A roundup of mysterious, paranormal and strange news stories from the past week.
Facebook user Kim Windell Necos, a self-proclaimed time traveler from 2090, claims the "worst hurricane in history" will United States' east coast as soon as August 14, 2022 – even though there is nothing brewing in the Atlantic and nothing forecast by non-time-traveling weather forecasters. Could the problem be that Necos doesn’t know that in 2022, the proper place for time travel revelations is on TikTok?
If you’re ever wondered how giant sauropod dinosaurs – Brontosaurus and Diplodocus are two kinds – supported their gigantic bodies on land, a University of Queensland team used 3D modelling and engineering methods to digitally reconstruct different sauropod foot bones and found that the sauropod's hind feet had a soft tissue pad beneath the ‘heel’, cushioning the foot to absorb their immense weight. Now they need to explain how a T. rex with sore feet could reach to rub them with those tiny arms.
Sam Sutton, senior lecturer of music at the University of West London, compiled the perfect playlist to soothe your dog’s nerves in the car – the most soothing are “How Deep Is Your Love,” the Bee Gees, “No Woman No Cry,” Bob Marley, “(Everything I Do) I’ll Do It for You,” Bryan Adams and “I Want to Know What Love Is,” Foreigner, while the worst songs include “Black Dog,” Led Zeppelin, “Back In Black,” ACDC, and “Paranoid,” Black Sabbath. Nothing by Snoop Dogg or Three Dog Night?
UCLA anthropology professor and field primatologist Susan Perry found that female white-faced capuchin monkeys living in the tropical dry forests of northwestern Costa Rica live longer if they have fellow female capuchins as friends and are integrated into social networks. Good luck convincing your BFF that you’ll both live longer if you pick the bugs off of each other.
The landlord of the Ring O Bells pub in Kendal, Cumbria, claims footage on his CCTV camera shows a pint being pushed off a table onto the floor by the invisible ghost of a teenager who died when he was pushed down a nearby well. What does he do with a glass filled with a ‘well’ drink?
Park rangers at Lake Mead in Nevada found human skeletal remains at the lake's Swim Beach – that’s the fourth set found at the lake since May when the drought dropped its level to the lowest since the 1930s. If this keeps up and it keeps exposing possible murder victims, Lake Mead may find itself sleeping with the fishes in another lake.
Paul Oakley was driving through the town of Sprowston when he saw and recorded what looked like a large black 'alien big cat’ crossing a field – people viewing it on social media thought it was a "black leopard" but a wildlife rescue worker claimed it was just a domestic cat because the tail tip didn’t curl over like a panther’s. Don’t you hate advice from people who prefer to stand behind you whispering “Get closer, it won’t hurt you!”?
A video posted on Facebook shows what appears to be a tall figure in a hooded black robe walking along a trail in what is said to be Kentucky – some viewers thought the brief video showed a Skinwalker, the Grim Reaper, the devil, or someone in a costume depicting one of them. With the recent floods in Kentucky, wouldn’t that be a Skinwader?
At a meeting of stockholders, CEO Elon Musk said, "We have a very talented team here. So I think Tesla, you know, would continue to do very well even if I was kidnapped by aliens, or went back to my home planet." Before you get your hopes up, his home planet is probably tired of his antics too.
A 20-year veteran of chicken farming in Oxfordshire was shocked when one of her hens laid a perfectly round egg, which she said had a "one-in-a-billion" chance of happening – she has the egg for sale on eBay and got a bid of £480 ($585). For that kind of money, the real pressure is on the roosters.
Most baseball players worry about contracts, beanballs and slumps, but Tampa Bay Rays player Yandy Diaz worries about ghosts -- the 6-foot-2, 215-pound third baseman recently objected to staying in the historic 1893 Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee which players have long claimed is haunted by spirits. The Rays lost both games to the Brewers – does the ghost get the win or a save?
Brain fog is a common problem in humans, but a new study reveals that disease-caused befuddledness is common across the animal kingdom – creatures from rats to birds to bees show signs of cognitive impairment from diseases, parasites, immune responses to infection, malnutrition, climate change and other conditions. In other words, you don’t have to be a squirrel to act squirrely.
Those mysterious holes that look like footprints which were discovered by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on the ocean floor around the mid-Atlantic Ridge have defied explanation, so the NOAA has collected water samples from the area in an attempt to find environmental DNA that might help identify who or what made this orderly line of holes 1.5 miles beneath the surface. No one is saying aliens – someone check to see if Giorgio Tsoukalos is OK.
A team of Japanese researchers has figured out how to make carbon nano-onions -- nanometer-sized particles made from layers of carbon atoms connected in sheets like layers of onions -- in a few seconds by microwaving fish scales from fish waste … but they can’t explain why this microwave pyrolysis works, only that the nano-onions are excellent electrical conductors and harmless to people and the environment. Harmless? Fish think that sounds fishy.
The U.S. Space Force is using robot dogs or quadruped unmanned ground vehicles (Q-UGVs) made by Ghost Robotics for security patrols around the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station for "damage assessments and patrol to save significant man hours" – the robot dogs can be operated autonomously and can even respond to voice commands. They also can be armed, so don’t pretend to throw a ball and tell one to fetch it.
Meta unveiled its most advanced AI chatbot to date, BlenderBot 3, and it had some unusual and conflicting opinions on Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, from "I think he is a great guy" to "He's too creepy and manipulative, “his business practices are not always ethical” and “It is funny that he has all this money and still wears the same clothes!" Is this proof that AI has finally become human?
Speaking of AI, the AI software company Metaphysic has revealed a simple trick to catch people trying to use live deepfake software on a video call: ask them to turn their head to the side -- most deepfake algorithms are based on front-on facial alignments and profile views are difficult to generate effectively, so the side views look blurry or don’t match or are missing some facial features. Just make sure you have a backup plan before asking your boss to turn sideways.
Few people were fooled by a recent shadowy photo of what was said to be the Loch Ness monster emerging from the water – other photos confirmed it was actually an alpaca that had escaped from the from Loch Ness Alpacas sanctuary in Dores, Inverness, and decided to take a cool dip on a hot day before being recaptured by its owners. Even logs thought it was a fake.
You may hate them like the plague, but researchers at Michigan State University found that locusts can not only "smell" the difference between cancer cells and healthy cells, but they can also distinguish between different cancer cell lines – they hope to develop a closed and portable sensor using just the biological components of the locust needed to sense and analyze volatile compounds that are signs of hidden cancer. Locusts sniffing cancer – holy Moses!
Researchers studying tiny, bug-eyed, Yoda-like nocturnal primates called tarsiers found they sing duets together like opera singers as part of a mating ritual, and those who have trouble hitting the high notes or staying in key have a hard time attracting mates. This is bad news for tarsiers but might make human operas more interesting to a wider audience.