Jan 27, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

Skiing Robots, Flying Cars, Wriggling Stars and More Mysterious News Briefly — January 26, 2022

It turns out the surgeons who successfully transplanted a genetically modified pig heart into a living human for the first time earlier this month (the man is still alive as of this writing) kept the heart beating during the operation by using a solution laced with cocaine. That could explain why his heart beats faster when listening to Eric Clapton.

The James Webb Space Telescope has arrived at its destination – the L2 gravitational balance point 1.5 million km from Earth – and now begins five months of aligning its 18 mirrors until they act as a single reflector. The final step will be activating the message for alien which reads, “Objects in mirror are farther away than they appear.”

A new study upends the long-held belief that meat eating increased dramatically 2 million years ago when Homo erectus showed up and needed food for its big brain, thus making it a dominant species – it turns out the numbers were flawed because paleoanthropologists focused only on well-preserved sites and some new discoveries show there was no explosion of meat-eating to trigger homo erectus’ superiority. Does this mean all those scenes of Fred Flintstone eating a big steak have to be reshot?

Stellar jets – bursts of ionized matter shooting out from opposite sides of a star – were thought to form straight lines but two photos from the Gemini South telescope in Chile show young stellar jets “wiggling” … possibly because the direction changes over time or the jets are affected by the gravity of nearby stars. We saw The Wriggling Stellar Jets open for Starship.

Researchers at St George's University of London studying men who died while having sex found that this phenomenon is not limited to middle-aged men and is most often caused not by heart attacks but by a sudden abnormal heart rhythm called sudden arrhythmic death syndrome in otherwise healthy hearts in healthy younger men. Shouldn’t there be a warning on the headboards of beds in cheap hotels?

A study of hippos (Hippopotamus amphibius) at the Maputo Special Reserve in Mozambique found that the massive animals respond to unfamiliar calls from other hippos by unexpectedly unleashing a “tornado” of dung either out of fear or as a way to mark their territory. We saw Tornadoes of Dung open for Butthole Surfers.

A previously unknown colony of gentoo penguins has been spotted far south of where this non-ice-loving species of penguin normally hang out, causing more concern that climate change is warming Antarctica. Have canaries in the coal mine been replaced by penguins in the cold confine?

Engineers at China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University recently demonstrated a six-legged skiing robot expertly slaloming down a snow-covered mountain while standing on four legs wearing two skis and gripping ski poles with the remaining two – mastering both the beginner and intermediate slopes while not crashing into any human skiers. On the ski jump, it experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of dead batteries.

Get ready flying car fans – the dual-mode AirCar was awarded the Certificate of Airworthiness by the Slovak Transport Authority after completing more than 200 take-offs and landings during 70 hours of testing … the flying car can reach an altitude of more than 8,000 feet and changes modes in just three minutes. Does the cupholder fold into an upright and locked position for landings?

Scott C. Waring of the blog UFO Sightings Daily challenged his Twitter followers to find a secret 25 km “base” he says is hidden in a crater “to the right of Sulci Gordii,” a group of large ridges on Mars. Could this be where Waldo the astronaut is?

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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