May 02, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

Virtual Reality Kissing, Houston is Sinking, Mathematical Bees and More Mysterious News Briefly

A mechanical robotic jumper developed by a UC Santa Barbara engineering team reached the tallest height -- 100 feet (30 meters) -- of any jumper ever, engineered or biological. The NBA finals are still in the early rounds … coincidence?

Orbital Assembly Corporation in California announced plans to develop by 2025 a space business park, complete with artificial gravity, that will accommodate 28 people in five modules built around a rotating gravity ring that can be used for business, research and leisure activities. First they need to design a line of ‘space casual’ clothing.

A new technique of analyzing European Bronze Age daggers dating back to the early 4th millennium BCE found that they were not for fighting or status but were primarily for butchering animal carcasses. They didn’t become weapons until someone shoplifted the first steak.

A report from the World Economic Forum on 33 cities worldwide which are sinking at rates of more than one centimeter per year, which is five times the rate of sea level rise, lists Houston is the 10th fastest sinking city in the world (1.95 cm or .75 inches) per year – Houston is the only city in the Western Hemisphere in the top 10. The ‘glass half full’ people say it means they won’t have to drill as deep for oil.

Paleontologists in Argentina discovered the bones of a megaraptor that was 33 feet long, weighed five tons, could run on only its hind legs, had 13.7-inch claws and was probably the most ferocious dinosaur when it roamed the Earth 70 million years ago. That crying sound is the animated model designer for the next Jurassic Park sequel.

Virtual reality gets one step kinkier as researchers from Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute modified a virtual reality headset to output acoustic energy aimed in and around the mouth and tongue to simulate the feel of tooth brushing, smoking and deep kissing. This was obviously designed by male scientists because it doesn’t have an VR nose to check for bad breath.

A well-preserved ancient Roman pottery workshop was discovered at the Tibet-Matrouh archeological site west of Alexandria in Egypt with lime kilns used for making pots for cooking and selling food and also for ritual practices. What is the Egyptian word for ‘Pottery Barn’?

New satellite images show Russia is still using Cold War tactics – there are two dolphin pens at the entrance to Sevastopol harbor at the southern tip of Crimea where trained bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) could be protecting the country’s Black Sea naval base from underwater attacks. Can the Ukrainian navy distract them with buckets of fish and multi-colored balls?

Only humans can tell the difference between odd and even numbers ... until now -- a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution found that honeybees learned to do this in an experiment where odds and evens were paired with sugar water or quinine. We’ll be more impressed when the bees swarm to form the word “Blackjack!”

Stonehenge may sit on a barren plain now, but new research shows that before the stones arrives, the site was a Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age hunting ground consisting of an open woodland where large aurochs, an extinct cattle species, once grazed. Those equinox  celebrations will take a different form if this means Stonehenge was once a giant corral.

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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