Yellow rain falls from the sky in a sudden freak storm, and in the aftermath, a woman is found dead with her face partially eaten away. A serial killer is able to reverse his aging process after he is experimented on using salamander cells. An ice core sample taken from a meteor crater is revealed to contain extraterrestrial worms that infect their hosts, driving them into uncontrollable rages. All of these sound too extraordinary to be real—but, then again, they’ve also been episodes of The X-Files. In its nearly decade-long history, the show ran for nine seasons (and two feature films), and was praised for its masterful storytelling and complex characters. (It was announced in March of this year that the show would be coming back for a limited miniseries, which will premiere on January 24, 2016.) While some of the storylines on The X-Files often sway closer to science fiction, they have real science at their roots. It’s this science that grounds these stories and makes them feel convincing, makes us all channel our inner Fox Mulder and want to believe. Fans who work in STEM fields have praised the show for its realistic depictions of science. Joselyn Rojas, an X-Files fan and medical doctor who hosts a small Twitter segment called #XFScienceSundays, is one of them. “The fact that they knew how to walk that fine edge between reality and science fiction made this show a treat to scientists such as myself,” she said. It should be no surprise that The X-Files did such a great job of portraying real science—because the show had a real scientist helping behind the scenes.