Jun 25, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

Huge Bigfoot Prints, Haunted Hotel Burns., Extraterrestrial Coins, Largest Bacteria and More Mysterious News Briefly

A roundup of mysterious, paranormal and strange news stories from the past week.

Swimming in a swamp in Guadeloupe, scientists discovered the world’s largest known bacterium, Thiomargarita magnifica, which is about 1 cm long or the size of a human eyelash, making it 50 times larger than all other known giant bacteria and the first to be visible with the naked eye. We’re gonna need a bigger bottle of Purell.

In her new memoir, “Escaping Gravity: My Quest to Transform NASA and Launch a New Space Age,” former NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver tells how Elon Musk was visiting Moscow in 2001 when a Russian space engineer spat on his shoes because he thought Elon was dressed too informally, thus inspiring Musk to found SpaceX. If that engineer is still around, can we hire him to dip some tobacco and visit NASA?

The historic and heavily haunted Holly Hotel in Holly, Michigan, was badly damaged by fire this week – the 130-year-old hotel was said to be haunted by the cigar-smoking ghost of John Hirst, its builder; the perfumed, piano-playing spirit of a woman named Nora Kane; a child ghost who plays with meat cleavers and other kitchen utensils; and John Hirst’s dog. Do evil spirits caught in a fire have to return to hell?

Tim Maltin, a British author, historian and TV presenter, has researched the sinking of the Titanic for six years and concludes that a haze formed by an optical phenomenon known as a mirage, which causes light rays to bend through refraction, fooled the ship’s lookouts about the distance between it and the iceberg, giving them less than a minute to react and attempt evasive measures. Could the same kind of mirage be fooling people into buying bitcoin?

New research at Princeton shows that prehistoric megatooth sharks, the biggest sharks that ever lived which includes the 50-foot megalodon, were the apex of apex predators at the highest level ever measured -- so high that they ate other predators and predators-of-predators in a complicated prehistoric food web. That vibration you felt was the shudder of great whites.

A Michigan man checking the contents of a roll of quarters found one featuring the face of an extraterrestrial -- numismatists believe it’s a variation of the hobo nickels were popularized in the early 20th century in the U.S. when homeless people would alter five-cent pieces with their own designs using knives and other tools and then sell them. For those too young to know, a ‘hobo’ is an old term for a migrant worker, and a ‘quarter’ is a coin worth 25 cents.

Hunters in Florida caught the largest Burmese python ever seen in Florida – an 18-foot-long, 215 pound monster that was carrying a record 122 egg "follicles" that hadn’t yet been fertilized, and a stomach filled with bits of fur, bone and a chunk of a hoof indicating its last meal was an adult white-tailed deer. Not only is it a record python, it also qualifies as a small Disney World ride.

A University College London research team was able to levitate different objects -- including polystyrene beads, water and fabric -- with sound waves by using 256 speakers and turning them quickly off or on so that after the sound waves had scattered, the environment was able to hold the object in air. To put it in perspective, imagine a Star Trek crew using a tractor beam to remove fleas on a Tribble.

“Snow blood,” an algae called Sanguina nivaloides that starts out green but turns red to protect itself from sunlight, is becoming so common in the French Alps that it is accelerating snow melt and scientists fear it’s an irreversible result of climate change. Red means ‘stop’ – can’t we?

Invertebrate biologists say mites known as Demodex folliculorum are born on humans, they feed on us, mate on us (mostly on our faces at night), die on us and are now evolving from an ectoparasite into an internal symbiont – an organism that share a symbiotic and possibly mutually beneficial relationship with us. Welcome to the club if you just felt your face.

Letters posted online from Canada’s Natural Resources department and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), a federal regulator, reveal that the Canadian government has agreed to share information about UFOs with the U.S. government, especially those seen around nuclear facilities. In Canada, they’re called a UFO-eh?

Jospeh Kenneth Savelli says he was hiking in Pennsylvania when he came upon what he thinks are Bigfoot tracks in the woods, one measuring a whopping 17 inches long and one foot wide, which he photographed and submitted to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) Facebook page. Those prints are co big, they may be from a rare basketball-playing cryptid known as a Shaq-squatch.

Spoon-ending psychic Uri Geller now claims that NASA is covering up the existence of aliens on Mars, and cites as evidence photos of rocks that look like “a breakaway from a UFO” and a recent image of what looks like a doorway he claims was an entrance carved by aliens with a laser beam. As they say, one spoon shy of a table setting.

Timbers recovered from the hull of a 17th-century Spanish galleon found by archaeologists in sea caves off the coast of Oregon have been identified as belonging to the shipwreck of the Santo Cristo de Burgos, which was carrying porcelain, beeswax and Chinese silk when it sank around 1693 – it later inspired the Steven Spielberg cult movie, “The Goonies.” Time for a sequel musical sequel – Goon Side Story.

During a town hall meeting with the staff of Twitter to discuss his pending purchase, Elon Musk suddenly switched to aliens, saying he hasn’t seen any evidence of ETs and asked, "Can we travel to other star systems and see if there are alien civilizations?" Not surprisingly, the response to him was, “You first … the sooner the better.”

British astronaut Tim Peake revealed on a podcast that eating on the International Space Station is different because humans can’t burp in space so all bubbles of digestive gas come out the other end as farts, causing the ISS to smell like “Burnt meat, scorched, metallic smell - almost like static electricity when you take your jumper off and you've got those static sparks." Is this really true or a ploy to inspire ten-year-old boys to become astronauts?

Scientists using AI to detect evidence of campfires from a Lower Paleolithic site in Israel found chemical changes in flint artifacts that were caused when they were used to start fires, putting the first human discovering of how to start fires to around 1 million years ago. This means it was also one million years ago that some caveman tried to inspire his mates that firewalking was a good team building exercise.

A new analysis of well-preserved fossils of a small cephalopod named Vampyronassa rhodanica show this ancestor of modern vampire squids had muscular suckers it used to capture and hold its prey, although there’s no evidence they then sucked out their blood or any internal organs. Would we really be interested if they were called ‘vacuum’ squids?

Stone tools found outside of Canterbury have been dated back to 620,000 years ago when they were used by Homo heidelbergensis, an extinct ancestor of Neanderthals, making them some of the earliest known human ancestors in Britain. Even back then, they wanted nothing to do with hominins in France.

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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