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Do circus performers have special insurance?

If you're a tightrope walker or fire breather for a circus, your insurance needs may be just a tad different than the rest of us. Read on to discover the kinds of insurance circus performers need.

How dangerous are knife-throwing acts?

Let's just go ahead and say it: yes, knife-throwing is very dangerous. But there are strategies that a knife-thrower uses to keep an act as safe as possible.

How did tattoos become a sideshow feature?

Today, we're fairly accustomed to seeing tattoos on people. But not that long ago, they were a shocking sight for Western audiences, making them a perfect match to be part of the circus.

What's the most dangerous job at the circus?

Working in some circus jobs is not for the faint-hearted. Tightrope walkers, lion tamers or human cannonballs all face death every day. Read on to find out which is the most dangerous job.

What's a pickled punk?

There were many weird and wonderful things you could see at circuses of the past, from bearded ladies to tattooed men. But what the heck was a pickled punk?

How Shallow Diving Works

Imagine jumping from four stories up and landing in a kiddie pool. Some brave souls make a living performing this crazy feat over and over. How do they survive that kind of punishment?

Did Shakespeare use real witches' curses in 'Macbeth'?

Since the 1600s, performances of "Macbeth" have been plagued by accidents and mysterious mishaps. Is it all because Shakespeare used actual witches' curses in the play?

How Knife Throwing Works

You might not be whipping knives at the wheel of death by the time you finish reading this article, but you'll be on your way. Ready to learn about this awesome pastime?

How Plate Spinning Works

You may eat off them every day, but some performers prefer to entertain with their plates. Where did plate spinning start, and what are the physics involved?

How the Cyr Wheel Works

The spotlight goes up on a man, alone except for a large aluminum ring that he grips with one hand. With perfect timing, he steps in, out and around the spinning and wobbling ring in a well-choreographed dance. How does he do it?

How a Flea Circus Works

Tiny but mighty, fleas are capable of some pretty amazing feats. How is insectoid strength harnessed for human entertainment?

How P.T. Barnum Worked

Born to be a showman, P.T. Barnum overcame a number of obstacles (including numerous fires, the loss of several fortunes and one dead elephant) in order to make a buck. Who was this man who was so determined to create the greatest show on Earth?

How Hair Hanging Works

You've probably seen these women gracefully performing pirouettes or juggling acts in the air — all while suspended by their hair. Does it hurt? And what conditioner do they use?

10 Amazing Circus Families

For some, being a circus performer is a job; for others, it is a way of life. Many circus families stretch back seven or eight generations. Who are some of the most storied circus families still under the big top today?

How Contortionists Work

They bend, they twist, they fold themselves into all sorts of strange and unnatural positions. How do contortionists become human pretzels?

How Contact Juggling Works

Watch the ball roll along his arm, around his back, down the other arm and under his palm. You've just seen contact juggling, an ancient practice where the ball stays in constant contact with your body. What's behind its newfound popularity?

How Professional Clowns Work

Whether we love them or hate them, clowns aren't a rare sight. But have you ever thought about how much people can earn when they run off with the circus? Learn that and more about the serious business of clowning.

Dragon Con 2014 Parade Pictures

Dragon Con's parade is an annual event, drawing huge crowds to the heart of Atlanta to see Stormtroopers, Time Lords and a fleet of sci-fi and fantasy vehicles. Here are some of the best moments in the 2014 parade.

How Burlesque Works

A true burlesque performance doesn't have to depend on taking off clothes. It's about telling a story. Whether a leg or something more is the final "reveal," the audience should be pleased if the story is well-told. That's the beauty of burlesque.

Dragon Con 2013 Parade Pictures

Dragon Con's parade is an annual event, drawing huge crowds to the heart of Atlanta to see Stormtroopers, Time Lords and a fleet of sci-fi vehicles. Here are some of the best moments in the 2013 parade.

Top 10 Wizarding Fails

In the hope of educating future wizards, we give you this sorcerer's hall of shame, populated by those who fell from grace, grasped for the stars or failed to leave the tarmac in the first place. How did your favorite wizard fare?

How Indoor Clouds Work

Can weather move indoors? Thanks to an artist from Amsterdam, yes. Learn how these works of climate art come to be, and whether you're likely to have indoor weather of your own anytime soon.

Dragon*Con 2012 Parade Pictures

Dragon*Con is a science fiction and fantasy convention that takes place in Atlanta, Ga., every Labor Day weekend. One of its main events: a parade featuring Stormtroopers, steampunk, Stan Lee and a whole lot more.

Gen Con 2012 Costumes

Gen Con is a huge gaming convention held every year in Indianapolis, Ind. And, just like many cons, it's a home for great costumes.

Costumes 101 Pictures

They're at every sci-fi convention and Halloween party -- those people who always have the most amazing, original costumes. Learn the basics of building a costume and find out what it takes to do well in costume competitions.