Jan 05, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

Reptilians and Millennials, Enceladus Plumes, Postcard DNA and More Mysterious News Briefly — January 4, 2022

Elon Musk will never win a popularity contest but his Starlink receiver dishes might -- among cats ... many people in frigid climates are finding their dishes are malfunctioning as stray cats discover the dishes give off heat and make great outdoor warm spots on cold days. The cats will flee as soon as Musk figures out a way to charge them for the service.

A recent poll of 2,000 Britons by ToppCasinoBonus.com found that 12% of millennials (those aged 24 to 35) said they believed in the Reptilian Conspiracy Theory that the world is controlled by shape-shifting reptilian aliens. The part that’s hard to believe is that millennials know who alleged Reptilians George W. Bush, Henry Kissinger and the Rothschilds are.

Universities forced to switch to online teaching during the COVID pandemic now say that using AI chatbots for education is here to stay as long as they’re designed ethically. Letting tech companies control education – what could possibly go wrong a brilliant and hugely profitable idea said those who control spell-checking.

Those hoping that the plumes of water vapor shooting up from Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus are coming from a deep subsurface ocean that would be a great place for life to hide may be disappointed by the latest simulations which show those plumes may just be coming from pockets of watery mush in the moon’s icy shell, not a potentially life-filled subterranean ocean. We saw Pockets of Watery Mush open for The Little River Band.

A new study found that everyone’s favorite underwater unicorns – the narwhals – are severely affected by noises from shipping and oil exploration which are on the rise in the Arctic Ocean as climate change keeps it ice-free nearly year-round for more damaging human activity. We’re in big trouble If they ever join forces with polar bears and figure out how to make people kabobs.

The James Webb Space Telescope’s tennis court-size sunshield is now fully open and in the process of being stretched tight after flight controllers in Maryland had to repoint it to limit sunlight on six overheating motors needed to secure the sunshield. Think about that the next time you take hours trying to open your patio umbrella.

Forensic geneticists solved a paternity mystery dating back to 1887 by comparing DNA from cheek swabs of descendants of the person in question with DNA in the remnants of the saliva used to paste stamps on old postcards – the results showed the Jewish origin of one paternal ancestor had been kept a secret to protect him from being sent to a concentration camp. Who would have thought the stamp on the back of a postcard would be more interesting than the picture on the front?

As of January 4, BlackBerry devices – the once hugely popular communications tools of businesspeople and President Obama – and their tiny QWERTY keyboards will no longer be functional after being replaced by smartphones. A 21-thumb salute would be an appropriate tribute.

A recent study found that wild black bears who consumed a lot of processed foods from human trash cans had far less diversity in the microbial ecosystems of their guts, which could lead to them being unable to process their traditional foods from the wild. Can we trace this back to Yogi Bear and Ranger Smith’s picnic basket?

China's Mars orbiter Tianwen 1 deployed a small camera and took some stunning selfies of itself in orbit over the Red Planet’s northern polar ice cap … while Tianwen 1 also took pictures of the camera taking the pictures. When did space become a teen party?

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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