Plants that gamble. Floating creatures in the clouds of alien worlds. An ice-encased military base uncovered by climate change. Our favorite stories of 2016 didn’t necessarily employ the most cutting-edge science—for that, see our breakthroughs of the year—but they were fun, compelling reads that resonated widely with our audience here and on social media. Some of these were our personal favorites; some were our most popular stories of the year. Either way, we hope you’ll enjoy reading them again.