Apr 26, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

Lunar Backpack, 60-Year-Old Hamburger, De-Extincting Dinosaurs and More Mysterious News Briefly

Physicists at the University of Würzburg successfully created micrometer-sized drones significantly smaller than red blood cells which are propelled and controlled using laser light only – these drones can be used to assemble nanostructures, analyze surfaces with nanometer precision, and aid in the field of reproductive medicine. For a fun payback, maybe they can be used to buzz around mosquitoes.

Those photos taken by NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover of the solar eclipse caused by the Martian moon Phobos crossing the face of the Sun has helped scientists pinpoint exactly when Phobos’ death spiral will end and it will crash into the planet. A nervous Perseverance is now looking for an escape route.

The Kardashev definition of a Type I civilization is one that is able to store and use all the energy available on its planet, and a new study has determined that humanity won’t reach this level until the year 2371 ... as long as we don’t wipe ourselves out using conventional energy sources first -- a process known as the Great Filter. So far, the Vegas line is on the Great Filter.

NASA unveiled the Kinematic Navigation and Cartography Knapsack (KNaCK) – a backpack for astronauts on the Moon that is equipped with a portable LIDAR scanner that constantly scans the ground as the wearer walks around, collecting detailed information on the surrounding surface topology. Many people want to know if they can get one for walking while talking on their cellphone.

A new paper published in Current Biology describes how male orb-weaving spiders (Philoponella prominens) use one set of powerful legs to catapult themselves at a phenomenal speed away from females after sex to avoid being eaten as a post-coital cannibalistic meal. For guys who are worried, the video can be seen here.

NASA’s Lucy spacecraft is on its way to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids but it has a stuck solar panel, so engineers are planning to turn on its unfurling reel’s primary motor while also running the backup motor at the same time, increasing the torque in the hopes that the solar panel can be pried open by brute force. In space, no one can hear you scream “I told you to stop!”

While it seems like deer, raccoons, squirrels and other wildlife have taken over many urban landscapes, new research from the University of Utah found that mammals in urban environments have shifted the timing of their daily activities to avoid encountering humans – with coyotes moving to the night hours while deer and squirrels switching from dawn and dusk to daytime hours. Deer and squirrels’ greatest fear is humans in cars at night on their phones.

For students wondering if the medical field is right for them, the New England Journal of Medicine details the case of a 64-year-old Spanish man’s rare “hyperinfection” of roundworms which was so bad that doctors could see the larvae moving around under his skin – the docs treated the man with ivermectin, proving it is a good cure for roundworms. Watch for videos of his infection to show up in the next “Star Trek” movie.

A man renovating his bathroom in Crystal Lake, Illinois, was shocked to find a 60-year-old McDonald's hamburger and a bag of fries behind a wall … and even more shocked when he noticed the burger didn’t smell, the fries were still crispy and there was no sign of mice. Some things never change – there was an empty cup and a note that the shake machine was broken.

A survey by YouGov.com found that 45% of American adults say they are somewhat or strongly opposed to bringing back dinosaurs and other extinct species, and half said that if it were possible to de-extinct, the extinct species of giant tortoises (a few are not extinct) should be reintroduced in their original habitat. This proves Americans learned their lessons from the Jurassic Park movies and they’d rather be around giant animals they can outrun.

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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