Mysterious News Briefly — March 3, 2021
Researchers in New Zealand have discovered three new shark species that glow in the dark – the blackbelly lanternshark, the southern lanternshark and the kitefin shark, which grows up to 1.8 meters (6 feet), making it the largest-known luminous underwater creature. Sounds scary, but for nighttime swimmers it beats trying to tie a bell on their dorsal fins.
NASA has begun high-voltage functional ground testing on the agency’s first all-electric X-plane, the X-57 Maxwell. The Energizer Bunny wants to know if this means he has the Right Stuff.
Meteorite hunters are scouring an area north of Cheltenham, England, for fragments of the fireball that lit up northern Europe on Sunday night. Depending on where they originated, these fragments could tell us much about the origins of the solar system, making them more valuable than toilet paper.
Those familiar with the ‘marshmallow test’ – where kids who resist immediate gratification of one marshmallow get two later – and who take pride in passing it will be disappointed to learn that cuttlefish can also pass the test. What’s more shocking – that a cephalopod can delay gratification or that cuttlefish like marshmallows?
Everyone is familiar with possums playing ‘possum’ – pretending they’re dead to avoid a predator attack — but new research finds that the larvae of the European antlion (Euroleon nostras) – a dragonfly-like insect – can also lie motionless up to 61 minutes to avoid being eaten. Even more amazing, the researcher who stayed motionless for 61 minutes while watching it looked dead too.
Lampreys have a face only a mother could love, but the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has produced a brochure it hopes will convince everyone to fall in love with the state’s 10 native lamprey species, which are high caloric food sources for many species of fish, birds, and marine mammals. Could Oregon’s next state motto be “Love Lampreys or Die”?
Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who once ran an ad for a girlfriend who would accompany him on a SpaceX flight, announced he has bought all eight seats on a planned SpaceX flight to orbit the Moon in 2023. Is he a benevolent billionaire hoping to share a unique experience … or is he now planning a space orgy?
Gut instinct is still better than computer algorithms at weeding out fake online reviews of hotels, restaurants and other items, according to a new study by the University of York and Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. If you plan to trust your gut, first loosen your belt and avoid spicy foods.
A former DJ and current researcher at the Queensland Brain Institute has combined careers to become a ‘Fish DJ’ – she’s developed a speaker system for zebrafish larvae and discovered that their hearing is considerably better than originally thought. Which is their favorite band – Phish, Hootie & the Blowfish or Country Joe and the Fish?
The Gemini North telescope, part of the International Gemini Observatory located on Maunakea in Hawaii, photographed an extremely and seldom seen occurrence of both a red sprite and a blue jet – sprites occur in the mesosphere and are triggered by lower-altitude lightning, while blue jets are triggered by a discharge of electricity from the positively-charged upper portion of a storm cloud to the negatively-charged cloud top. Does this give anyone else the urge for a soft drink and a trip on a discount airline?