Mysterious News Briefly — September 14, 2020
At the St. Louis Zoo, a 62-year-old female ball python laid seven eggs despite not being near a male ball python for at least two decades, a highly unusual feat for female ball pythons but a first for one over 60, which is well past their age for producing eggs. Let’s spin the wheel and see if it comes up Accident, Climate Change, Mistake in Data, Escape, Another 2020 Anomaly or Sign of the Apocalypse.
Four-time astronaut and former NASA administrator Charlie Bolden says the agency’s large Space Launch System rocket will go away soon and be replaced by heavy launch rockets from commercial companies. This is the culmination of a trend that began when NASA turned the production of Tang over to General Foods.
A new study using dogs trained to lie still in a functioning MRI scanner found that their cold, wet noses act as thermal detectors to find the warm surface of prey. Time to put your good shoes in the freezer?
A poll taken by a sex toy company found that 14% of male responders admitted that Alexa, their Amazon smart-speaker, sexually aroused them. Did they ask if they were aroused by two Alexas talking to each other? (Asking for a friend.)
Believe it or not, Uranus will be visible to the naked eye this week between 11:30 p.m. and 4 a.m. Eastern time within the constellation Aries, about 12 degrees left of Mars. Astronomers are working on a press release to let you know they already heard the joke.
A botanist in Australia made an unbelievable discovery when she found a new species of a flower dubbed the “underground orchid” because the beautiful parasite spends its life underground. The location of the Rhizanthella gardneri is being kept a secret because it is unique while stupid people are not.
Archie McPhee, sellers of curios, is upset because PayPal’s objectionable words filter inexplicably rejects any transaction containing the word “tardigrade” — which blocks the sale of its Tardigrade Ornaments. Tardigrades don’t seem to mind, perhaps because they know they’ll be around long after Paypal, Archee McPhee and tardigrade ornaments are gone.
Marine biologists are at a loss to explain why orcas are ramming boats off the coast of Northern Spain for no apparent reason. It’s annoying but not exactly the kind of behavior that will get them a blockbuster Spielberg movie.