Apr 20, 2021 I Paul Seaburn

Ingenuity Flies, Mosquitos Fall, Brazil Nut Effect Explained and More Mysterious News Briefly — April 19, 2021

Mysterious News Briefly — April 19, 2021

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter completed the first ever flight on Mars, lifting itself 10 feet off the Martian surface for about 40 seconds. Was Perseverance it disappointed it didn’t return with a pizza?

The “Brazil nut effect” – where Brazil nuts in a container of mixed nuts always rise to the top – has finally been solved by scientists using time-resolved 3D imaging who found that jostling the container eventually turns the Brazil nuts to a vertical position, where their bullet shape then allows them to shoot to the top and return to horizontal. Does this happen at orgies too? (Asking for a kinky friend).

From the “What could possibly go wrong” file comes news that the biotechnology company Oxitec plans this spring to release genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys – the mosquitos pass “self-limiting” genes to their offspring so that the resulting generation does not survive into adulthood, reducing the overall population. Until more is known, keep your mouth closed while cycling.

NASA awarded a $2.9 billion contract to SpaceX to build the spacecraft that will land the first astronauts on the surface of the Moon since 1972. Worried astronauts were assured that it will not be self-driving.

Scientists have discovered a new variety of light waves which can pass through opaque objects, effectively making them invisible to both eyes and cameras – a technology that could one day replace MRI. Look for cheap knockoffs in alternative newspaper ads under the heading “Next generation X-ray glasses!”

Elon Musk’s girlfriend, Grimes (aka Claire Elise Boucher) says she’s ready to accompany him to Mars and eventually “die with red dirt of Mars beneath” her feet, but space experts warn that she won’t be buried on Mars because of contamination and her body may instead be cremated or possibly eaten by fellow colonists, including you-know-who. Grimes with limes and thyme?

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft attained a new milestone this weekend when it flew 50 astronomical units (AU) from the sun (one AU is 93 million miles, or 150 million km), a distance achieved by just four other operational probes in the history of spaceflight. That’s a record impressive to everyone except owners of diesel-engine Mercedes.

A new study found the reason why tarantulas are on every continent except Antarctica is because they date back to the Cretaceous period when South America was attached to Africa, India and Australia as part of the Gondwana supercontinent. Was the key finding fossils of dinosaurs screaming and pointing at the ceilings of caves?

Just when you thought it was safe to go back outside, a volcanologist in New Zealand says we are in danger from pools of magma stored deep in the Earth's crust that are too small to be detected by current seismic technology but big enough to cause eruptions. For now, stay home, open your windows and watch nature shows.

Fat Matt’s Vortex, a bar built in the late 1800s in downtown Kansas City, Kansas, was once a funeral parlor and crematorium, which may explain why patrons and employees claim to have paranormal experiences such as hearing footsteps, seeing doors slamming, feeling someone touching them and the like. “Been there, done that, it’s just a creepy guy” said every woman who’s ever been in a bar.

Paul Seaburn

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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