Mysterious News Briefly — February 21, 2022
Researchers studying a 5,300-year-old skull found in a large, multi-person tomb in Reinoso, Burgos, Spain, found seven cut marks near the left ear canal they claim is evidence that a person with some “anatomical knowledge” performed what may have been the earliest ear surgery to relieve possible ear pain. Did they look for evidence to suggest the person may have been a swimmer?
The Museum of London Docklands has a new exhibit featuring a 300-year-old bedsheet embroidered with human hair, most likely from the severed head of James Radclyffe, the third Earl of Derwentwater and grandson of King Charles II, who was beheaded on February 24, 1716, for his part in the Jacobite rising of 1715. Did the receiver of the pillow say that chocolates would have been fine?
A ground-based global lightning detection network has released an animation based on data from the Tonga underwater volcanic eruption in January showing the massive eruption triggered a wave of almost 400,000 strikes in just six hours on January 15 and almost 590,000 lighting strikes over the three days it was active. Somewhere in the afterlife, ben Franklin said, “Hold my beer, hand me my kite and watch this!”
University of California San Diego researchers studying fruit flies found that they have more advanced cognitive abilities than previously believed – using custom-built immersive virtual reality environment, they determined flies have attention, working memory and conscious awareness-like capabilities. They also have a better VR system than you do.
A pair of horse rider pants found in the Tarim Basin’s Yanghai graveyard in China and between 3,200 and 3,000 years ago – making them the world’s oldest trousers – have been further analyzed by an international team of archaeologists, fashion designers, geoscientists, chemists and conservators who found the pants had been woven to fit the wearer and were a combination of weaving techniques from different areas and cultures. Custom fit is nice, but he probably would have preferred relaxed fit.
After announcing it would dispose of the International Space Station in a traditional space graveyard in the South Pacific Ocean known as Point Nemo, NASA clarified that it has no current plans to return potential artifacts of the ISS to Earth to be displayed in museums. Astronauts were probably hoping they could at least bring back the always problematic ISS space toilet so they could set it on fire.
A 10-year study of the two flowering plants native to Antarctica, Deschampsia antarctica and Colobanthus quitensis, found that both plants grew faster each year as temperatures rose due to climate change and a drop in the plant-trampling fur seal population due to food availability. Nothing says “We’re too late” like there now being enough plants to open an Antarctic flower shop.
Sixty-foot waves off the coast of British Columbia have long been rumored but now one has been confirmed – a 58-foot-tall swell which crashed off the coast of Vancouver Island in November 2020 was picked up by sensors on a buoy located a little over 4 miles away and a researcher says its proportion to surrounding waves made it "likely the most extreme rogue wave ever recorded." Are the Beach Boys up for the challenge of writing one more surfer song?
A bizarre smooth rock photographed by the Curiosity rover on Mars and posted on Twitter by writer Paul Scott Anderson is being compared to a sex toy and, even though the photograph belongs to NASA and was in a public archive, Anderson received a cease-and-desist order from letter from a company claiming they own the image of the stone as NFT. It could have been worse – the letter could have been from an embarrassed Martian who threatened revenge.
Also from Curiosity, NASA released photos of Martian clouds composed of carbon dioxide ice floating nearly 50 miles above the surface – a major accomplishment since Martian clouds are faint and multiple images had to e taken to get a clear, static background. Fearing being called a pareidoliac, Curiosity didn’t reveal whose faces it saw in the clouds.