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Sea Ghosts, Vampire Bats, Asteroid Near-Hit and More Mysterious News Briefly — November 1, 2021

The legendary human-like ‘sea ghosts’ emerged from the Irish Sea at Newry Beach, Holyhead, of the northwest coast of Wales in time for Halloween, scaring those who don’t know they’re actually seaweed-covered old wooden pilings from Holyhead’s former lifeboat ramp. At least  they don’t soap your windows or egg your house.

A surprise refrigerator-sized asteroid came within just 2,000 miles of Antarctica over the weekend, making it the third closest flyby of an alien object that did not end with an impact and passing through at a lower altitude than many communications satellites in geostationary orbit. Does comparing a near-hit asteroid to a refrigerator make it sound less threatening than a two-meter-wide atomic bomb?

A new study found that honeybees practice social distancing when their hive is under threat from a harmful parasite – increasing the space between young and old bees to keep the parasites at bay. It’s not a mandate but who argues with something armed with a stinger?

Proving life doesn’t always imitate art, sci-fi writer William Gibson, “Neuromancer” author and credited with coining the term “cyberspace” – tweeted that he was having trouble with his low-tech email account and requested texts only. This is like Captain Kirk getting teary-eyed over a brief trip to near space – oh wait, that happened.

A new species of beaked whale named the Ramari’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon eueu) was found in several locations off the coasts of South Africa, Australia, and Aotearoa New Zealand. They prefer colder water than their equatorial cousins, which may be why their beak is shrinking.

The race to replace the International Space Station with a privately-built model now has three contenders — Houston-based Axiom Space was joined recently by Nanoracks and Lockheed Martin, whose project is called “Starlab,” and Blue Origin and Sierra Space, whose station will be called an “Orbital Reef.” If you ask space station astronauts, they should be called “Not soon enough.”

Stanford researchers treating difficult cases of depression say repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), which uses magnetic fields temporarily applied to the head of the patient, has helped almost 80% of patients after going through treatment. Does it cause nightmares about being stuck to a refrigerator?

World’s richest man Elon Musk announced he wants to start a university named “Texas Institute of Technology & Science” — or T.I.T.S. for short – and expects to make more millions selling its “epic merch.” Good luck finding football player willing to put that on their uniforms.

Physicists at the University of Chicago and the Carnegie Institution of Washington put a drop of water in a super vise, turned up the pressure and cooked it with a laser – freezing it into a ‘superionic’ state like the ice believed to be near the core of massive planets like Neptune. ‘Superionic ice’ sounds more like the world’s first space rapper.

A comparison of the genome of the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) with those of 25 other bat species found that vampire bats lack 13 genes that allow them to live on a diet of nothing but blood. Look for this to be turning into a medical vampire show called ‘The Blood Doctor’.

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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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