May 18, 2021 I Paul Seaburn

Stoned Cicadas, Bizarre Dreams, Bigfoot in Court and More Mysterious News Briefly — May 17, 2021

Mysterious News Briefly — May 17, 2021

China became the second country to land a rover on Mars with the touchdown of its lander-rover combo in Utopia Planitia, a flat plane in the same region where NASA’s Viking 2 lander touched down in 1976. The Zhurong rover is named after the god of fire in ancient Chinese mythology, so if there’s any life on Mars, it may want to stay near the water.

New research, rodents and pigs can also breathe through their butts in a process called intestinal respiration. “It’s not flatulence – I was catching my breath,” said the spokes-pig.

The extremely rare Bornean Rajah Scops-Owl (Otus brookii brookii), an owl with bright orange eyes, was seen on Borneo by ornithologists for the first time in 125 years. “Who-who-who told them where I was hiding?”

A Washington County criminal court in Barre, Vermont, dropped charges of first-degree arson, reckless endangerment and giving false information to law enforcement and instead found Bigfoot incompetent to stand trial – “Bigfoot” in this case is Mark E. Shaw, a member of Howard Stern’s Wack Pack. “Remember that,” said every Sasquatch to his lawyer.

Good news for those fearing the millions of cicadas about to emerge from their 17-year slumber – some of them will be infected with a sexually-transmitted fungus similar to psilocybin mushrooms that causes their butts to fall off and render them stoned but unable to copulate. “Been there, done that, now I know why I couldn’t find my wallet,” said a magic mushroom fan.

Spencer Silver, the 3M chemist who invented the glue that made Post-it Notes possible, died recently at the age of 80. “Don’t you dare bring those in here,” said St. Peter.

A Tufts University neuroscientist explains in a new paper how bizarre and hallucinatory dreams help us to process and generalize experiences during our waking life, improving our ability to adapt to situations. Especially situations where you find yourself at work in your underwear.

One of Waymo’s fully autonomous minivans got stuck at an intersection in Chandler, Arizona, but when a roadside assistance team came to help, it drove away and then blocked a three-lane road. “You go, girl!” thought Teslas everywhere.

A new poll found that 25% of U.S. men think they could beat a king cobra in a fight, while another 25% think they would lose a fight against a house cat. The other 50% think they’d pay to watch either one.

University of Washington researchers say they have successfully used a protein called parapinopsin to manipulate neurons and certain neurotransmitters – a protein extracted from  lampreys, a jawless fish similar to an eel – and think it could eventually be used to treat mood disorders, addiction, depression and even pain. Except in the lampreys.

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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