Apr 01, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

Digital Psychedelics, Super Goldfish, Bridge-Playing AI and More Mysterious News Briefly — March 31, 2022

Mysterious News Briefly — March 31, 2022

Get ready for digital psychedelics … researchers from Australia and the UK found that a number of people are listening to binaural beats – a different tone of different frequency in each ear – and reporting that as their brain processes them, they can drop out, reduce pain, enhance memory, and ease anxiety and depression. Sounds like an opportunity to listen to “The Beat Goes On” with Sonny in one ear and Cher in the other.

The Hubble telescope has taken a new photo showing a clear image of a star named Earendel – the most distant object of its kind ever detected, dating to just 900 million years after the Big Bang. The James Webb is working and Hubble is nearing retirement but it’s definitely going out with a Big Bang.

Alex Howe, a NASA astrophysicist at Goddard Space Flight Center, proposes making Venus habitable to humans by encasing the entire planet in a giant shell to trap its toxic atmosphere and let humans live in a breathable atmosphere above it – a project that would take an estimated 200 years. Has he ever noticed that plastic bags don’t keep the fish inside from stinking up your refrigerator anyway?

The Internet went crazy after a man posted a photo of an “alien-like” creature – it had a reptile-like skull and a tail and what looked like four hands – he found washed up on Maroochydore Beach in Queensland … further investigation shows it was most likely a swollen, waterlogged brushtail possum. Which was followed nanoseconds later by hundreds of memes reading, “I’m not saying it’s a brushtail possum …”

German researchers have developed an automated auditory training program which trains marmoset monkeys to complete a series of hearing tests in which they hear different sounds and then match them to the appropriate, previously learned visual stimuli by clicking on a touchscreen – this will eventually allow the researchers to develop optical cochlear implants which convert sound waves into light instead of electricity and provide a hearing impression that is much closer to natural hearing. Can the marmosets tell the difference between the music of The Monkees and Gorillaz?

Giant goldfish descended from dumped pets are thriving in ponds across North America and ecologists at the University of Toronto and the Fisheries and Oceans Canada see evidence these ponds’ harsh, polluted environments are creating extra-tolerant fish that may become ‘superinvaders’ that will out-survive other species under climate change. Who knew that ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon’ would eventually become a documentary?

Parrots such as the scarlet macaw and sulphur-crested cockatoo have extremely long average lifespans of up to 30 years and a new study suggests their large brains give them increased cognitive ability which helps them avoid threats in their environment, enabling them to enjoy longer lives. Bigger brains … yet they still dance for crackers.

The ruins of Pompeii are now being patrolled by a robotic guard dog from Boston Dynamics which guards against prowlers, identifies structural and safety issues, and inspects underground tunnels dug by relic thieves – services UNESCO thinks are a bargain at $75,000. If you see robot Spot running for the ocean with its metal tail between its legs, is that a bad sign?

German astrophotographer Sebastian Voltmer took a photo from Earth of the International Space Station that is so clear, you can see two astronauts floating around during a recent spacewalk. That rustling sound is Voltmer’s neighbors closing their blinds.

An artificial intelligence called NooK beat eight world champions at bridge in a two-day tournament with 800 consecutive deals – NooK won 83% of the deals, although it didn’t have to bid on the hands. The bridge-playing software is so sophisticated, it’s already complaining about how hard it is to find a fourth these days.

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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