married women over the age of 30. And Doctor Who is about an ugly guy who time travels via phone booth, so it’s not the height of scientific rigor. Except that the alien race of angels — statues when you looked at them, capable of moving at incredible speeds when you weren’t — were actually based on a real, observable scientific paradox known as the Quantum Zeno effect.


Nerds 1- House wives and their football watching husbands 0.

Over the course of a day spent observing some unstable uranium, scientists in Texas noticed something strange. Uranium is unstable and decays over time in a process called radioactive decay. And when they left it alone, unwatched in the petri dish, the uranium did as it was told. But whenever they tried to watch it, the uranium just sat there not really doing anything, like a pot of water mocking an old spinster from a burning stovetop.

The second day came and the same thing happened; the uranium that should have been breaking apart like a sandcastle getting pounded by the waves of each passing second just sat there mocking them. The lab reported their findings to other labs, presumably after putting each other through rigorous psychiatric testing. And somehow, against all reason and logic, it turned out the initial experiment wasn’t just everything in Texas being crazy like usual. Everyone else saw the same thing. Certain particles will never decay if you’re observing them, which means that you can essentially stop time by paying attention to certain particles.

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“I’m God as long as I don’t blink.”

The paradox defies the law of entropy, as well as common sense, logic and we’re pretty sure the Harry Potter universe. This is the equivalent of taking photos of your child so much that she doesn’t age, or staring at last night’s turkey dinner so that it won’t go bad.

We know that certain unstable elements decay. We have evidence of it everywhere in nature. But put them under a microscope and they seize up like a dog who refuses to do the trick you taught him when the neighbor’s watching. Except radioactive isotopes aren’t supposed to be able to notice stuff like the giant eyeball staring at them behind that plate glass window.

So in case you ever feel like we’ve got the universe figured out, keep in mind that in certain conditions, the universe appears to be actively keeping secrets from us.

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Nobody move. They’re watching.

#1. Einstein’s Theory: Relatively Full of Crap (Also? Time Travel!)

If the universe had speed limit signs, they would all read 299,792,458 meters per second. That’s the speed of light, and according to Albert Einstein’s special theory of relativity, this is the maximum speed that energy and matter can travel. For those of us raised on warp speed and hyperdrives, it’s easy to miss just how important and concrete this law is. It’s the central assumption of Einstein’s theory, and pretty much everything that’s been written about science for the past half-dozen decades rests on Einstein’s theory being true. Back in the 1940s, the scientific community decided to take him at his word because he was on the cutting edge of modern hairstyles and usually knew what he was talking about when it came to science, and they never really looked back.


“Look at the man’s mustache. Of course he’s an expert.”

Enter the experiment known as OPERA (Oscillation Project with three sciencey words that aren’t Earned Run Average). In September of 2011, scientists at CERN (Europe’s particle-physics lab near Geneva in Switzerland) shot a beam of particles 730 kilometers away to the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Gran Sasso, Italy. The problem was that they showed up 60 nanoseconds early, which doesn’t sound like a big margin until you understand that in order for this to happen they would have to have traveled faster than the speed of light.

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Those particles were in an awful hurry to get to a pretty boring mountain.

Come on, Italy! Didn’t we just go over this — remember Einstein? We’re pretty sure Moses even included something about this in the 10 Commandments. So obviously the entire world was a little skeptical of the discovery and wanted the tests redone. So they did, and scientists worldwide shit their collective pants with each retesting of the findings: Every single rerun produced the same results.

This recent flipping of the modern physics model on its head means that faster-than-light travel is now possible. Not for you (yet), but certain particles can now travel distances that should take thousands of years to cross in seconds. The corners of the farthest galaxies are now fair game, but the most important implication of all is that because the neutrinos travel faster than light, they aren’t affected by time the way everything in the visible universe is affected by time. This recent discovery has scientists at CERN toying with the notion of sending neutrino messages to their past selves. Though it’s likely a long way off in the future, you did hear that correctly; time travel is now a very real and attainable possibility.


Pictured: The wild-haired man who advanced our understanding of the time space continuum, and some guy with a mustache.

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