A Science Club for the Internet Era
We search planet Earth for the most interesting forms of matter accessible to humankind and ship them to our members each month.
These items could include:
Expand for examples
- Fossilized marine life
- Prehistoric insects
- Dinosaur teeth
- Items used in historic research
- Engineering breakthroughs
- Accidental discoveries
- Mineral samples
- Exotic plant seeds
- Interactive projects
- Clever & useful tools
- Equipment for experimentation
- Pure element samples
- Cutting-edge materials
- Simulants of other worlds
A quick refresher:
WHAT IS MATTER?
You, everything around you, every star you can see in the sky, every creature on every planet that ever existed, and every visible piece of the universe are all made of atoms—tiny structures made by combining 4 infinitesimal particles in various arrangements. We call everything made of these particles “ordinary matter”. But as vast as our universe is, only about 0.4% of the visible universe is made of this matter.
Almost all of this matter is spread across the universe—in the form of stars, nebulas, and galaxies—entirely out of our reach. Of the matter that is accessible to humans here on Earth, most of it comes in relatively unimpressive forms like air, water, and dirt (these things are all important, but quite common here).
To help illustrate the nearly-infinite possibilities of our universe, consider that everything we love—from mac & cheese to the Grand Canyon, and every black hole—falls in this tiny sliver.
Matter is designed to explore this relationship of all things, and develop an appreciation for everything in the universe, even ourselves. After all, you are a conscious collection of matter.
COMPOSITION OF THE KNOWN UNIVERSE
DARK ENERGY, DARK MATTER, & NON-LUMINOUS MATTER: 99.6%
Each month, we box up about $50 worth of our latest finds, typically 4–6 items, and send them to our Matter members around the globe before we even list them in our online shop. Some example items are below.
We've shipped tens of thousands of boxes—and counting—making Matter is one of the most popular science-themed subscription boxes, and the only box that features real scientific artifacts.
Members get our best new items shipped directly to their door each month.
All boxes ship in the first week of each month. By subscribing today, you're claiming a box in next month's limited batch.
Our goal is to help cultivate an appreciation for everything in the universe, including ourselves. After all, we aren't just residents within our universe, but pieces of it examining itself.
ORDER by the end of the current month to get our next box
Boxes ship in the first week of each month. Cutoff is the end of each month Central Standard Time. Any orders placed after that will start with the following box.
some PREVIOUSLY featured items
Photos are representative. Except for newly made products, no two items will look alike. Due to legal shipping restrictions, international boxes may include different items.
LUNAR DUST SIMULANT
This vial contains simulated moon dust. It was engineered to be chemically and mechanically identical to the surface of ancient volcanic plains on the Moon, called maria.
The particle size and composition were designed to match that of the samples returned from the lunar mare during the Apollo missions.
Porcupines have a coat of quills made of coarse hairs covered in a thick coat of keratin, the same material your fingernails are made of. These quills are used as a last line of defense against predators. This is a quill from a South African (Cape) Porcupine.
It was long believed that porcupines could shoot their quills to attack, but this is not the case. Quills are dislodged upon contact. Quills are black and white to make porcupines harder to spot by their colorblind predators.
Tektites are formed when large meteors impact the Earth. The material ejected from the impact crater is heated and fused into glass. This tektite is from the Australasian strewnfield, which covers the area within the blue region in the map below and is estimated to have been caused by an impact 790,000 years ago.
All Australasian tektites have a similar chemical composition, which is why they are thought to be from the same impact. The location of the impact crater is still unknown, but recent studies suggest it is most likely in what is now Vietnam.
Trilobites are a class of extinct arthropod marine creatures. This specimen is of the genus Flexicalymene which lived between 425-500 million years ago. Flexicalymene are used as an index fossil in the Ordovician Period.
It can be difficult to grasp how long ago these creatures lived. For perspective, dinosaurs lived closer in time to us than these trilobites lived to dinosaurs.
Aerogels are a group of materials in which the liquid portion of a gel has been replaced with a gas. It was first created as a result of a bet.
Commonly called "frozen smoke", it is safe to touch, hydrophobic (repels water), and an outstanding insulator. Being the lightest solid material know, aerogels are up to 99.8% air. Its also has the lowest thermal conductivity of any know solid which means it makes a great insulator. Due to its high porosity, NASA has even used aerogel to collect interstellar dust particles in outer space.