Feb 11, 2023 I Paul Seaburn

Centaurs at Area 51, Monster Penguins, Three-Armed People, Nuclear Mars Ships and More Mysterious News Briefly

A 19th century 144-foot Barquentine (a three-masted wooden schooner) named Nucleus was discovered on the bottom of Lake Superior off of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula - it sank for the THIRD TIME on September 14, 1869, while carrying a load of iron ore, earning it the nickname ‘Bad Luck Barquentine’ for sinking twice before and itself ramming and sinking the S.S. Detroit … despite that, divers say it is in very good condition. Schooner or later it could be sailing and sinking again.

Paleontologists from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa discovered the bones of a 350 pound penguin named Kumimanu fordycei that lived 60 million years ago, was twice the size modern emperor penguins, the largest living penguins, and stood about 5 feet, 2 inches tall, making it the size of an adult gorilla and the largest penguin ever. That flapping sound you hear is Batman running away.

Astronomers using the HiPERCAM, an extremely sensitive camera mounted on the Grand Canary Telescope, discovered an unusual ring system around the dwarf planet Quaoar in the Kuiper Belt – the rings are twice the maximum distance from Quaoar that astronomers thought was possible, which has forced them to come up with a new explanation how they formed and why they are still there. Is the ring close enough to tell who is at the door on Quaoar?

Researchers at Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech) demonstrated a new control method which allows an aircraft to fly without a tail – steering is controlled by active air flow where jets of air are blown onto different surfaces of the body in the direction it is intended to move … this will save fuel by removing drag, and it will allow the aircraft to elude radar that looks for objects with sharp edges. “Good luck with that,” said fish.

A bacteria of the genus Pseudomonas was found by scientists at the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology to produce a natural antimicrobial product so effective at killing plant fungal diseases and human-pathogenic fungi that they named it Keanumycins after Keanu Reeves, who has played many deadly characters. It’s even more effective if the only movie the fungi has seen is “Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.”

For the first time ever, NASA astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope to measure the mass of a white dwarf by using the fact that gravity warps space-time, a strange phenomenon predicted by Einstein's theory of relativity – the single white dwarf LAWD 37 is made of degenerate matter, a mysterious ultra-compressed gas. We saw Degenerate Matter open for Iggy Pop.

A study by researchers at Birjand University of Medical Sciences in Iran tested the effects of cinnamon on cognitive functions and found that cinnamon or its components could positively alter cognitive functions, and boost memory and learning. Unfortunately, you have to throw away the rest of the cinnamon bun.

It turns out Neanderthals were quite the gourmet cooks – archaeologists digging up a cave at the Gruta da Figueira Brava site in Portugal found evidence that Neanderthals enjoyed eating crab, which they caught at the shore, then roasted over coals before eating, using stone tools and charcoal. If they find bowls for melted butter, this changes everything.

The latest edition of the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File is out and it shows that the shark bite capital of the world is Florida with 16 unprovoked attacks reported there in 2022, the world had a total of 57 unprovoked bites in 2022, most of which occurred in the United States and Australia, but the number of fatal attacks (five) was down from nine in 2021, pushing that deadly statistic to a ten-year low. “Hold my Landshark Beer and watch this,” said sharks.

Dr. Chance Glenn, an engineering professor and provost of the University of Houston-Victoria, claims he is building a preliminary warp drive in a lab by filling a radio frequency chamber with ethylene glycol — the antifreeze you put in your radiator – and shooting a laser beam through it to distort space/time in a way that would someday allow the travel of a real warp drive. Kids, put down the antifreeze and laser pointer.

Tom DeLonge, founder of the To The Stars Academy and UFO disclosure proponent, released a video on Instagram which shows a saucer-shaped object in the sky that he describes as “real,” asks viewers to  “Note the whirling sound from the propulsion” and promises that To The Stars “will be turning real events like these into major feature films, and television series to help bring the facts to the world.” It’s always tough to believe these videos when their uploaders drone on and on.

Ed Wasserman, a professor of experimental psychology at the University of Iowa and lead author of a new study on pigeons, says the birds are intelligent and get that way by applying the same learning strategy used in AI machine learning algorithms called associative learning, where they associate correct answers with a positive outcome (food) and test every option until they get it right … no matter how long it takes … in contrast to humans, who use logic and rule-based analysis. We knew pigeons were smart when we noticed they only poop on freshly-washed cars.

Roboticists at Imperial College London and the University of Freiburg in Germany are using a technology called movement augmentation to develop a third arm that human operators can control with their minds to given them an "extra robotic hand" and push us closer to having Dr. Octopus-like capabilities. Is that tingling from your Spidey sense or your excitement at the idea that you could soon be able to hold your beer and your phone while scratching your butt at the same time?

Archeologists digging near Italy’s Appian Way uncovered a statue of what appears to be Gaius Messius Quintus Trajanus Decius, also known as Emperor Decius, who ruled for two years from 249 to 251 CE before he and his son were killed by the Goths during the Battle of Abritus  - the statue shows the emperor dressed as Hercules, possibly because Decius supported traditional Greco-Roman gods in the face of rising Christianity in the empire.  In this case, the emperor has clothes but no muscles.

Tik Tok time traveler @darknesstimetravel, who claims to be visiting from the year 2858, revealed that in September of this year scientists at Area 51 base will unveil their newest creation – they have been "merging" various species together to make the "world's first centaur," the mythical creature with the upper body of a human and the lower body and legs of a horse. If you thought the doping scandals at the Summer Olympics were annoying …

Animal sociologist Masanori Kohda of Osaka Metropolitan University in Japan released new research showing that some fish can recognize their own faces in photos and mirrors, putting them in a class with chimps and humans, which shows that even animals with small brains can be self-aware and intelligent. This also shows that they’re smarter than the humans who thing aquarium fish are looking at them when they’re actually admiring their own reflections in the glass.

Rolls Royce announced it is getting into the spaceflight industry by developing a micro-nuclear reactor capable of powering a spaceship on long trips to the Moon and Mars using uranium as its fuel – the company expects to have a working model by 2029. People of a certain age can’t wait to ride in a Rolls Royce spaceship, pull up to an alien craft and ask, “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?”

Three lights rose up into the sky over Yakima in Washington state and both witnesses and those viewing the video are at a loss for an explanation for the UFOs, although drones or Chinese lanterns seem to be the most common suggestions. Do intelligent beings on other planets think UFOs are Martian lanterns? (Calling Philip K. Dick.)

Designer Jozeph Foakis has unveiled the Pegasus – a 3D-printed, 290 foot (88 meters), sola and hydrogen powered luxury superyacht which would be made entirely of mirrored glass to reflect the sea and sky, thus making it ‘invisible’ to other boats. If you want an invisible superyacht, you are obviously unclear on the concept of being superrich.

A new study by animal ecophysiology researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast on the mating habits of endangered Australian marsupials known as the northern quoll found that sex is killing the males – they are sleep-deprived while looking for females, exhausted from traveling large distances, and starving from  forgoing eating and that combination is causing them to die after one mating season, while females breed many times in their four year lifespans. What’s even worse, the males have such tiny mouths that they can’t even die with smiles on their faces.

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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