Jun 06, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

Haunted Chair, Ancient Yearbook, Mermaid Bed and More Mysterious News Briefly

Some of the oldest files of the public program run by the Berkeley SETI Research Center, which for over 20 years has collected data on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, is in danger of losing all of its data because it’s stored on computer tapes made on obsolete Sun Enterprise series servers which are no longer made by a company that no longer exists and are running on an operating system that no longer exists. Is this part of a sinister alien plan?

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has moved on from the mysterious doorway that had alien hunters excited (it’s just a shadowy hole) to two ancient spikes that look like petrified trees but are probably spikes of rock formed when soft cement-like rock filled ancient fractures in a sedimentary rock which later eroded away, leaving the spikes. Are they sure it’s not shrubbery planted by the ET living behind the doorway?

A new study on why giraffes have such long necks proposes that it has to do with prehistoric giraffes fighting over females -- rival male giraffes swung their long necks and whip their bony skulls (especially ossicones, the skin-covered bone structure on top, and osteomas, bony skull growths), with those sporting the longest necks causing the most damage and then passing their long-neck DNA down to the next generations. Why can’t we see these giraffe battles on pay-per-view?

A vintage wingback chair donated to an Oxfam in Liverpool, England, has potential buyers worried because of a sign placed on the seat by the manager of the store which reads “Definitely not haunted” – the manager did it as a joke but photos of the chair and sign went viral and the store is using them to raise money for charity. This could be the perfect replacement for poor-performing “Queen Victoria sat here” signs.

In Tanzania, a group of rats is being trained to crawl into earthquake debris wearing tiny backpacks containing microphones, video gear, and location trackers which will allow rescue teams to talk to and rescue survivors of devastating quakes. If you hear voices in your house saying “Come back! Come back!”, it may not be ghosts – it could be rescuers trying to convince a disgruntled rat to return.

Archeologists in Montale, northern Italy, studying the presence of the mineral strontium in the teeth of sheep and goats have found evidence of Bronze Age industrial wool manufacturing, which would make this the earliest sign of wool production in Europe. Real proof would be Bronze age sweaters or fossils of really fat moths.

Near the city of Kozani in northern Greece, archaeologists uncovered the first century BCE grave of a woman lying on a bronze bed decorated with depictions of mermaids and a bird holding a snake in its mouth (a symbol of the Greek god Apollo), which indicates she likely came from a wealthy or royal family. Wouldn’t a mermaid bed make one need to get up and go to the bathroom more often?

A large, well-preserved, 1,300-year-old head of the Mayan corn god Hun Hunahpu was found in Palenque in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas at the bottom of a pond that was regarded by the ancients as symbolizing the entrance to the underworld. If you saw this after death, it was probably too late to apologize for stealing your neighbor’s maize.

An inscribed ancient Greek marble stone in a vault of National Museums Scotland since the 1880s has been reexamined and it is now determined to be an ancient version of a school graduation yearbook for young men who attended the military academy known as the Ephebic College together in ancient Athens. Back then, everyone was in a Greek fraternity.

A computer science PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin claimed in a tweet that what looks like gibberish text generated using DALL-E, the text-to-image generation system created by OpenAI, shows that DALL-E is actually creating its own hidden language to categorize images of birds, insects and animals. We’ll be worried when it looks at an image of a parrot and says, “I’m afraid I can’t do that, Polly.”

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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