1. The 15 most toxic places to live

As the world's population balloons to almost 7 billion, it's becoming more difficult to find a place on Earth unaffected by man-made pollution.

2. Lazarus species

These 13 animals have been rediscovered in modern times, sometimes after being considered extinct for millions of years.

3. As seen from space: Cities at night

See this gallery of NASA photos of the Earth's major cities. It'll give a whole new perspective on how urban growth is affecting the planet.

4. Meet the boy who discovered a plastic-devouring microbe

It's not your average science fair when the 16-year-old winner effectively solves a global waste problem.

5. 10 flu-fighting foods

Forget the debate over whether you should get the H1N1 vaccine. Here's what you can eat to boost your immune system.

6. 40 farmers under 40

Meet the new crop of American farmers — young and energetic idealists who are bringing local, sustainable food back to the table.

7. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

A sea of plastic bags and bottles is growing in the Pacific Ocean. Is there anything we can do to stop it?

8. Indonesia's psychedelic fish named a new species

With a face like that and the odd habit of bouncing along the ocean floor like a rubber ball  — it's no wonder.

9. Aluminum bottle manufacturer admits bottles leach BPA

Gaiam announced that bottles previously labeled "BPA-free" in fact leached BPA at nearly 20 times the level of a SIGG bottle. (It wasn't a good year for water bottle makers.)  

10. Traffic congestion dips as the economy falters

The economic downturn had one positive effect — it changed the way people got around.

MNN's top 10 stories for 2009
We're proud of our first year, and we'd like to share our most-viewed and remarked-upon articles of the year.