A roundup of mysterious, paranormal and strange news stories from the past week.
A team of researchers from the Centre for Music in the Brain at Aarhus University in Denmark analyzed more than 225,000 songs that people claimed they used to help fall asleep and found that 31 percent of them were unexpectedly energetic and faster in tempo, like Coldplay’s The Scientist and Perfect by Ed Sheeran. If you can’t decide, look for a cover of Rock-a-bye Baby by Aerosmith.
More than 500 years after Leonardo da Vinci watched air bubbles float up through water and could not figure out why some inexplicably started spiraling or zigzagging instead of making a straight ascent to the surface – a dilemma which became known as “Leonardo’s paradox” – a new study solved it by showing that bubbles can reach a critical radius that pushes them into odd directions due to interactions between the flow of water around them and the subtle deformations of their shapes – the zigzagging begins when a bubble reaches the a radius of 0.926 millimeters, or about the size of a pencil point. This sounds like a study which may have exceeded its budget for beer and soda.
Archaeologists in Germany discovered a 3,000-year-old well filled with finely crafted ceramic bowls and pots, jewelry, plant remains and other items that indicate this was a Bronze Age wishing well into which resident lowered ritual offerings and made wishes – in this case, possibly for better crops or more rain. To the relief of fans of Lassie, they found no clothes belonging to a boy named Timmy.
An Australian crocodile catcher in Darwin photographed strange blue lights “imploding and exploding and then coming back into themselves" in the sky – he doesn’t think they were the mysterious Minmin lights often seen in the Australian bush, but instead were orbs visiting him “from the spirit world,” but he doesn’t know what they might want. If they are the spirits of dead crocs, we might have an idea.
The robotics company Boston Dynamics has released a video of its latest humanoid robot "Atlas" which can jump, run, throw, lift heavy objects, do backflips, balance things on its head and vault up and down stairs. I thought they said it was “humanoid.”
A team of astronomers from India and Canada has detected a weak atomic hydrogen radio signal from a very distant galaxy that was sent almost 9 billion years ago. What could this be – an alien civilization showing off what it has on its Periodic Table?
Another TikTok time traveler, this one claiming to be from “year 2869," warns that an 8.1 earthquake will hit Wasilla, Alaska, on March 18, a 350-foot new creature bigger than the blue whale will be discovered in the Pacific Ocean on June 25, and on October 18, the 'Goloth', a far more intelligent alien species than humans, will engage us in an inter-dimensional war. What’s even more amazing is that a human from 800 years in the future still has fingers to type on a cell phone.
The Stratolaunch Roc carrier plane – the largest airplane ever made, with a wingspan of 383 feet – set a new flight test record when it completed six hours in the sky before landing safely in the Mojave Desert. The flight simulated carrying a hypersonic plane for launch into space while landing in the desert simulated landing at a typical American airport.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a method for detecting the three dimensional shape and movements of human bodies in a room using only WiFi routers and a deep neural network that maps WiFi signals’ phase and amplitude sent and received by routers to coordinates on human bodies, thus allowing them to ‘see’ through walls. Between this, Ring cameras, drones and AI assistants, we may be the last generation able to successfully play hide-and-seek.
Tiger snakes marooned on tiny Carnac Island in Australia have evolved in less than 100 years to be able to open their mouths wide enough to swallow the large chicks of the seagulls that nest there – something mainland snakes can’t do – using a process called “phenotypic plasticity” in which an organism physically changed its body within its own lifetime to match the environment it is experiencing. Big deal – humans do this every time fast food companies come out with bigger burgers.
DARPA (The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is working on non-genetic drugs that can “temporarily enhance the human body’s resilience to extreme cold exposure,” thus allowing soldiers or explorers to camp in cold places for long periods of time without suffering from hypothermia – the drug would force the body to burn brown fat which is better at creating heat energy than white fat. Better sell your stock in that thermal underwear company.
The inaugural Frogman Festival is being held on March 4 in Mason, Ohio, with eight speakers giving talks on the 4-foot-tall, upright-walking Loveland Frogmen who were first seen in 1955, then in 1972 by a police officer – there will also be 50 vendors selling art, T-shirts and other Frogman merchandise. Warning – don’t go to any local restaurants and order frog legs.
Seismologists studying the submarine Kolumbo volcano off the coast of the Greek island of Santorini, which was devastated by an eruption 400 years ago - found a growing, never-before-seen magma chamber that is filling fast enough to create another massive eruption within the next 150 years. That gives you plenty of time to sue the realtor who sold you on the thrills of island living.
Archeologists digging in the Nitzana sand dunes in the Negev region of Israel found an ancient fire pit and eight well-preserved ostrich eggs dating back over 4,000 years – ostriches roamed wild in this area until the 19th century. At today’s prices, the nomads who carried those eight ostrich eggs would be the first prehistoric millionaires.
Two men driving in North Devon stopped to photograph an old war memorial and managed to capture photos of a shadowy man sitting on a bench staring straight ahead … until he vanished – they believed it was the ghost of a WWI or WWII veteran visiting the memorial. Could it have been bringing a message that those who ignore war memorials are doomed to repeat them?
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a new study y researchers at the University of Leeds found that the process of melting from a solid form into a smooth emulsion on the tongue is what makes chocolate irresistible – the study used dark chocolate on an artificial 3D tongue-like surface to show that it is the movement of chocolate fluids that counts, not the fat content. Bad news for the significant others of these researchers – your Valentine’s Day candy gave its life for science.
A mysterious loud, sustained rumbling that shook residents and buildings along the Jersey Shore recently cannot be attributed to an earthquake, weather or the military and local officials are at a loss to explain the 10 second tremor which was felt by hundreds. The second tremor felt immediately after the first was attributed to hundreds of Jersey Shore residents yelling “WTF?”
Scientists at Indiana University Bloomington studying DNA mutations in modern humans found that over the past 250,000 years, the average age for humans to have children is 26.9 years, but the average Homo sapiens father has always been older than the average Homo sapiens mother, with men becoming parents at 30.7 years old, versus 23.2 years for women – a gap that has shrunk to just two years in the last 5,000 years as more women wait to have children. If you want to explain ‘cougars’, you have to conduct your own study.
The glow of artificial lighting on the source of the Earth is growing brighter by 10 percent every year and a new study by the German Research Center for Geosciences predicts that children born today may reach a point in their adulthood when they will no longer be able to see stars in the sky at night. Get your star wishing done now or find a well or a genie’s lamp.
A developer using the AI image generator Midjourney created party pics that look eerily like real human college students at a 90s-era house party – except for little anomalies like one woman having nine fingers or a hand floating without a body. “What’s so unusual about that?” said everyone who attended a college party in the 1960s.