5 Tireless, Awkward Mascots Making Science More Fun

Fighting the good fight
Sammy Soil, as you might guess, is the National Resources Conservation Service's mascot for soil conservation. This happy little dirt clod with grass for hair first appeared in 1967, and was created by a retired NRCS conservationist named Ernest Whitaker. The subject of many children's coloring books, Sammy spreads the word about the importance of soil with a gigantic smile. U.S. Department of Agriculture via Flickr

Mascots are a strange thing. When it comes to sports or general rallying around a topic, humans seem to need another human sweating underneath a furry costume to bring them together. Sometimes that costume is an animal (my middle school mascot was a trailblazer, a.k.a. a horse with a flaming mane and tail). Or sometimes they’re something else entirely (my fellow Clearwater High School alumni know the struggle of having an anthropomorphized tornado as a mascot). Because we’re fans of all things science at Popular Science, we’ve searched high and low for the strangest, nerdy science mascots out there. Here are a few of our favorites.