Cats exist in their own three states of matter: loaf, cinnamon roll, and liquid. The last category is certainly the most confusing because cats should be solids — and of course, they can be. But anyone who owns a cat knows kitties can contort themselves in the most astonishing ways, seamlessly smooshing themselves into any object they choose.

A cat researcher tells Inverse that cats’ anatomy makes them the fluffy liquids we know and love.

“Cats are super flexible in general, and a big part of that has to do with the structure of their collar bones which are quite different than ours,” Mikel Delgado, a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, says. “They’re only attached by muscle, not bone, which adds to the cat’s already impressive flexibility (for example in their spine). This means that if their head fits through, probably the rest of them can too, which is why some cats can squeeze under doors or cracked windows.”

(Left to Right): Bug and Nishi. (Images: Heather W, James O'Brien)

Being flexible could be advantageous to cats, who still, after all these years, haven’t been able to kick their wild instincts.

“[Flexibility] allows cats to access elusive prey hiding in tight spots, or escape predators,” Delgado says. “It also allows them to jump, climb, and run fast!”

Sparty taking a nap in the bathroom sink.

While the idea of cats as liquid might seem like meme fodder — which it totally is — there’s been some research about kitty liquids. In a 2014 study called “Can a Cat Be Both a Solid and a Liquid?” French scientist Marc-Antoine Fardin calculated how and why cats of different ages can retain such unusual shapes. The study won in last year’s Ig Nobel Prize, which awards science research that could be considered silly — not that kitty fluid dynamics is a joke, or anything.

It’s true that we may never understand how cats can be liquids, cinnamon rolls, loaves, rotisserie chickens, muffins, eggplants, and doughnuts all at the same time. But no one ever claimed that comprehending these floofy enigmas would be easy.

One hundred meters off the coast of Noli, Italy, scuba divers approach a pod of 2,000-liter acrylic demi-spheres that resemble giant jellyfish standing at the bottom of the ocean. Anchored to the ocean floor by ropes, chains, and screws, the biospheres surround a half-ton metal tree that serves as a 12-foot-tall cable protector. But take a closer look: bright, fresh plants are inside, thriving 15-36 feet below the surface.

It’s that time of year where the pressure’s on to find super cool gifts for the people you love. Instead of scrambling around this year for last-minute gifts, why not head over to one of our favorite lifestyle product sites, Huckberry, and take a look at the Levimoon, which you’ve probably guessed by now is a levitating moon.

Most people know how much a pound weighs — 16 ounces. The worldly among us may know that a kilogram is 2.2 pounds — or 1,000 grams. But do we really know what these numbers mean? Agreeing on units of measurement is a lot more complicated than it might seem, and the way humans agree on weights around the world is about to completely change.

Like all teens, Varun Madan gets distracted from his homework. One evening, rather than reading about butterflies for a school assignment, he accidentally tumbled down an internet rabbit hole of honeybee research. That detour led the Orlando teen to compete in one of the biggest middle school science fairs in the United States this week, armed with his plan to save the world’s bee colonies from total collapse.

Of all the ambitious ideas that might deliver us from the wrath of the changing climate, turning human urine into liquid gold seems like a long shot. But according to scientists in South Africa, it turns out that the ubiquitous fluid contains a key ingredient that might help us in a variety of ways — including, oddly, a way to rebuild our cities once rising tides engulf coastal communities.