Jun 10, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

Mysterious Minotaur, Antarctic Microplastics, Thor versus Asteroids and More Mysterious News Briefly

For the past four months, the Mars Perseverance rover has had a rock stuck in its front left wheel – the rock is now over five miles from its home and scientists are afraid a future Mars geologist might find it and be thoroughly confused as to how it got there. Mars colonists are in big trouble if future Mars geologists can’t recognize tire tracks.

On the Isle of Wight, paleontologists have uncovered Spinosaurus fossils from a dinosaur exceeding 10 meters (33 feet) in length, making this the largest Spinosaurus, a two-legged carnivorous therapod, ever found in southern England or southwest Europe. Nothing says “movie idea” like a carnivorous dinosaur on an island.

Two pieces of a 1200-year-old ornate Viking sword that were discovered a year apart by amateur treasure hunters in Norway have been reunited by an archeologist who identified them as the hilt of a massive Viking Age weapon decorated with intricate carvings and gold and silver details that may have been may forged in the Frankish Empire or England around 800 CE and owned by a wealthy Viking. Has anyone considered hooking a metal detector to a robot vacuum cleaner and automating the hunt for buried treasures?

Celebrities should be on alert -- law professors from Georgia State University and the University of Maryland warn that "genetic paparazzi" could soon be stealing the DNA of public figures, Hollywood stars and politicians via strands of hair, fingernails, dead skin and saliva and using it to steal their identities, blackmail them or even create clones. Good luck getting baseball stars to stop spitting.

A mysterious one and a half meter tall statue of a mythical minotaur, a creature with the body of a human and the head of a bull, found standing on the bottom of Lake Mari Menuco in Neuquén, Argentina, has been revealed to be a recent project by artists to inspire locals to keep the lake waters clean. We’ll find out soon if a bull-headed mythical being really inspire bull-headed polluting humans.

If climate change wasn’t bad enough for Antarctica, for the first time scientists have found particles of microplastics in freshly fallen snow from 19 different sites across the volcanic Ross Island, with PET (polyethylene terephthalate, used in soft-drink bottles and clothing) being the most common type -- it was found in nearly 80% of the samples. Will this be the last plastic straw that finally drives penguins to rise up against humans?

Researchers at the Auckland University of Technology profiled the chemical composition of New Zealand honeydew honey (myelate) produced by western honeybees (Apis mellifera) from honeydew and it has high antioxidant properties due to its pH, electrical conductivity, higher content of disaccharides, trisaccharides, and lower level of monosaccharides. Can you cut out the middle-bee and just eat the honeydew melon?

Scientists from Princeton University and Yale University extracted DNA from a female giant tortoise found on Fernandina Island and confirmed that she is a Fernandina Island Galápagos giant tortoises (Chelonoidis phantasticus, or 'fantastic giant tortoise') that were thought to have been extinct for more than century, leading the researchers to hope a male also exists to save the species. Did anyone ask her what SHE thinks about that?

Two researchers from the private B612 Foundation’s Asteroid Institute, Ed Lu, a former Nasa astronaut, and Danica Remy, president of B612, have developed a non-telescope asteroid-tracking tool called THOR which is an algorithm that compares points of light in the night sky to determine an individual asteroid’s trajectory and has already discovered 104 asteroids. It sounds like a great tool, but if they’re going to call it Thor, it should at least hammer killer asteroids.

Photos of what appears to be half of the body of an Atlantic Sharpnose shark on a beach in Oak Island, Canada, have many in the area frightened that it was killed by a huge great white shark, not sliced in half by a boat propeller – a theory experts say is plausible because sharks are known to cannibalize others of their species. It ate the rear and left the side with the fin, which should indicate to those killing sharks for their fins that even sharks know there’s no medicinal value to them.

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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