Stories about a dinosaur dug up by a pipeline crew and a body heat-powered flashlight are among those that caught the eyes of readers most often this year. Here's a roundup of some of the most-read science stories of 2013.

1. Giant squid

In January, a team from Japan's National Science Museum announced they had captured what is considered the first ever film footage of a giant squid in its natural habitat, 900 metres below the surface of the ocean.

2. Exploding meteor


The Chelyabinsk meteor, seen here through the windshield of a vehicle, caused an estimated $33 million in damage.

A bus-sized meteor injured over 1,000 people and caused more than $33 million in damage after it streaked through the sky and exploded near Chelyabinsk, Russia, in February.

Large chunks of the meteor were recovered from a nearby lake in October.

3. Higgs boson

Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider, the world's most powerful particle collider confirmed in March that they had made a physics breakthrough. They had discovered the elusive Higgs boson, also known as the "God particle." That left a lot of readers wondering what the big deal was, making this a particularly popular article:

The researchers who first predicted the Higgs boson went on to win the Nobel Prize in Physics in October.

4. Penis size study

A University of Ottawa researcher provided scientific evidence in April of what many people quietly suspected — size does matter to women. Men with larger flaccid penises were generally rated more attractive by women, but there was some complexity to the results. 

5. Teenage girl's bright invention


The flashlight invented by 15-year-old Ann Makosinski doesn't need batteries. It's powered by the heat of your hand. (YouTube)

A 15-year-old girl from Victoria, B.C., made headlines in June when her hollow, body heat-powered flashlight made the finals for the Google Science Fair. 

In September, Ann Makosinski won her age category at the science fair..

6. Ice-free Antarctica

Ever wonder what Antarctica would look like without ice? In June, NASA revealed an animation showing what lies beneath the continents snowy and icy cover. If you missed it, here it is:

7. Celestial show

A shooting star spectacular takes place every August, but that doesn't make it any less special. Astronomers say the Perseid meteor shower produces more extra-bright "fireballs" than any other meteor shower. CBC readers were eager to find out the best places to view the meteor shower, making this one of the top stories of the year.

8. Dinosaur discovery

The 10-metre-long fossil skeleton of a dinosaur was unearthed in October by a backhoe operator who was part of a crew installing an oil pipeline near Spirit River, Alta. 

9. Sun preps for a flip


The sun's magnetic field is poised to flip. (ESA/NASA)

The sun is ramping up to the peak of its solar cycle and the dramatic flip of its magnetic field. This happens every 10 to 13 years, but this year solar physicists are especially anxious to see what happens, as the sun has been behaving very strangely since the last time its magnetic field flipped.

"As you can imagine, we’re concerned about what’s going to happen next,” Ken Tapping, a researcher at the National Research Council told CBC News in a story in November.

10. Comet Ison

A much-anticipated comet grazed past the sun in late November. The entire world was watching Comet Ison carefully because if it survived the encounter, astronomers predicted it might be visible to the naked eye in December.

Unfortunately, shortly after the comet's closest approach to the sun, astronomers were unable to see it and concluded it probably hadn't survived.

The next day, the comet surprised everyone by being visible in some images, suggesting that at least part of its nucleus may have made it past the sun. Unfortunately, since then, the comet's remains have been fading, suggesting that we've probably seen the last of Ison.

If you're interested in reading more big science stories from last year, check out the personal list compiled by Bob McDonald, host of CBC's Quirks & Quarks.