Sep 16, 2021 I Paul Seaburn

Atomic Tornadoes, Easy-to-Fly Jetpacks, Bulletproof Spacesuits and More Mysterious News Briefly — September 15, 2021

In one of his latest tweets, Elon Musk stated: “I’m not saying there are UFOs … but there are UFOs”, causing a frenzy on the same day Congress moved to set up a unit to study UFOs. Captain Obvious failed to mention that most reported UFOs these days are either his launch rockets, his satellites or his dead satellites.

In a mere five pages of the 1,362-page FY 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (HR 4350), the US Congress directed the Director of National Intelligence to “establish an office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense to carry out, on a Department-wide basis, the mission currently performed by the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force as of the date of the enactment of this Act.” Somewhere in the footnotes, there’s no doubt a reference to a tweet which says, “Is that OK with you, Elon?”

Stop picking on bird brains – a 9-year-old kea, a kea, a species of parrot found only in New Zealand, lost the upper half of his beak but managed to survive and thrive by holding a pebble between his tongue and lower beak to preen his feathers in order to get rid of parasites, dirt and grime. Feeling guilty about that nose job yet?

For the first time ever, physicists at the University of California, Berkeley, have created an atomic tornado of swirling atoms and molecules whose movements are currently impossible to predict. We’re not under a microscope in Kansas anymore, Toto.

The search for extraterrestrial life is being threatened as the raging Dixie Wildfire in California is getting close to the 42-antenna Allen Telescope Array at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory in Hat Creek, California, which is the first built entirely for the search of extraterrestrial intelligence. Would someone there please ask the aliens for some help?

Grab your you-know-whats and get worried, men – scientists at Kyoto University used pluripotent stem cells from mice to create mouse sperm, then successfully impregnated females who produced healthy, fertile offspring. Who was in the delivery room telling the females when to breathe?

According to new research, 66 million years ago a mere handful of snakes survived the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction caused by an asteroid that killed all of the non-avian dinosaurs, and those few snakes went on to evolve into all of today's serpentine species. If only we could find the rock they hid under.

Engineers from Maverick Aviation, manufacturers of personal aerial mobility systems, unveiled a jetpack that can be used in hard-to-reach places on construction sites for maintenance and inspection work, and its computer-controlled autopilot system makes flying intuitively easy for the wearer. Just make sure you grab the jetpack and not the leaf blower.

Engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center’s Ballistic Impact Lab in Cleveland are testing prototype spacesuits with a 40-foot air gun that fires steel ball bearings at 3,000 feet per second (about two and a half times the speed of sound) in order to simulate extraterrestrial hazards like micrometeorite strikes. Not to mention Martians still using Colt 45s.

A team of physicists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology using a technique called pendellösung interferometry are firing beams of neutrons at silicon that has revealed previously unrecognized properties in silicon and may help find the so-called ‘fifth force’ of nature. No, you can’t simulate the experiment by standing in from of a microwave with breast implants.

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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