A roundup of mysterious, paranormal and strange news stories from the past week.
Chinese scientists disagree with Harvard professor Avi Loeb’s hypothesis that the interstellar asteroid ‘Oumuamua is really an alien ship powered by an extremely thin light sail – they say ‘Oumuamua showed none of the distinct observational signatures of a light sail, to which Loeb countered that they didn’t take into account the possibility that the ‘spaceship’ was using a light sail shaped like nothing known to humans. To which extraterrestrials are probably saying, “Close, but no cigar-shaped mystery object.”
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed low-cost, painless, and bloodless tattoos that can be self-administered by using microneedles smaller than a grain of sand that are made of tattoo ink encased in a dissolvable matrix which can be painlessly pressed into the skin just once and then dissolve, leaving the ink in the skin after a few minutes without bleeding – the tattoos may disappear after a year but they could be permanent as well. Is this a sign of progress or an indication that researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are chicken when it comes to tattoos?
A new satellite BlueWalker 3, developed by AST SpaceMobile and launched on a SpaceX rocket, has astronomers concerned because it the 1,500-kilogram satellite is the largest commercial antenna array ever launched, and it will eventually deploy an 8-meter antenna which could make it the brightest object in the sky besides the Moon – and AST SpaceMobile is planning to launch over 100 even larger satellites starting next year. Forget the astronomers – what about all of those musicians who will no longer be able to write romantic songs about the Moon and stars?
Two new studies conducted by Australian researchers from the University of NSW in Sydney reveal that they have developed human hematopoietic or blood stem cells and identified the cells in mice embryos that are responsible for blood stem cell creation within the aorta – putting use a big step closer to one day eliminating the need for blood transfusions or stem cell transplantation from donors. Coming soon to a campsite near you -- trailers made from converted bloodmobiles.
Hundreds of people in ten different locations in the town of Tequila, Mexico, spotted and recorded what appeared to be a flying saucer with rotating lights slowly spinning in the night sky until it eventually vanished – while may witnesses thought it was an alien ship, others blamed it on Starlink satellites. Funny that no one blamed it on tequila.
A marker erected in 2019 by the town of Plattsburgh, New York, honoring Champy, the alleged monster living in Lake Champlain, was stolen in November 2021 and never returned – it has finally been replaced by a new marker using funds donated by townspeople and coordinated by the Clinton County Historical Association. Did anyone consider it could have been stolen by a monster who just wants to be left alone?
A strange-looking UFO-shaped building spotted floating on Norway's Hardangerfjord lake, just outside Rosendal, has been identified as the Salmon Eye – a “floating aquaculture information centre and art installation” built to withstand waves over 13 feet as it houses a pavilion dedicated to educating the public, can visit the Salmon Eye by electric boats, on how to better feed the planet with sustainable seafood. It is so breathtakingly unusual, even salmon eye it.
A man in Oxfordshire is lucky to be alive with just a few scars on his arm after he was hit by a bolt of lightning as he sat on his couch playing Stray on his PlayStation – he also has a ‘starburst’-shaped burn on his right hand from the lightning bolt which his doctors think “bounced off the water and through the window” after hot weather had made the ground hard, causing rainwater to sit on top. He is now looking for a lawyer experienced in suing puddles.
Researchers from Kyoto University published a new study in Frontiers in Robotics and AI on how they trained their AI system on the art of conversational laughter, eventually teaching the algorithm how to recognize the appropriate times to respond to a human conversation with a solo laughs social laugh (polite or embarrassed laughter) or the laughter of mirth. It was fun until the robot started laughing at the whole idea.
Experts from Gardening Express say that the heatwaves and the abundance of food from uncollected rubbish and leftovers have provided the ideal conditions for rats to feast and breed fast - resulting in the invasion of giant ultra-rats that will take over if they’re not stopped by preventative measures and extermination. They’re smart too – they planned this invasion to be timed with the queen’s funeral.
Two almost perfectly round dinosaur eggs about the size of cannonballs were recovered from the Qianshan Basin of Anhui Province, East China, and date back to the Cretaceous period between 145 million and 66 million years ago – researchers think the eggs were laid by ornithopods, which were small, plant-eating, bipedal dinosaurs that went extinct when the asteroid hit. Chickens are undoubtedly glad whatever they descended from laid oval eggs.
Dr. Sascha Quanz of Switzerland's federal technology institute ETH Zurich said at a recent opening of the university's new Center for the Origin and Prevalence of Life that he thinks humans are likely to discover life beyond our planet within the next 25 years by investigating the atmospheres of exoplanets. Is he looking for traces of hot chocolate breath?
German designer Stephan Henrich used 3D-printed parts to develop a line of footwear called "The Cryptide Sneaker" in honor of Bigfoot, since the footprints left by these shoes have soles that are abnormally wide and feature toe-like structures on the front of them just like a Sasquatch would make. Those muffled sounds you hear are the sobs of serious Bigfoot researchers.
Videos taken by the Marine Biological Association (MBA) and the Irish Basking Shark Group of the endangered basking sharks show their rarely observed circling behaviors and a new study finally figured out why they do it – it is a form of “shark speed dating” where the creatures can evaluate many potential mates at the same time – they also noted that the females take on a lighter color during the circle dances, possibly because of an increase in hormones. Will they form a line dance if you play “Mack the Knife”?
Speaking of speed dating, a psychic fair at Camp Chesterfield in Indiana offers speed readings lasting 10 minutes, then the person getting the reading stands up and tried another psychic. It’s like speed chess – everyone wants to know their next move or are looking for a new queen or white knight.
A company called Fifty-One Apparel, which markets menopause-relief apparel, is using U.S. Air Force material originally designed for space shuttle-era spacesuit gloves in a new fabric line to help women coping with the physical discomforts, especially hot flashes, that come with the onset of menopause – the “phase-change” materials allow individuals to maintain a consistent temperature in different environments shifting between heat and cold. Plus, they’re great for convincing your grandkids you were once in the space program.
A new study published in the Astronomical Journal claims the planet Earth is not as habitable as it could be, but that could be fixed if Jupiter's orbit was shifted slightly, it would in turn induce big changes in the shape of Earth’s orbit -- parts of the Earth would sometimes get closer to the sun, warming surface areas that are now sub-freezing. “What could possibly go wrong?” asked every science fiction writer thinking about turning this into a new movie.
Robert Bigelow, Bigelow Aerospace founder and entrepreneur, is again offering grants of up to $1 million to fund an attempt to communicate with someone who has died, with the money being divided between research on “the survival of human consciousness beyond permanent bodily death" and “contact or communication with the 'other side’." Harry Houdini … check your messages.
A new study published in Neuropsychologia found that people playing a cooperative game together online can achieve brainwave synchronization, even when they're in total isolation and not face-to-face with any other players – EEG (electroencephalography) scanners their real-time brain activity through electrical signals showed that the players actually achieved brainwave synchronization across alpha, beta, and gamma waves. “Very interesting,” thought Mark Zuckerberg.
Researchers from University of Twente in the Netherlands asked college students to test Proctorio, a popular anti-cheating software used by schools around the world, and they found that the students managed to easily fool it and cheat regularly. All together now: "Duh!”