Jun 03, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

UFO Believers Poll, First Exaflop Computer, Unusual Planetary Alignment and More Mysterious News Briefly

The latest Morning Consult/Politico poll shows that 62% of U.S. voters think there is extraterrestrial life, and of those, 79% believe the American government has concealed the existence of UFOs from the public -- Democrats are more likely than independents and Republicans to believe in ETs, and Gen Z voters and millennials are bigger believers than Gen Xers and baby boomers. And they all believe these polls are more fun than the ones asking who they’d vote for.

Researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria have developed a way to turn skyscrapers into giant batteries with Lift Energy Storage Technology (LEST) – a process by which autonomous robots load heavy ballasts into existing elevators when demand for power is low and store them at the top of the building, then load them back into the elevators and lower them down, generating extra electricity through a generator. Good news for those in high blackout areas who think the electric company is giving them the shaft.

Construction crews building a new industrial park near Mérida, the capital of Yucatan, found the well-preserved ruins of a city that archaeologists in Mexico have identified as a busy Maya community of over 4,000 residents that existed between 600 to 900 C.E. – its name is unknown so archaeologists named it Xiol, which means "spirit of man” in the Mayan language. Did you ever wonder if experts already know why major Maya cities collapsed but are afraid to tell us?

SpinLaunch, the company that is currently testing using a giant centrifuge as a kinetic cannon to fire satellites into orbit, has admitted to disappointed potential astronauts wanting a ride into space that the g-forces from being spun around that fast would be fatal. However, it still sounds like the perfect way to launch T-shirts to space tourists.

The first catalogue of genomic diversity for endangered chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) in the wild has been produced by international researchers collecting DNA from wild chimpanzee poo and will be used to fight the illegal trade of chimps by linking animals to their places of origin. Chimps are happy to finally be able to fling their poo for a good cause.

The Frontier computer at the federal Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee was able to reach the speed of 1.1 exaflops per second – an exaflop is one thousand petaflops, so this is a billion billion operations per second – which moves it to No. 1 in the world supercomputer rankings. At that speed, it takes seconds to give thousands of game players carpal tunnel syndrome.

This weekend, those who have an unobstructed view of the horizon to the east and south-east can see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn with the naked eye in a line by their distance to the Sun – the first time they have appeared in this order in the northern hemisphere since December 2004. Does NASA keep these alignments secret until the last minute to avoid apocalyptic panics?

Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and the Research Center for Information Technology in Karlsruhe are competing in the ESA’s Lunar Polar Challenge, a competition to design robotic dogs that will run in packs to find and dig up resources in inhospitable areas of the moon like its south pole. This does not bode well for lunar trees, fire hydrants and trash cans.

Scientists at 3DBio Therapeutics have successfully transplanted a 3D printed ear made from a patient's own cells, a first in the field of tissue engineering, and the ear, which perfectly matches her other one, is expected to grow and function normally, eventually generating its own cartilage tissue. This is one woman who will never complain about an earache.

A man spearfishing fishing in Thailand came up for air and a spikey Anabas fish jumped out of the water and unfortunately into his open mouth, where it tried to escape through his nose, got stuck between his throat and nasal cavity, then worked its way down his throat and restricted his oxygen supply until emergency surgery removed the fish. The fish was five inches long, but that story justifies allowing this fisherman to brag that it was much bigger.

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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