Mysterious News Briefly — April 22, 2021
The theme of this year’s annual conference of The Society of Catholic Scientists is “E.T., A.I., and Minds Beyond the Human” and it will feature a full range of education and theology experts covering topics on how Catholics should deal with ETs. Indigenous people are thinking, “Been there, done that, visit Mexico.”
Astronomers watching Proxima Centauri, the red dwarf that is our Sun’s nearest star neighbor, witnessed it spew a massive flare that ranked as one of the most violent seen anywhere in the galaxy – one that would have cooked life forms on its nearest planet. Did any of them pick up radio signals of an alien reporter crying “Oh, the grey-anity!”?
If you’re feeling unusually magnetic, it could be from an ancient supernova – scientists say the mysterious isotope iron-60 dusting our planet is actually fallout from an interstellar cloud of dust left by a supernova explosion millions of years ago that we’ve been passing through for 33,000 years. No, this doesn’t mean you can stop eating your spinach.
Before you try to ‘bee’ healthy and slather your breakfast with honey, researchers are finding traces of the radioactive isotope cesium-137 from fallout from nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s that have stuck around in sticky American honey. Bees are spreading the word: “They’re onto us … go back to mass stinging.”
On Japan’s Ryukyu island chain, scientists have discovered a previously unknown 8-inch-long, 1-inch-wide centipede that likes to dine on giant rat-sized freshwater prawns that live in the streams and rivers of southeast Asia. Said Crocodile Dundee, “If you want any more shrimp, throw a Scolopendra gigantea on the bar-bee.”
Recordings of the songs of bowhead whales taken during the 2018-2019 winter in the Arctic waters off Canada show that the whales skipped their annual migration south – an indication of how much climate change has warmed the Bering Sea. Not that the whales are trying to get a recording contract and like the Bering’s acoustics better?
China announced it will launch its own space telescope in 2024 – the Chinese Space Station Telescope (CSST) will have a 6.6-foot (2 meters) diameter lens with a field of view 300 times greater than that of 31-year-old Hubble telescope. “Pics or it didn’t happen,” thought Hubble.
British scientists are asking the public to help find 15 trees grown from 500 seeds flown around the Moon during NASA’s Apollo 14 mission in 1971 and then planted in the US, Europe and South America — NASA has confirmed that there are about 60 ‘Moon trees’ — redwoods, Douglas firs, sycamores, sweetgums and loblolly pines – still growing somewhere. Look for a squirrel in a helmet holding an American flag.
Authorities in Queensland are looking for a mysterious ‘ghost child’ in blue wandering alone on the four-lane Hume Highway in Bardia, in south west Sydney, on Sunday night that was picked up on a driver’s dashcam. Ghostly women in white are also looking – this is infringing on their territory.
A giant skeleton washed up on a beach on South Uist, the second-largest island of Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, had many people thinking it was a relative of the Loch Ness monster or a Kraken, but cooler scientific heads prevailed and identified it as a very large sperm whale. That was disappointing news to those who had already named it, set up souvenir stands and bought boats to give monster-hunting tours.