Mysterious News Briefly — June 23, 2021
Many people in the Indian city of Junagadh reported seeing 30-40 mysterious bright lights in the sky on June 21 that some are comparing to the famous Phoenix Lights, and experts are saying they were not a meteor or SpaceX satellites. Whatever they are, it’s nice to see that Indians finally feel safe enough to go outside and look up.
Oregon State University researchers studying a carpenter ant preserved in 50-million-year-old amber from Europe's Baltic region found a new species of parasitic fungus eating it, which makes it the oldest known specimen of a fungus parasitizing an ant. You are what you eat … eventually.
All crabs mate in the ‘missionary’ position (really!) except for a newly discovered genus and species of xanthid crab (Mabui calculus) found on Okinawa Island which have strongly asymmetrical male and female reproductive structures, forcing them to mate in unusual positions. Look for videos on the site ClawTube.
It has been theorized that the differences between wild animals, like wolves, and their domesticated counterparts, like dogs, are due to changes in neural crest cells in developing embryos which control both facial structure and the glands that produce the fight or flight response, but a new study found that most of the differences occur during the domestication process. Dogs that bite might just be angry that humans didn’t make them prettier.
Bees get most of the credit for pollinating plants, but a new study by Washington State University found that 35% of pollination is done by syrphid flies which are tiny bee impersonators. A few of them can also impersonate Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, but only at fly parties after a few drinks.
In a recent study on body odor, women were given T-shirts that had been worn by men and were able to identify those belonging to single guys by their scent. Sweat, beer, pizza and Axe?
A video posted on a Chinese Twitter feed shows a massive rocket booster, reportedly part of China’s Long March 2F rocket that launched three astronauts into orbit on June 16, lying in the middle of the field, leaking what appears to be hazardous orange nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer gas. “Why can’t we just have crop circles?” thought every Chinese farmer in the area.
If you’re not a fan of spiders, this news may justify your fear – a new study of venomous spiders found that many of the smaller ones prey on snakes many times their size, including black widows (Latrodectus mactans, L. Hesperus, L. variolus) and African button spiders (L. indistinctus). If you see a black widow, try not to hiss.
A new study from researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons finds positive proof that psychological stress can cause graying hair in people, but the good news is that hair color can be restored in some graying people when the stress is eliminated. Get ready for the next sequel: “Fifty Shades of 'You and Your Stress Gave Me This Gray'.”
If you enjoy the unique cascading nitrogen bubbles in a glass of Guinness beer, researchers from Osaka University studying a model of Guinness being poured have been able to duplicate it in non-Guinness, non-nitrogen-bubble glasses of carbonated water. Who cares? Pour us another Guinness!