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Tiny Black Holes, Lunar Near-Collision, Megaspider and More Mysterious News Briefly — November 22, 2021

Published in Bioscience, the paper, “Planetary Biosecurity: Applying Invasion Science to Prevent Biological Contamination from Space Travel,” warns about deadly alien pathogens and bacteria hitching rides on spacecraft that travel to and return from other planets, moons and space rocks being the next great security risk. We’re going to need better masks and doorbell cameras.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is recruiting its first new astronauts in 13 years and has opened the job up to women and people without science degrees. If they’re going to the ISS in a SpaceX capsule, it might help if they know a little about plumbing and patching leaks.

If you see volcanic ash falling but no volcano erupting, you must be in Alaska, where strong northwesterly winds in the vicinity of Katmai National Park and Preserve and Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes stirred up ash from the powerful 1912 eruption of Novarupta and carried it to Kodiak Island and beyond. Nature’s payback for not taking care of the polar bears?

Dairy cooperative Arla, a group of British dairy farmers, teamed up with GP Batteries and is making powerful AA-size “patteries” out of cow dung, and they claim the waste of a single cow could power three households for a year. Longer if they hold their noses.

The Australian Reptile Park received the largest funnel web spider ever — measuring 8 cm (3.1 inches) from foot to foot — from an anonymous donor and they are carefully milking the “Megaspider” to develop antivenom for the venom delivered by its powerful bite which can pierce a human fingernail. Wouldn’t it be better to expose it to radiation and develop an army of Spider-Men? (Asking for a movie fan.)

If you’ve ever been  lost in a grocery store that’s owned by the same chain as your regular one, a new study by University of Arizona psychologists suggests your brain is suffering from “repulsion” because it treats similar environments as if they are even more different than a pair of environments that have nothing in common. Yeah, yeah, yeah … now where’s the milk?

A team of astrophysicists believe that swarms of atom-sized black holes formed shortly after the Big Bang and eventually traveled to our solar system and slammed into the Moon, leaving evidence that could help them better understand dark matter. We saw the Tiny Black Holes open for Little Feat.

Here’s proof space is getting crowded — in October, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter had to adjust its orbit to get out of the way of India’s Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter which was less than 100 meters (328 feet) away above the Moon’s North Pole. What’s up with the lunar North Pole – is Santa getting ready for a moon base?

Archeologists digging in Belize have found salt kitchens where workers boiled brine in clay pots over fires in pole and thatch buildings to supply salt to inland cities during the Classic Maya civilization period. Was this also the location of the first Mayan blood pressure doctors?

According to a new study, monkeys, guinea pigs and human exposed to speech sounds have comparable neural responses in the same region in the brain. Does this explain today’s politics?

 

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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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