Mysterious News Briefly — December 18, 2020
Just when you thought the madness of 2020 was finally over, astronomers have discovered invisible ‘arches of chaos‘ — cosmic highways spanning across the solar system that are caused by gravitational interactions between planets. Didn’t Arches of Chaos open for Black Sabbath?
A soldier in the U.S. Space Force was demoted a rank from Senior Airman to Airman 1st Class for skipping mandatory drills in order to search nearby Target stores for a PlayStation 5 console. In his defense, outfighting and outwitting desperate parents storming a Target for last-minute Christmas presents can be a good alien invasion exercise.
Over 30,000 tremors were recorded in Antarctica since the end of August by University of Chile’s National Seismological Center, a 20-fold increase over the normal number, with some days having more than 1,000, especially the Bransfield Strait between the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. How long before penguins start lying down on the melting ice to spell out “Will you fix climate change already?”
Botanists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, have picked their top new species for 2020 and the winner is Gastrodia agnicellus, a flower from Madagascar deemed the “world’s ugliest orchid.” An appropriate symbol for the world’s ugliest year?
A26661-BCG, the brightest cluster galaxy in the huge cluster galaxy Abell 2661 (A2661), is 10 times the size of the Milky Way and has the largest galactic core ever seen, but astronomers using various telescopes and techniques are baffled by the fact that, while it should have one of the largest supermassive black holes ever ‘not’ seen, they’ve found no evidence of it nor signs that it ever had one. Did they look in the supermassive clothes dryer or under the supermassive sofa cushions?
At the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), researchers with NASA/JPL-Caltech introduced their “Mars Dogs,” modified versions of Boston Dynamic’s Spot robot dog, which are being trained to be sent to Mars in the future instead of rovers. SETI needs to start listening for alien messages about developing robot squirrels.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that deadly “brain-eating amoeba” (Naegleria fowleri) infections that were historically restricted to the Southern United States have been spreading in recent years across the country. If you’re looking for good news, it means we still have brains worth eating.
The coffin-maker in Indonesia who had a meteorite crash through his roof in August says news reports that he sold it for $1.8 million are wrong, he didn’t even get enough to quit his job making coffins, and now he fears for his life because of threats from those who think he’s a millionaire. He could still make a fortune, but only if he turns his story into a country-western song.
A worker at a ‘Jurassic Park’ resort currently under construction on Rinca Island in Indonesia had a real Jurassic Era experience when he was mauled by one of the 1,000 Komono dragons living at the resort. This sounds like the plot of a new movie combining “Jurassic Park” with “National Lampoon’s Vacation.”
A study by the University of Washington found that a network of lightning-detecting ground-based sensors in the Arctic are showing a drastic increase in the number of strikes in the Arctic compared to a decade ago. While some are blaming climate change, kids are writing letters to Santa warning him not to touch anything metal on the sleigh.