Mysterious News Briefly — March 9, 2022
A recent study by the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona found that the odd shapes of asteroids and comets around the solar system – rubber duck, spinning top, pancakes to name a few – are the result of collisions, a lack of gravity, the van der Waals force which holds pieces together by rotation, and the thawing and freezing of ice which causes cracks and fissures. Proof that Ernie the Muppet is not an alien singing about a weird-shaped asteroid?
A new study determined that an 8-mile-long (13-km) frieze of rock paintings at Serranía de la Lindosa in the Colombian Amazon rainforest was created over a thousand years by some of the earliest humans to live in the region and shows how huge ice age beasts -- giant ground sloths, massive elephants and other animals – were brought to extinction by Homo sapiens. How long before the frieze is banned?
An Amazon worker posted a video showing how he was trapped in a warehouse by robotic shelves that kept blocking his escape routes and locking him in a maze that took him 15 minutes to finale escape out of. This is one video you won’t be seeing on Amazon Prime.
Arachnophobes are understandably terrified by new computer simulations showing how the species Anelosimus eximius lives in extremely large colonies of up to 1,000 individual spiders that work together to build webs spanning several meters where they conduct coordinated attacks on their prey by using vibrations in the web to choreograph a synchronized swarming process. Synchronized swarming sounds like an event in the Spider Summer Olympics.
Inversion Space announced plans to launch artificial human organs into Earth’s orbit in special suitcase-sized capsules, store them in space indefinitely, then shoot them back down to Earth hospitals when they’re needed for transplants. “What about us?” thought thousands of empty airport lockers?
Scientists at the Salk Institute analyzed the behavior of the predatory worm Pristionchus pacificus and found that they can take multiple factors into account when choosing between two different strategies for attacking their prey, despite having only 302 neurons compared to approximately 86 billion in humans. How long before they’re the ones baiting the hook?
Steve Feltham, the world’s most dedicated Loch Ness monster hunter who has spent 24 years on his so far fruitless quest, denied a report that he’s giving up the search, even though he thinks he’ll eventually find that Nessie is just a large Wels catfish. Thank goodness – the world needs more distractions.
According to a new study, the galloping mode of movement used by horses, camels, lions, giraffes and other four-legged creatures actually evolved 472 million years ago -- long before life emerged onto land – in an ancestor they have in common with turtles, crocodiles, other reptiles, frogs, fish and other aquatic animals who move their limbs asymmetrically. Sadly, tortoises lost the ability by the time they moved to land and encountered hares.
A 70 million-year-old fossil found in Transylvania belongs to a species of freshwater turtle (Dortoka vremiri) that survived the end-Cretaceous extinction event that wiped out around 75% of all life on Earth and went on to become the ancestor of 16 living species of side-necked turtles found in South America, Africa and Australia. Transylvanian vampire worriers can rest easy – it’s not a snapping turtle.
A team of adventurers, marine archaeologists and technicians located the wreck of Endurance nearly 10,000 feet down in waters of the Weddell Sea east of the Antarctic Peninsula, 106 years after the ship was crushed in pack ice and sank during an expedition by the explorer Ernest Shackleton. Just reading that should make you feel warm and cold at the same time.