Dec 03, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

ET Hand, Outer Space Partying, Poughkeepsie Bigfoot, Ghost Photos and More Mysterious News Briefly

Astronomers at the Zwicky Transient Facility in California have determined that the source of an incredibly bright X-ray, optical and radio signal named AT 2022cmc appearing from halfway across the Universe and pointed directly at Earth is a jet of matter blasting out of a supermassive black hole at close to the speed of light – it’s probably shredding a star and its brightness is due to being aimed right at us. Please don’t tell us it is signaling, “Beware, Earthings -- this could be you!”

A payload on board the uncrewed Orion spacecraft currently orbiting the Moon contains an iPad, featuring video conferencing software and an Alexa speaker which was shown in a video from Lockheed Martin, which built the Orion capsule, going into “party mode” which caused Alexa to engage "celebration lighting" – a lame display of flashing red, blue and green LED lights. Could this be a ruse to keep aliens away by making them think we still have disco fever?

Researchers from the Osaka City University and other organizations have created a synthetic swimming bacterium named JCVI-syn3B by genetically engineering the actively swimming crustacean pathogen Spiroplasma eriocheiris and a non-motile synthetic bacterium – the synthetic JCVI-syn3B changed from its normal spherical shape into a spiraling helix, which was able to swim by reversing the helix’s direction just like Spiroplasma. It’s perfect for dentist offices where the staff forgets to feed the live fish in the aquarium.

Ancient carved owls found on the Iberian Peninsula and dating back to the Copper Age (3500 BCE to 2750 BCE) were once thought to be sacred objects representing deities for use during rituals, but a new study reveals that they were more likely to have been palm-sized children's toys. Give one to a kid today and they’ll want to know how to swipe on it to show a parrot or an angry birds game.

Archeologists digging in the sewers deep beneath Rome’s Colosseum uncovered the ancient remains of dachshunds or wiener dogs which were probably used as part of the "hunting" performances to entertain spectators in between gladiator battles or people being fed to wild animals. Did Julius Caesar actually get killed because he couldn’t pay his wiener dog racing debts?

Most of the Fiji Islands may be tropical paradises, but a new study found that Vanua Levu, the second largest island of Fiji, is being choked to death by vines, including the invasive kudzu, which was introduced by US troops in World War II as living camouflage, and vines from the morning glory family, which grow over the tree canopy and devour everything in their path. We saw The Hungry Vines open for Strawberry Alarm Clock.

Joipaw, a start-up based in Hong Kong, has developed a series of touchscreen games and a lick-resistant screen so that pet dogs can play video games while their owners are at work … thus reducing the problems caused by loneliness and separation anxiety. Whack-a-Squirrel sounds like harmless fun until you put it on a widescreen TV and the squirrel is bigger than your dog.

If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, it’s still a good idea to check with the police before you call ghostbusters as a woman in India found out when she discovered that the electric devices switching on and off, cables getting burnt, a television set exploding and more scary occurrences in her home were not caused by a poltergeist or demon but by a 14-year-old boy who figured out how to hack phones, appliances and electronic devices. The police let him go but kept his name for future employment.

Wildlife officials in Seneca, New York, say a video making the rounds on the Internet shows a rare white deer that is believed to be leucistic – having a skin condition which causes white patches even all white fur – and not a true albino deer because its eyes are dark rather than pink. The true test is to see if the deer starts dancing to “Free Ride” by the Edgar Winter Group.

The oldest ever fossilized skeleton of a pterosaur has been discovered near Painten, a small town in the southern part of the Franconian Alb in central Bavaria by archeologists who needed more than 120 hours of meticulous mechanical work using pneumatic tools and needles before they could study it and date it to the upper Kimmeridgian stage around 152 million years ago. Did pterosaurs gather in Bavaria to celebrate Flocktoberfest?

Alleged TikTok time traveler @timevoyaging claims he’s come from the future to warn present-day humans that World War III is coming – and his proof is what he says is a photo of explosions over a city and flames shooting into the sky. If you haven’t yet decided to quit TikTok, that’s one prediction you can count on happening after viewing it.

A couple in Brazil posted photos of what looks like a bony hand with long fingers that they found on a beach in Ilha Comprida and their claim that it looked like the hand of an extraterrestrial had many people agreeing with them – until a marine biologist chimed in and identified it as the skeletal bones of the flipper of a whale or dolphin that died about 18 months ago. Too bad that TikTok time traveler (see above) can’t go back 18 months and push the whale back into the water.

The Bigfoot Researchers of the Hudson Valley report that a Poughkeepsie woman came to them with a recent Bigfoot sighting where the creature walked under a street light so she could see it clearly before it disappeared into the woods … while she didn’t have a photo of that one, she provided a pic of a strange footprint she found in the same area in February. What would really be impressive would be a Bigfoot that could correctly pronounce and spell “Poughkeepsie.”

In his new book “Sovereign Mars: Transforming Our Values through Space Settlement,” astrobiologist Jacob Haqq-Misra warns that people should stop using terms like “colonizing,” “exploring” and “developing” when discussing space travel in order to avoid propagating the imperialistic tendencies which got humans into trouble while “exploring and colonizing” places on Earth that were already inhabited by other humans. Good luck with that … especially if extraterrestrials look like dogs or hamburgers.

Ghost hunters from the paranormal investigation group Hunter Tours spent the night in Fort Horsted, an allegedly haunted fort in Kent, England, and claim they photographed a “child's face” after using a Ouija board, communicating with a child’s spirit and hearing something shuffling down a dark alleyway. They’ll know it’s real if the Ouija board picks up a message from the child’s parents asking for copies.

After getting support and approvals from the Massachusetts Historical Society, the state's Department of Transportation, a state senator and the governor of Massachusetts, Roger Kriney succeeded in getting a part of Interstate 495 renamed to the Susannah North Martin Highway in honor of his ancestor who was executed for witchcraft over 300 years ago during the Salem witch trials. It’s too bad they didn’t need to get that many approvals before being able to execute witches.

Scientists at h the Kunming Institute of Botany in China have discovered a way to genetically modify a tobacco plant (Nicotiana benthamiana) to make it generate cocaine -- about 25 percent of the amount found in a coca plant. That’s not much, but it could be enough to inspire Eric Clapton to merge his song “Cocaine” with “Tobacco Road.”

If you find yourself dancing for no apparent reason, a new study says it may be because sound frequencies below human hearing can stimulate the vestibular system, which mediates our sense of balance and body position, and move people to bob their heads and tap their feet much more than when they just hear the bass beat of a song at a concert. No matter how hard they try … it won’t help polka bands.

While analyzing iron pyrite rocks in upstate New York for signs of toxic arsenic, environmental scientists discovered tiny bubbles of seawater that have been trapped in the rocks for some 390 million years since the Middle Devonian period from a sea that would have stretched from where Michigan is today to Ontario in Canada. Let’s hope the scientists aren’t bubble wrap addicts and don’t start popping them.

Archaeologists digging in the Qubbet el-Hawa necropolis near Aswan in Egypt found an unfinished, 3,800-year-old ancient 12th dynasty Egyptian tomb with a chapel perfectly aligned with the sunrise on the winter solstice – making this the oldest known tomb in Egypt that is aligned with the winter solstice. Did grave robbers figure out they pointed in this direction too?

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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