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Baby Planet, Headless Robots, Moon Selfies and More Mysterious News Briefly — October 20, 2020

Mysterious News Briefly — October 20, 2020

NASA is developing the ExoCam — a camera that will detach from the Artemis 3 lander as it descends to the Moon, rocket to the surface, and record the landing from the ground up. See Mom, I told you taking all of those selfies would get me a job someday.

Scientists are warning the Alaska Department of Natural Resources that a melting glacier could unleash a huge landslide of rocks into Prince William Sound, causing a mega-tsunami in the next 12 months that would far exceed the largest wave ever recorded. If you’re thinking you’re going to need a bigger board, look up the 1958 Fairweather Fault tsunami first (1720 feet).

If you’re having trouble working up a good spit, researchers in the Netherlands have discovered a previously unknown fourth pair of salivary glands in humans, located deep inside the skull where the nasal cavity meets the throat. Sorry dippers, this is not a good reason to shove a pinch of tobacco up your nose.

A new study in the journal Transportation Research found that people tend to overestimate their walk times and distances because they generally choose boring paths for their hikes. Warning – a street lined with bakeries is never boring but not conducive to nonstop walking.

If you’re looking for a unique diamond engagement ring, the Mineral Resources Research Group of the Faculty of Earth Sciences of the University of Barcelona found natural diamonds formed through low pressure and temperature-related geological processes in rocks on the bottom of the ocean near Cuba. Check first – she may just be happier with a trip to Cuba.

Astronomers have released the first direct image of the exoplanet Beta Pictoris c, a newborn that’s only 23 million years old, located just 63 light-years away and still surrounded by its baby planet disk of gas and dust. Do baby planets teeth? (Asking for a nearby moon.)

Fans of piercing flock every year to the annual Vegetarian Festival in Phuket, Thailand, where people parade with long metal spikes through their faces and tongues. If you’re wondering what long metal spikes have to do with vegetarianism, you’ve obviously been ignoring the stuff between the steak pieces on your kabob.

The robot manufacturer Agility is offering a human-like (albeit headless) robot called Digit that can pick up, carry, stack and load boxes onto a truck. Does the lack of a head mean it can’t breathe in the coronavirus? (Asking for a friend in procurements at Amazon.)

Aerospace engineers in the Physics Department of the New York City College of Technology have until 2046 to build and test a direct fusion drive to thrust a spacecraft to Saturn’s moon Titan in under two years (half the time it took the Cassini mission) when the Earth and Titan are at their next closest point. By that time, Elon Musk expects to have them in his Teslas.

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Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.
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