Mysterious News Briefly — June 4, 2021
From the “Another thing we need to worry about” file comes a new model by seismologists showing that Earth’s solid-iron inner core has been growing faster on one side than the other – faster under Indonesia’s Banda Sea, slower under Brazil — for more than half a billion years ago and no one knows why. Does less gravity there explain why Brazil has so many more topless beaches?
Australian airline Qantas has been storing a fleet of A380 superjumbos in California’s Mojave Desert during the pandemic, and engineers getting them ready to fly again are having to protect themselves from rattlesnakes who took up residence in tires and wheels by banging on them with ‘wheel whackers’ made from broomsticks and duct tape. You may want to let the passenger next to you open the overhead compartment.
A study in the journal Current Biology suggests that right whales living in the North Atlantic today are significantly shorter than those born 30 to 40 years ago by several meters or more, and researchers are blaming the stress, trauma and death caused by fishing gear entanglements. “We’re going to need a bigger bumper sticker,” said concerned whale advocates.
As if India doesn’t have enough problems, a conservation group is reintroducing cheetahs in southern India where hunters and deforestation drove them to extinction 70 years ago. Man-eating tigers worried about faster competition may want to put up speed limit signs.
Those mysterious ‘dead zones’ — areas of hypoxic waters in the ocean where oxygen levels are so low, marine animals cannot survive in them – have actually been in the Pacific for longer than anybody ever realized … at least around 1.2 million years according to a new study. They’re like antibacterial hand sanitizers – they’ve been killing everything they touch for years but no one looked for them until the pandemic.
In the DC Digital First Truth and Justice #13 digital comic, Batwoman takes on one of the world’s most notorious cryptids: Mothman. Spoiler alert … Batwoman looks much better in her costume than Mothman.
Here’s a puzzler: while some Pentagon experts say the UFOs chasing Navy vessels off the coast of California in 2019 might be secret Chinese drones, the U.S. government has decided to allow the purchase of some drones made by Chinese manufacturer Da Jiang Innovations (DJI). It’s too bad drones can’t be downed by sonic blasts caused by face-palming.
Jay Leno revealed on a podcast that he watched as Tesla’s Model S Plaid broke the world record for the quarter-mile at the Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California, with a time of 9.247 seconds at 152.09 mph. Coincidentally, that is also faster than the time it takes for the person in the back seat to say, “Are we there yet?”
A new study published in the journal SciPost Physics reveals that quark-gluon plasma — the hot soup of elementary particles formed a few microseconds after the birth of the universe — flowed like tap water. That may be true, but no one wants to watch a sitcom called ‘The Big Splash Theory’.
Africa’s most popular coffee varieties — Arabica and Robusta – are being decimated by coffee wilt disease, so scientists have re-animated specimens of a fungus that causes it to figure out how the disease evolved and how it can be stopped. And you thought ‘coffee wilt disease’ is what causes people to collapse while standing in long lines at Starbucks.