Mysterious News Briefly — February 22, 2022
Alexander the Great lived well before social media, but the things he might have preferred disappear still keep popping up -- a 2,000-year-old Roman cemetery containing at least 20 ornately decorated graves was discovered near the shoreline in the northern Gaza Strip and the nearby ruins are the remains of a siege by Alexander the Great. It’s hard to tell if the graves and the ruins are connected because there’s no place for thumbs up or down emojis.
Fossils of a new species of Spinosaurus – the star dinosaur of “Jurassic Park III” and one of the largest living carnivores ever – have been discovered near Cabo Espichel, Portugal, and named Iberospinus natarioi. That slapping sound is Jeff Goldblum begging for another movie.
Hundreds of mysterious one-dimensional filaments discovered in the 1980s about 25,000 light-years from Earth in the center of the Milky Way have finally been identified as cosmic-ray electrons moving in a magnetic field at nearly the speed of light in equally spaced clusters covering an area of about 150 light-years, but their source is still not identified. Black holes emitting silly string?
A recent NASA photo from Mars shows that the Perseverance rover is trashing the surface with used parts like an abrasion tool test bit cast away after its mission was complete. It’s nothing to be proud of but the time to worry is when Perseverance comes to a sign announcing the next mile is an Adopt-a-Highway stretch being cleaned by Martians Against Human Litterers.
The European Space Agency's Solar Orbiter recently captured a massive solar eruption – the largest ever observed in a single image with the full solar disc – that fortunately did not affect Earth because it erupted from the side facing away from us. Did the residents of Mercury take a massive solar eruption day?
The gas giant WASP-121 b 855 light years away has water but astronomers recently determined that its surface conditions are so extreme, it has clouds of vaporized metals and rains liquid rubies and sapphires. It’s not habitable but watch for Elon Musk to work an expedition deal with Tiffany & Co.
A study by an international team of scientists of sea-level records spanning the last 2,000 years found that modern rates of sea level rise began emerging in 1863 – about the time the Industrial Age intensified and evidence began appearing showing early ocean warming and glacier melt. “We still don’t see a connection” said people whose “Connect-the-Dots” books are too soaked to play anymore.
Proving once again no one can hide from Google, a Google Maps user has found the ghost city of Ur – founded 4,000 years ago, mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and once the home of over 65,000 people – in a desert in Iraq. No, he’s not interested in looking for your remote.
Researchers have found evidence of a forgotten continent they call "Balkanatolia" which existed 40 million years ago and may have formed a land bridge between Asia and Europe which served as a stepping stone for animals to move from Asia into western Europe – a movement that coincided with some "dramatic paleogeographic changes." And Balkanatolia would make a great name for a band.
In a study of Australian magpies, researchers who attached tiny, backpack-like tracking devices to five of them were shocked to observe an adult female without a tracker working with her bill to try and remove the harness off of a younger bird – the first evidence of an altruistic cooperative "rescue" behavior in magpies that was exhibited again and again. Was it irritating or just the wrong color?