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Martian Mold, Mushroom Fitbits, Glow-in-the-Dark Rodents and More Mysterious News Briefly — February 22, 2021

Mysterious News Briefly — February 22, 2021

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory received the first status report from the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, delivered last week by Perseverance, and both the helicopter and its base station are operating as expected. It won’t be launched for at least 30 days … unless a Martian dad who forgot to get his kid a toy for their birthday finds it.

California state senator Scott Wiener has introduced legislation that would decriminalize psychedelics in the state – including psilocybin, psilocyn, MDMA, LSD, ketamine, DMT, mescaline and ibogaine. Is that a bill or an old shopping list once belonging to Jerry Garcia?

Psychologists and sleep scientists in a new study found that a lack of sleep makes it harder to stop unpleasant thoughts that keep you awake. Is that advice or another unpleasant thought?

Residents of Raini, a village in the Indian Himalayas, claim that a nuclear-powered electronic spying device placed in the mountains by the U.S. and Indian governments in the 1960s to spy on China’s nuclear testing may have exploded, caused a recent mysterious and deadly winter flood in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand. Even without social media, things you did years ago can come back to haunt you.

According to a new book, “After: A Doctor Explores What Near-Death Experiences Reveal about Life and Beyond,” near-death experiences are fairly common – about 5 percent of the population has had them. The other 95 percent still drive too fast.

Near Rhuddlan Castle on the northern Welsh coast, archaeologists have unearthed a  Mesolithic camp site  that predates the 13th century castle by 8,000 years, dating back to groups of hunter-gatherers passing through the area 9,000 years ago, leaving behind flint tools and other artifacts. Littering on campgrounds – some things never change.

Springhares have joined the small but growing list of mammals known to emit a biofluorescent glow that makes them visible in the dark. They’re nocturnal rodents native to southern Africa, which makes them a nice snack for cats with insomnia.

A study in the Journal of Comparative Psychology found that dolphins around the world living in different environments have developed a number of similar personality traits to humans, especially curiosity and sociability. If they ever get curious about cable news, they can kiss that sociability goodbye.

Don’t get too attached to your Fitbit – new research shows that wearable electronic sensors cold be replaced by mushrooms, whose mycelium, the fibrous tissues that colonize under the soil, can perceive electrical signals like Fitbit sensors and processors. Will this be the end of fat pizzas?

A new study by NASA and German Aerospace Center scientists found that some microbes, in particular spores from the black mold fungus, could survive for a short time without shelter on the surface of Mars. When does the ‘short time’ end – when Mars colonists try to sell their hut and find out it has black mold?

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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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