We've recently upgraded the Matter website. If you're a current member, you can still access your account here until the transition is complete.
A Science Club for the Modern 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.
All US orders include free, carbon neutral shipping. We buy carbon offsets at no cost to you because that's our responsibility.
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 IN THE NEXT
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.
Almost all cephalopods—the tentacled class of marine mollusks that includes the squid, octopus, and cuttlefish—have the ability to eject dark ink from their body as a method of escaping predators. The ink is stored in an ink sac until it is released to create a dark cloud in the water, giving the cephalopod time to flee from danger.
This ink is made from melanin, the same pigment that colors your skin, hair, and eyes.
A compass is used to orient oneself using the Earth’s magnetic field. This lensatic compass, the type preferred by the military, is great for navigation and made to withstand the elements.
There are a few differences from a basic compass. The sighting wire, which helps you determine direction. The thumb loop, which is used for stability to garner a more accurate reading. And the reading lens, which is where the term “lensatic” comes from.
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.
Fluorite is the mineral form of calcium fluoride. It crystallizes in isometric cubic habit, although octahedral and more complex isometric forms are not uncommon.
Pure fluorite is transparent, both in visible and ultraviolet light, but impurities usually make it a colorful mineral and the stone has ornamental and lapidary uses. Industrially, fluorite is used as a flux for smelting, and in the production of certain glasses and enamels. The purest grades of fluorite are a source of fluoride for hydrofluoric acid manufacture, which is the intermediate source of most fluorine-containing fine chemicals. Optically clear transparent fluorite lenses have low dispersion, so lenses made from it exhibit less chromatic aberration, making them valuable in microscopes and telescopes. Fluorite optics are also usable in the far-ultraviolet and mid-infrared ranges, where conventional glasses are too absorbent for use.