Feb 09, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

Super Squirrels, Destructive Dust, Cyclops Goat and More Mysterious News Briefly — February 8, 2022

Mysterious News Briefly — February 8, 2022

If squirrels drive you nuts in more ways than one, good luck getting rid of them – researchers at Japan’s Kobe University discovered that Japanese squirrels (Sciurus lis) feed regularly on well-known species of poisonous toadstool mushroom, including fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) and panther cap (Amanita pantherina), and the toxins have no effect on them. You could try giving them magic mushrooms, but that would probably just give them another way of driving you nuts.

NASA’s InSight Mars lander has been on the Red Planet since November 2018 but its days may be numbered as its power continues to be depleted by dust left on its solar panels by a massive surprise storm and none of the previous techniques – like using the lander’s robotic arm to throw more dirt on the arrays to jar the dust loose – seem to be working. If only there was a drone on Mars that could fly over and blow the dust off …

An expedition of 10 researchers climbed to the base of Mt. Everest’s South Col Glacier and installed two weather detection stations — one at 27,600 feet – and drilled a 32-foot-long (10 m) ice core which together told them the glacier has lost more than 180 feet (54 m) of ice thickness in just the last 25 years – that’s 2,000 years’ worth of ice. It won’t be long before we need a new word for former glaciers – like “Told-you-so.”

The Kumano Pluton, a mountain-sized mass of igneous rock beneath the coast of southern Japan, appears to be acting as a magnet or lightning rod for huge earthquakes as simulations show its massive weight is causing Earth's crust beneath it to bend under the strain, and bulge upward slightly above it. Is there a Peloton for rocks?

Bad news, dog walkers -- new research shows dogs being walked in parks and nature reserves contribute a significant amount of nutrients to the environment through their feces and urine, which negatively impact local biodiversity by adding too much phosphorous and nitrogen to the soil. It’s easy to scoop the poop, but how do you get a dog to use a pup cup?

After decades of fearing the megalodon (Otodus megalodon), we still have no idea what these extinct massive great white sharks looked like because all scientists have to go by is a few giant teeth – and a new study shows that the holy grail of megalodon research would be a preserved skeleton. Hollywood special effects designers would prefer we didn’t know.

A farmer in Turkey who has been raising goats for 25 years says he’s never seen anything like the mutant Cyclops baby goat with two eyes merged into one in the middle of its forehead that was born recently to one of his females. Would a Chupacabra consider this a delicacy?

A new study reports that climate change is causing North American beavers (Castor canadensis) to move farther north into the Arctic and expand their range in northern Canada and Alaska – creating new ponds, diverting river flows and creating havoc on the environment. The Oregon State Beavers marching band should work on a rendition of “Sorry.”

NASA’s asteroid monitoring system -- the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) -- has been upgraded so that it can scan the entire night sky once every 24 hours for potentially hazardous near-Earth space rocks. It asks that all questions about what’s coming next be directed to Leonardo DiCaprio.

Three people who had "complete sensorimotor paralysis" due to motorcycle accidents were given new implants placed directly on their spinal cords by Swiss doctors and all three saw improvements in just one day and were eventually able to "stand, walk, cycle, swim and control trunk movements." It’s good to see this kind of research going for something other than creating cyborg soldiers.

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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