Mysterious News Briefly — March 4, 2021
Using a new X-ray technique, scientists in The Netherlands managed to digitally unfold a 17th century ‘locked letter’ – a letter which had been folded into its own envelope – and read its contents without damaging the paper. They were probably relieved when they got to the salutation and it didn’t begin with “Dear John,”.
To stop the annual destruction of 4 billion male chicks – useless to farmers because they can’t lay eggs, the Israeli ag-tech startup eggXYt has found a way to use CRISPR gene editing to make chickens lay sex-detectable eggs so those destined to be males can be removed and sent to groceries instead. If your breakfast eggs seem to be crowing as they run, blame these scientists.
Fans of psychedelic microdosing may be disappointed to learn that researchers at Imperial College London found that placebos worked equally as well as microdoses of drugs in blind tests. So maybe you’re saying “Whoa!” and “Dude!” just because you like saying them.
A mysterious sea creature measuring over 23 feet long and weighing an estimated four tons that washed ashore on Broad Haven South Beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales, is possibly a huge basking shark but was too decomposed for biologists to be certain. As always, there was a small contingent that just wanted to blow it up so they could be famous on the internet.
An ancient 4.5 meter (14.75 foot) crocodile weighing 1100 pounds was captured and pulled from Darwin Harbor, prompting rangers to issue a warning that crocodiles are on the move during the heavy wet season. After seeing this creature, a snake in your toilet doesn’t seem so scary anymore.
Researchers studying a 5,600-year-old Stone Age woman's skull in Italy found deep in a cave without a body have determined that its many scratches came from the fact that the woman’s corpse was dismembered and the skull rolled away, down a hill and deep into the cave where an archaeologist needed rock climbing equipment to retrieve it. This is a sad tale and a possible opening scene for the next Indiana Jones movie.
According to a new study, the Gulf Stream — one of Earth's major climate-regulating ocean currents and a mainstay of weather reports — is moving slower than it has in thousands of years due to climate change, and this "unprecedented" slowdown could cause it to disappear completely by 2100, causing heat waves, massive hurricanes and more destructive weather. Gulf Stream motor homes are still running OK, but you may want to switch to premium.
It’s too early in the season for their annual migration, but huge herds of buffalo have been seen leaving Yellowstone National Park in an unusual direction. The last thing to scare buffaloes like this was Buffalo Bill, so be on the lookout for anyone with a Frank Zappa beard.
Researchers at Tel Aviv University took the ear of a dead locust and connected it to a robot that receives the ear's electrical signals, allowing it to hear what a locust hears and respond accordingly. The number one thing it most likely hears is “Damn locusts!” followed by the rustling of pages of someone searching a bible for what to do next.
The third test of the SpaceX Starship 10 ended with the full-scale rocket reaching an altitude of six miles before returning to a successful landing, prompting SpaceX commentator John Insprucker to declare, "third time's a charm as the saying goes" – and then the Starship exploded and was tossed in the air, before crashing to the ground in flames. Should Elon Musk fire the engineer or the announcer?