Apr 16, 2021 I Paul Seaburn

UFO Detectors, Real Lightsabers, Shrinking Brains and More Mysterious News Briefly — April 15, 2021

Mysterious News Briefly — April 15, 2021

New Jersey State Park Police were called to Saw Dust Pile Road in Wharton State Forest after a hiker found something labeled “UFO Detector Site” that the bomb squad “disarmed” by unplugging the headphone wire from the block of wood and the soup can it was plugged into. Sad, hungry ETs were seen in the woods holding spoons and soup bowls.

Researchers using DNA from psychics in an attempt to find a gene that might cause some families to have generations of psychics were unable to positively identify one, but they uncovered a non-protein-coding region adjacent to the TNRC18 gene on chromosome 7 that was present in most non-psychics but absent in all psychic cases. Psychics already knew this, as did their mothers, grandmothers, aunts …

Some students at the University of California Santa Barbara spent a semester watching cows from space as part of an exercise in tracking how local wildlife, like wild elks, and livestock interact. “Watching cows from space” is something college students also did in the 60’s, but without the need for a class.

If your garden isn’t growing too well, a new study suggests it’s because human noise pollution affects the diversity of plant life in an ecosystem even after the noise has been removed. In other words, yelling “Hey you kids … turn that music down!” doesn’t protect the delicate ears of your corn.

New research from the University of Zurich found that humans evolved with the unique ability to use screams to "signal the affective significance of events" to others and that there are six kinds of screams – anger, fear, pain, extreme joy, pleasure, and grief. A possible #7 is the scream one makes when discovering the Zoom camera is still on.

Yet another invasive animal has been discovered in Florida – this time it’s the tropical clawed frog, also known as the western clawed frog, which are voracious consumers of insects, but also like to claw tadpoles and young frogs of other species, and can carry fungal and viral pathogens that are potentially dangerous to other frog species. Clawed Frogs would make a great name for a band and Claude Frawgs a great name for a herpetologist.

Soichi Noguchi, an astronaut from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, recently set a world record for the longest time between spacewalks when he ventured outside the ISS 15 years and 214 days from the last time he had done so in August 2005. He set a second record for the longest time between having to beat on the door and yell “Let me in! This isn’t funny!”

Indian jumping ants surprised researchers when they discovered that female worker ants can decrease their brain size and increase the size of their ovaries, allowing them compete to take over when the queen dies, with the losers growing their brains back to normal size. Does this explain some human royal families?

A professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania warns that Elon Musk’s goal of putting his Neuralink company’s chips in every brain, like the one he did recently to make a monkey play Pong, is akin to suicide and she worries that without proper regulations, your innermost thoughts and biometric data could be sold to the highest bidder. “You mean they’re not already?” said everyone looking at the “personalized” ads on Facebook.

At a recent virtual press conference, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro seemed to demonstrate a real retractable lightsaber, but later reports showed that it’s not a laser sword but one with an extendable illuminated arm coiled inside the handle. Cool and probably available for hundreds of dollars in the Disney World souvenir shop when it reopens.

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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