Mysterious News Briefly — November 26, 2021
Researchers studying a recovered Neanderthal ‘baby’ tooth found evidence that milk teeth emerged earlier and grew faster in Neanderthals than in modern humans – allowing them to eat solid foods sooner. How long did it take to teach these Neanderthal babies that their own thumbs are not solid food?
A series of deep pits discovered near Stonehenge last year that were aligned to form a circle spanning 1.2 miles (2km) in diameter, have been determined to be human-made 4,500 years ago – possibly as a boundary guiding people to a sacred area. Hundreds of pit diggers lost their jobs with the invention of signs.
Beware of ‘four-leaf clover’ patterns of earthquake shockwaves – seismologists determined this unlucky shape is caused by small earthquakes spreading at low frequencies of under 10 hertz, a level of vibration that many structures are vulnerable to. If you already live over one, threatening a leprechaun probably won’t help.
A new study of 23 white dwarfs within 650 light-years of the sun found that, as they were dying and transitioning into white dwarfs, they ripped apart their orbiting exoplanets – leaving behind never-seen-before rock types made up of unusual ratios of minerals in exoplanet graveyards. We saw Exoplanet Graveyard open for the Grateful Dead.
Northrop Grumman unveiled its Moon Buggy/lunar rover all-terrain vehicle design which will have both manual and remote control capabilities, airless tires and a lifespan of up to ten years. Top speed of the lunar ATV was not revealed but it doesn’t matter because in space, no one can hear you scream.
The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) awarded contracts to several military contractors to design a “glide phase interceptor” to catch up to and destroy an enemy’s offensive hypersonic missiles before they can enter descent phase where it would be too fast to hit. This could be described as using one bullet to shoot down another bullet in mid-air, but that would require an obligatory “Kids, don’t try this at home” warning.
Canada’s Banff National Park is warning visitors to beware of a huge 600 lb. male grizzly named Bear 122 – the largest bear in the park is nicknamed “The Boss” and known to kill and cannibalize other smaller bears. Rather than argue with a giant cannibal bear, Bruce Springsteen is allowing the use of his nickname royalty-free.
For the first time ever, a team of researchers at MIT have captured on video the unique structural growth of butterfly wings continuously as a butterfly develops inside its chrysalis, and found their colors come from naturally occurring photonic crystals arranged like roof tiles to produce certain colors or wavelengths. That whoosh you hear is the disgusted sighs of caterpillars who never get this kind of attention.
If you’ve ever wondered how bees remember where the good flowers are, new research found a specific type of gut bacteria in bees known as Lactobacillus apis that can improve their memories. Don’t go eating bees unless you want to remember how painful it is to get stung on the tongue.
The incredible Mars insight lander used its onboard seismometer – the SEIS or Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure – to see 200 meters (650 feet) below the surface of the Red Planet and found a shallow sedimentary layer sandwiched between hardened rocks resulting from lava flows that could provide ‘insight’ into the planet’s volcanic past. Good luck getting anyone to buy into your idea to honor your Italian heritage by naming the first Martian colony Pompeii.