Jul 23, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

Evolving Crop Circle, Time Traveler Warnings, UFOs Blink Morse Code, Zombie Trees and More Mysterious News Briefly

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

The mysterious object that looks like a ball of string discovered and photographed by the Mars Perseverance rover disappeared in another photograph of the same spot taken four days later. While it was probably the wind, scientists should check the audio recording to listen for a Martian custodian muttering, “Messy humans.”

An 88-year-old grandmother in Dudley, West Midlands, called the police to report that her yard was suddenly covered with human bones and skulls and she was “scared to death” – the police determined that the bones were brought there by grave-robbing badgers who stole them from a nearby cemetery and can’t be removed until mating season is over. “Mating Grave-Robbing Badgers” sounds like a great band name.

Researchers in India exposed dairy cows to traditional Indian instrumental music of flutes and sitars before and during milking and found that it resulted in a "significant difference in milking time, milking speed, cortisol hormones and behavioral parameters such as milk let-down" compared to cows that weren't played any music. Could it be that the music reminds the cows they are in India and in no danger of being eaten?

Another TikTok time traveller, @timevoyaging, is warning that in 2023 humans will discover a parallel world on a planet called Azawa which is "completely opposite" to our own, and the residents are hostile and have been causing disasters on Earth since 9/11. ‘@timevoyaging’ also included the obligatory “yes I am a real time traveller” statement, which would be more believable if it came from the Azawanians.

In one of the more unusual crop circle occurrences, a circle near Barbury Castle in the county of Wiltshire with a solid hexagon inside of it appeared one day, but on the following day the hexagon had been changed into triangles that looked like blades spinning in the wind. Is this proof that crop circles are hard for humans to complete in one night or that aliens sometimes change their minds?

UFO witnesses in La Paz, Bolivia, claim a bright light floating in the sky and seen by many people was “blinking or trying to communicate by Morse code” for five minutes, but local ufologists have so far been unable to decipher any message. Could the message have been, “We can’t believe we’re trying to communicate with a backwards civilization using this antiquated method”?

Over 1,000 dinosaur footprints were discovered in just two weeks by scientists in the small town Huatacondo in northern Chile, with the footprints being from newborn, juvenile, and adult sauropods (quadrupedal dinosaurs) and theropods (bipedal dinosaurs) over an area spanning 11.5 square miles, with some being as old as 150 million years and from the late Jurassic period – some were 40 inches long, leading the scientists to estimate that the dinosaurs were 40 feet long. Were the sauropods or the therapods responsible for crowd control?

It has barely been operational for a week, but the James Webb Space Telescope has already discovered two possible candidate galaxies, named GLASS-z11 and GLASS-z13, that appear to date back to just 300 million years following the Big Bang, making them the oldest and most distant galaxies ever discovered. These are the galaxies that tell younger ones to get off of their front star lawns.

The founders of CO2Rail, a Texas-based company revealed they are working to create solar-powered trains equipped with direct air capture systems that suck carbon dioxide out of the air as they travel down the track – an improvement over current CO2 capture systems that don’t move – and the first prototype looks like a real Thomas the Tank Engine. Which will come first – the train-based CO2 capture system or the animated series based on the idea?

A fossilized bird at the South Australian Museum has been labeled the Taphaetus lacertosus, meaning 'powerful grave eagle,' for more than 100 years, but a new study by researchers from Flinders University has confirmed that the bird is actually a vulture that flew over Australia 500 to 50 thousand years ago and is now called Cryptogyps lacertosus, meaning 'powerful hidden vulture'. And the department which mislabed it is now called Mea culpa, meaning ‘my bad.’

A University of California at Berkeley robotics team used an algorithm called Dreamer that harnesses past experiences to build a model of the real world to create a robotic dog that learned how to walk, roll over and navigate obstacles in just one hour. The real question is, how long will it take to learn how to chew furniture and then learn the meaning of “Bad dog!”?

A new study of 3,000 beachgoers found that men get hungrier than women when exposed to the sun because sunlight activates a protein called p53 that signals the male body to produce ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates the appetite, which in the female body is blocked by the hormone estrogen. Then why doesn’t going to the beach help you drop the weight to fit into your bikini? (Asking for a frustrated friend.)

Police in the southeast Chinese province of Fujian claim they solved a burglary case by analyzing blood from a mosquito squashed on a wall – the DNA analysis traced it to a habitual burglar. He may not give up his life of crime, but he’s definitely stopped swatting mosquitoes.

New research from the University of California, Riverside, shows that plants may survive increasing stress due to by climate change by creating salicylic acid, better known as aspirin, to kill the pain caused by excessive heat, too much sun and a lock of water. It’s probably also a great excuse when a plant isn’t in the mood for dealing with bees.

Forget the gym – scientists from Japan’s University of Hiroshima were studying how bears can hibernate for long periods of time without losing muscle mass and found out that human muscles can also preserve their mass if injected with bear serum – a benefit to people who are bedridden for extended periods. The tough part is suppressing the sudden urge to growl and steal honey.

Coral reef researchers from Tel Aviv University studying mysterious deep reef corals with glowing green and yellow tentacles have finally determined that the corals use their fluoresce bright colors to lure their prey, usually tiny shrimp, towards them for dinner. Before you think about it, this won’t work if you take a fluorescent flashlight to your favorite all-you-can-eat seafood joint.

Proving once again that you can do a study about anything, researchers at Zoo Atlanta sretched pieces of elephant skin from trunks and proved that, contrary to popular opinion, the tough upper skin of an elephant’s trunk, which crumples into creases and crags like the folded furrows of a shar-pei puppy, is about 15 percent stretchier than the gently wrinkled skin on the underside. Next thing to look into … why do such huge fly-attracting beasts have such tiny tails?

Arborists in Central Florida are warning homeowners to be on the lookout for “zombie trees” – trees that have been damaged in a storm but show no physical signs … only to one day fall over and crush a car or house. Be wary if a tree leans oddly, has a strange brown spot or if you find squirrels at the base with their brains missing.

Cyprus has opened its first underwater archaeological park, offering visitors a glimpse of the ancient harbor of Amathus constructed between 312/311 BCE and 294 BCE when Cyprus was the focus of conflict between two successors of Alexander the Great. Not to be outdone, a popular park in the U.S. is considering opening a Six Flags UNDER Texas.

Hungarian researchers claim they have no idea how the eggs of a carnivorous Russian sturgeon, used to make expensive caviar, and the sperm of a American paddlefish, a completely different species, managed to get together in their lab and create hundreds of hybrids, with 100 of these "sturddlefish" still alive today with their mother’s mouth and carnivorous appetite and their father’s fins and snout. The hybrid sturddlefish is sterile so its caviar is more like caviarn’t.

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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