Mysterious News Briefly — May 3, 2021
Five-hundred years after the fourth century colossal statue of the Roman Emperor Constantine mysteriously lost an index finger, the Louvre Museum in Paris determined it had the 14-inch-long digit and sent to the Capitoline Museums in Rome where it was reattached. There are still some other missing pieces, but at least now Constantine can point to where he lost them.
Using ancient mantle rock called peridotite, researchers recreated balls of molten lava as they would have existed 4.5 billion years ago, heated them with lasers to recreate the heat of the early Earth, levitated them in various chemical gases, and determined that the planet’s atmosphere was originally more like that of Venus. And Levitating Lava Balls is a great name for a band.
Scientists studying a recently discovered (2006) species of reef-dwelling segmented worms (Ramisyllis multicaudata) discovered that it only has one head but each branch of the worm has its own organs and gut and each branch ends with a separate butt. With that many butts to clean, it’s no wonder these worms live on a sponge.
A total of 110 people wearing mermaid suits performed underwater acrobatics at a resort in China and set a Guiness world record for the most mermaids in a show. During the show, lonely sailors around the world felt a sudden desire to book a cruise to China.
Using scans and X-rays of 143 medieval skeletons from six cemeteries in and around the city of Cambridge, England, archaeologists found that cancer cases between the 6th and the 16th centuries were roughly a quarter of what they are today – which 10 times higher than previous estimates. This is one time when it’s appropriate to ask, “What were they smoking?”
An astronomer at the Sonneberg Observatory in Germany proposes to use “gravitational lensing” to send messages to intelligent civilizations on other planets in the galaxy using light from the Sun. Let’s hope the first message won’t be “Any jobs there?”
Elon Musk says the biggest problem with AI-controlled self-driving cars is that the rest of the vehicles on the road are controlled by puny human brains. Does anyone else wish that Tesla was controlled by AI too?
University of Glasgow engineers have equipped a smartphone a new ‘bat-sense’ technology that enables it to generate images from sound alone just like a bat brain does. Wonder what kind of image it generates from the sound of a belch? (Asking for a friend holding a beer.)
A new species of tiny, neon orange ‘pumpkin’ toadlets was discovered recently in the mountains of Brazil but scientists warn not to go looking for them because the toxin emitted by their skin can irritate the eyes and mouth. These scientists apparently know what most people do with their tongues when confronted by a psychedelic-looking toad. (And The Pumpkin Toadlets is also a great name for a band.)
A man who says he’s a “time traveler from 2582” claims we’re just five years away from three days of total darkness during which pyramids will appear in the sky emitting a bright light, and he warns not to look at the light. Then he left to tell people in 2026, “I told you not to look at the light!