Mysterious News Briefly — April 1, 2021
A 500-pound Bigfoot statue named Daryl (after a certain insurance commercial) was stolen from a yard in Norfolk, Nebraska, and local police have no leads on the thief. Could this be a Bigfoot hunter heading for Oklahoma who forgot to pack his decoy?
A survey of 2,000 UK adults found that 15% of them believe Earth will be ruled by extraterrestrials by the year 2040. As expected, politicians who support it are already calling it ETexit.
Scientists at Tufts University in Medford, Mass removed small clumps of skin stem cells from frog embryos and were shocked when the cells organized themselves into balls and grew into clusters called xenobots with no brains that were still able to move around, heal themselves and round up debris into piles. If they could speak into a microphone, we wouldn’t need politicians.
In graves in Sweden’s Valsgärde burial ground, researchers recently found two Iron Age warriors sent into the afterlife in boats with swords, shields and a surprise -- luxurious feather bedding stuffed with duck, goose, chicken, grouse and eagle-owl down. Are these the original Viking Cruises?
For the first time, scientists were able to collect human DNA from the air in a room by vacuuming the air and passing it through an ultrafine filter to pick out environmental DNA like skin and hair particles. Sure, the crook stole your TV, but at least you got a free house cleaning.
Tiny bits of debris and mineral particles found in the Sør Rondane Mountains of Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, have been traced to a meteorite that exploded in the atmosphere above the frozen continent 430,000 years ago. How do researchers find 430,000-year-old dust in Antarctica while you can’t find the keys you dropped last winter until the snow melts?
Using surface-towed marine controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) imaging, researchers for the first time were able to locate substantial freshwater plumes in the ocean waters off the coast of Hawaii that escaped from freshwater reservoirs underneath the ocean floor – water that can help supply more drinking water to the world. Now will you stop going to the bathroom while swimming?
The Inspiration4 space mission – the first all-private space trip -- has finalized its four-person crew with the addition of Sian Proctor, an entrepreneur and pilot who will serve as the mission pilot, and Christopher Sembroski, a Lockheed-Martin employee who is joining the crew as a mission specialist. It’s a three-day trip, so they have until September to avoid watching Gilligan’s Island reruns.
Chemists at MIT have developed the world’s first synthetic mucus that can one day be used as a lubricant or to control microbiome composition and infectious disease. It took longer to develop than the researchers expected because it’s also fun to play with.
An “artificial placenta” that can support premature babies while they finish developing and growing as well as fight off serious medical complications is less that five years away, according to scientists at the University of Michigan working on it. Will the babies grow up with an have an unexplainable urge to live in a guest house?