Dec 24, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

Hamster Ghosts, Borg Ants, Loch Ness Monster Sightings, Spinach Hallucinations and More Mysterious News Weekly

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

According to a new study published in Nature Astronomy based on 40 years of observations, the giant gas planet Jupiter does not have regular annual seasons like Earth does, which are caused by Earth’s 23-degree tilt  – instead, Jupiter’s 3-degree tilt gives it one season all Jovian year, but does not explain its wild and random storms and an odd balance of cold weather on one side resulting in warm conditions on the flip side. Could it be caused by Jupiterians trying to discourage visitors from other planets?

If you are worried about a Borg invasion, it may behoove you to study carpenter ants – Harvard researchers used the collective abilities of carpenter ants to design a team of relatively simple robotic ants called RAnts that were given simple instructions and managed to work collectively to solve complex problems such as construction, search and rescue and defense. We’ll get worried when they build an anthill in the shape of a cube.

Monty Python fans should get ready to gloat – a new study has found that walking like Mr. Teabag and Mr. Putey in the “Monty Python Ministry of Silly Walks” sketch can help adults achieve their physical activity targets in just a few minutes a day – walking in Teabag’s style for just 11 minutes is the equivalent of burning off approximately 100 kcal. You can burn even more if you do it while carrying a dead parrot.

People in Fort Worth, Texas, have seen the future and it is a new, fully automated McDonald's restaurant where customers in both takeout and drive-thru can place and get their orders without having to interact with any humans in the process -- some early users hate it while others call it “quick and easy.” What do they do if someone is drowning in the ball pit and there’s no human lifeguard to rescue them?

Expeditions by the Galápagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) and Galápagos Conservancy have discovered the first-ever nesting area of the Pink Iguana and photographed the first Pink Iguana hatchlings ever observed, reviving hope that the Pepto Bismol-colored lizards are not extinct and may still be saved from being critically endangered. We saw Pink Iguanas open for Blue Oyster Cult.

Jessica Gagen, the recently crowned Miss England, will be competing for the Miss World title in the spring while she studies to get a master's degree in rocket science so she can become an astronaut, travel to the space station and inspire young girls to do the same. She could ace the talent competition if she performs ventriloquism with an alien dummy.

There were only seven Loch Ness Monster sightings confirmed by the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register in 2022, just half of 2021’s total, because the registry has tighter webcam sighting rules – only one webcam image was accepted and that was by the serial webcam watcher Eoin O'Fagan from Ireland who had 10 webcam sightings last year. Why bother owning a telly and having no social life?

A mysterious shock wave hit the Earth and cracked the planet’s magnetosphere, leaving us Earthlings vulnerable to space radiation – it may have been a coronal mass ejection (CME) of highly magnetized, superheated gas released from sunspot AR3165, which also caused radio blackouts across the Atlantic Ocean. A Nobel prize for the first person who figures out how to time these solar blasts to occur at the same time as polar blasts and cancel each other out.

Engineers at the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems (LIS) and Biorobotics ab (BioRob) in the School of Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne in Switzerland have invented a robotic bird with unique landing gear that allows it to land on a branch just like a real bird and perch without falling off. It’s so realistic, it squirts oil on cars parked under the tree.

Perfumers in Turkey used plants native to the Mesopotamian region and samples from ancient bottles to recreate an ancient Mesopotamian perfume popular 3,200 years ago and are offering it in replicas of the original bottles. Is this Chanel No. 1?

A graveyard filled with thousands of shark teeth was found 3.5 miles (5.400 km) beneath the surface of the Indian Ocean along the southern tip of Indonesia by a remotely-operated research vessel looking to catch deep sea fish – the 750 teeth range in size from 0.39 inch (1 centimeter) to a single tooth from a megalodon measuring 4 inches (10 cm) and the researchers think they were dropped by a community of ancient sharks that lived there. We saw Shark Tooth Graveyard open for a Bobby Darin impersonator.

Porsche is developing a new synthetic fuel at a wind-powered plant in Punta Arenas, Chile, that combines carbon captured from the atmosphere with hydrogen from water to create methane, which is converted into a fuel that works the same as gasoline in a standard 911 engine - since it requires as much carbon dioxide to make as it emits in its emissions, it is essentially a net-zero fuel. It currently costs $45 a gallon but that’s still cheaper than mounting a windmill on a 911.

If you see a cinnamon-colored bear, you don’t need new glasses - researchers from the United States and Canada found a genetic mutation similar to one that causes albinism in humans that is causing American black bears to turn red or cinnamon-colored … they are most often seen in Nevada, Arizona and Idaho. Turns out your father wasn’t quite joking when he told you those bear claws at the bakery came from cinnamon bears.

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have developed a four-legged robot called MARVEL (Magnetically Adhesive Robot for Versatile and Expeditious Locomotion) that can climb up iron and steel walls and across ceilings using magnetic legs and feet and can climb at an incredible 1.6 feet per second – the fastest vertical and inverted walking speed of climbing robots to date. If you can’t find yours, it’s probably stuck to the front of your refrigerator.

Grocery stores in Australia had to recall certain prepackaged salad mixes containing baby spinach after they gave people eating them "serious hallucinations," delirium, fever, dilated pupils, and blurred vision, causing some to require medical attention – the spinach may have been grown near the Datura stramonium weed, better known as "jimsonweed" or "devil's trumpet" which contains the toxic chemicals atropine and scopolamine which can produce hallucinations. Olive Oyl knew there was a problem when Popeye spent hours staring into his pipe.

A woman walking her Labrador through a forest said to be haunted a ‘Grey Lady’ in Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, at around 6.30 am recorded what she believed to be a “demonic figure” crawling across the path – the witness was able to illuminate the white silhouette with a flashlight and swore it was not cigarette or vape smoke and looked more human than animal. did anyone check to see if the dog is now a Labrador believer?

A British psychic says she knew she had the ability and became a believer in the afterlife when she saw the ghost of her friend's dead hamster rise from its body after it died in her hands – since then she has also communicated with dead people as well. Do dead hamsters go to a heaven where all of the humans are running on wheels?

In the creepiest video of the week, biologists at the University of California San Diego released a clip showing a plant breathing carbon dioxide thorough its stomata – a tiny lip-shaped opening commonly referred to as the ‘mouth’ of a plant – and they say this will help scientists to produce crops robust enough for a changing environment where atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration continues to increase. Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors showed it to Seymour and told him this is how you kiss a plant.

In the second-creepiest video of the week, researchers at Kobe University in Japan showed how the male of the mason wasp species Anterhynchium gibbifrons uses spikes on its penis as a weapon against hungry frogs trying to eat it – it works against tree frogs but pond frogs just ignored them. The third-creepiest video of the week would be one showing how these barbed-penis wasps mate.

Scientists at the University of Kent claim they’ve created a biogel out of talin, a protein found in human cells, that is capable of stopping supersonic objects such as a speeding bullet – they claim talin is a natural shock absorber and it could one day protect military and police personnel, as well as guard airplanes and spacecraft against flying debris. You first, Kent scientists.

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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