Nobody thinks about batteries—until they've run out of juice, of course. But this humble and surprisingly ancient technology has done far more for human civilization than most people realize.
About 600 million years ago, life on Earth was pretty much just a homogeneous bunch of simple, soft-bodied species. But in an evolutionary blink of an eye, that all changed. A longstanding geological mystery could explain why our distant ancestors suddenly developed skeletons.
This body, buried in the 1800s, is known as Soapman. Why? Because when re-discovered in 1875, the fats on his body had transformed into soap. How did it happen? Don't click if you have a weak stomach.
The biggest chokepoint in technology is a single roadblock: batteries. Amidst all of the amazing advances in the last 50 years, battery tech has remained fundamentally unchanged, engineers incrementally squeezing out a few extra drops of power from old tech each year. With better batteries, you wouldn't just be able…
It looks like the folks at the Guinness Book of World Records took some time away from determining how many frat boys can fit into a Volkswagen to bestow the title of "world's longest-lasting AA alkaline battery cell" onto Panasonic's new EVOLTA.