SCIENCE
12/27/2013 09:14 am ET | Updated Jan 25, 2014

10 Science Stories That Changed The Way We Look At The World Around Us In 2013 (PHOTOS)

Looking for a recap of the top science news stories of 2013? You'll find lots of options out there, including this top 10 list and this top 25.

But if you want to know which science-themed news stories were your favorites this year--that is, the most-read news stories on HuffPost Science--this is the place. As you might imagine, the list may say as much about our perhaps perverse interests (sex, gruesome body parts) as it does about scientific progress.

Scroll down for our science story countdown.

  • 10 Human Intelligence Declining
    Alexander Bassano/Wikimedia Commons
    Our technology may be getting smarter, but a provocative study by researchers in Amsterdam showed that since the Victorian Era, Westerners' I.Q.s have fallen an average of 14 points.
  • 9 Women Like Guys With Heavy Stubble
    Alamy
    Researchers in Australia asked women to rate the attractiveness of men sporting four types of facial hair: full beard, light stubble, heavy stubble, and the clean-shaven look. Heavy stubble was the clear winner. When guys were asked to rate other men's facial hair, they picked full beards and heavy stubble over the light stubble and the clean-shaven look. Talk about cutting-edge science!
  • 8 New Human Body Part Discovered
    University of Leuven
    Those who assumed we pretty much knew every part of the human body got a big surprise when surgeons in Belgium reported the discovery of a previously unknown ligament in the human knee. The new ligament, dubbed the anterolateral ligament (ALL), was discovered when the surgeons dissected human cadaver knees.
  • 7 Rare Lizard Fossil Found
    EFE
    It's not that unusual to discover prehistoric bugs and bits of plants in amber. That's why it came as a big surprise when researchers in Mexico stumbled upon a piece of amber containing the fossilized remains of a 23-million-year-old lizard.
  • 6 Universe Shown To Have Finite Lifespan
    AP
    "If you use all the physics that we know now and you do what you think is a straightforward calculation, it's bad news." That's how theoretical physicist Joseph Lykken characterized the somewhat unsettling results of research on the implications of the Higgs Boson, which was discovered in 2012. The good news? Earth will likely be long gone--destroyed by the expansion of our sun--before any Higgs boson particles bring about the end of the universe.
  • 5 Supermoon Wows Skywatchers
    Getty
    Supermoon is the term used to describe the rare celestial event in which a full moon coincides with lunar perigee, the point when the moon comes closest to earth in its orbit of our planet. The technical term for the phenomenon is perigee-syzygy. Whatever you call it, the supermoon of June 2013 captured the interest of skywatchers around the world. (Other celestial phenomena that were among your favorite HuffPost Science stories included the summer solstice and the blue moon.)
  • 4 Is There A Rat On Mars?
    NASA
    There really wasn't a rat on the Red Planet, of course. But the pattern of light and shadow on one Martian rock sure made it look a lot like a rodent--complete with legs and a tail. The "Mars rat" was spotted by a blogger.
  • 3 'Impossible Material' Finally Created
    Simon Ydhag/Uppsala University
    Scientists in Sweden succeeded in synthesizing an unusual form of magnesium carbonate, a material they dubbed "upsalite." All sorts of applications were foreseen for the stuff, which was made by bubbling carbon dioxide through an alcohol-containing suspension--from controlling moisture in manufacturing processes to sopping up toxins in the aftermath of chemical and oil spills.
  • 2 Meteor Explodes Over Russia
    AP
    More than 1,000 people were injured when a bus-sized meteor weighing an estimated 7,000 tons exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk, about 1,500 kilometers from Moscow. The out-of-the-blue explosion, which packed the force of 20 atomic bombs, raised new fears about asteroids--and the risks they pose to our planet.
  • 1 And The Average Penis Size Is...
    Getty
    ...about 5.6 inches in length. At least that's how long the average erect penis was in an Indiana University study of 1,661 men. In the study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the longest erect penis spanned 10.2 inches. The smallest came in at 1.6 inches.

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