The most popular news stories on our web site this year included viruses so large that they rival a bacterium, one of the longest-running experiments in history and how our universe could have been created in the collapse of a four-dimensional star.

1. Simulations back up theory that Universe is a hologram

A ten-dimensional theory of gravity makes the same predictions as standard quantum physics in fewer dimensions.

December 10, 2013

2. Quantum gas goes below absolute zero

Ultracold atoms pave way for negative-Kelvin materials.

January 3, 2013

3. World's slowest-moving drop caught on camera at last

Once-forgotten 'tar pitch' experiment yields results after seven decades.

July 18, 2013

4. Underwater volcano is Earth's biggest

Tamu Massif rivals the size of Olympus Mons on Mars.

September 5, 2013

5. Did a hyper-black hole spawn the Universe?

Big Bang was mirage from collapsing higher-dimensional star, theorists propose.

September 13, 2013

6. Giant viruses open Pandora's box

Genome of largest viruses yet discovered hints at 'fourth domain' of life.

July 18, 2013

7. Mystery humans spiced up ancients' sex lives

Genome analysis suggests there was interbreeding between modern humans, Neanderthals, Denisovans and an unknown archaic population.

November 19, 2013

8. Animal-rights activists wreak havoc in Milan laboratory

University says loss of animals and lab records may ruin years of work on psychiatric diseases.

April 22, 2013

9. Large magma reservoir gets bigger

But earthquakes, not eruptions, are Yellowstone's most serious geological risk.

October 28, 2013

10. Long-lost continent found under the Indian Ocean

Sand from Mauritian beaches reveals rock from ancient landmass.

February 24, 2013

This article is reproduced with permission from the magazine Nature. The article was first published on December 16, 2013.