May 20, 2023 I Paul Seaburn

Bigfoot Foot, ETs in Michigan, Billions of T. Rexes, Orcas Sinking Boats and More Mysterious News Briefly

If the Jurassic Park movies contain accurate depictions of the scariest dinosaur, one Tyrannosaurus rex would be enough to deal with, but a new study now estimates that about 1.7 billion of the giant carnivores have lived on Earth during their rex-y reign – a massive number yet less than the 2.5 billion previously estimated and proof that paleontologists and museum curators need to keep looking because they’ve only found the remains of 0.0000002% of all the T. rexes that ever lived. No wonder they had such small arms – there was no elbow room.

The best cryptid story of the week comes from Canada, where workers at a camp near Alexis Creek, British Columbia, found what looked like a big hairy human-like foot that could have been from a Sasquatch, so they posted the photos on social media where Bigfoot fans went wild … until Sasquatch researcher Jeff Meldrum, professor of anthropology and anatomy at Idaho State University, examined the photos and positively identified it as the left hind foot of a bear. That whooshing sound you just heard was hundreds of Canadian Sasquatch breathing a sigh of relief.

Astronomers using NASA’s TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) and data from the now retired Spitzer Space Telescope recently discovered LP 791-18 d, an Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting a star 90 light-years away that is blanketed with hundreds of active volcanoes – yet they believe those volcanoes could help build an atmosphere with condensed water on the side of the planet that never faces its star and that could be a place for microbial life to form. Microbial life with very thick pads on their feet.

Speaking of volcanoes, two skeletons discovered recently in Pompeii during excavations at a location called the House of the Chaste Lovers were thought to be victims of the suffocating ash from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius 2,000 years ago but archeologists now think the middle-aged males were hiding in a utility room and died when a volcano-caused earthquake collapsed the building on top of them. They should have built the building out of the same concrete Romans used to build their roads.

Reports of extraterrestrial beings in flying saucers landing on a school playground in Hemlock, Michigan, forced the superintendent of the school district to try and figure out what kind of lockdown would work against an alien invasion before an investigation determined that the reports were a prank started by a student who wanted to get out of taking a math test … the superintendent reassured parents that “there is no evidence of any alien activity on our school grounds.” An alien invasion is the one time schools could use bullies to stuff ETs into lockers.

Orcas have recently attacked and sunk three boats in or near the Strait of Gibraltar off the coast of Spain and witnesses report that younger orcas were watching the adults and then mimicking the way they battered the boots, leading marine biologists to warn that the animals are teaching aggressive behavior to the next generation and this could be bad news for boat owners. Who do you feel sorry for – endangered killer whales or rich yacht owners?

Father Carlos Martins, one of the leading exorcists in the Catholic Church, revealed in a recent podcast his experience with a firefighter who he suspected was possessed, so Father Martins secretly flicked one drop of holy water onto the man from behind and was shocked when the man “immediately shot up backwards in the air, hissing like a cat” – proving he was possessed because "knowledge of hidden and distant events" is one of three classical signs of demonic possession, with the others being knowledge of unknown languages and superhuman strength. Does he now need a license to carry concealed holy water?

Fans of mysterious creepy dolls found on Texas beaches are heading to Port Aransas where many of the headless, eyeless and barnacle-covered dolls will be auctioned to benefit a local wildlife rehabilitation group dedicated to saving sea turtles. You know these dolls are creepy when even the local sharks don’t want them in their waters.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) unveiled its new experimental X-65 space plane which has no traditional exterior-moving flight controls but instead maintains active flow control using bursts of air – a design that will improve flight control, reduce cost and wear and tear, and theoretically enhance the aircraft’s stealth characteristics. It’s ironic that the coolest designs of planes are the ones we can’t see.

To solve the problem of feeding astronauts on long-duration missions, NASA is holding a three-year Deep Space Food Challenge where companies are competing to design a food system that can feed astronauts on long-duration missions to the Moon and to Mars – one proposal uses the carbon dioxide exhaled by astronauts to produce alcohol which could then be used to grow edible food. Not to mention fill a few bottles with something to help break the ice with aliens.

A team of researchers from Stanford University has developed a soft, thin and stretchable electronic skin which detects pressure and temperature changes and sends them to the motor cortex brain region responsible for carrying out voluntary movements, which then allows a person to send messages back in response - this will allow people with prosthetic limbs to tell the difference between sensations like a softer touch and a firm handshake, a strawberry and an apple, or hot and cold. The e-skin will be even more popular if it comes pre-tattooed.

Scientists believe some human footprints found recently in Germany belonged to archaic humans known as Homo heidelbergensis and date back 300,000 years – making them the oldest known human footprints and a clear sign that these early humans lived in multi-generation social groups, hunted prehistoric elephants and rhinos, and probably went extinct about 28,000 years ago due to climate change. Inquiring minds want to know – what did they use to keep their toenails trimmed?

Beloved actor Tom Hanks says fans don’t have to worry about him retiring because artificial intelligence will recreate him in films long after he is dead – a fact that became apparent to him way back in 2004 when his own computer-generated image ‘starred’ in “The Polar Express” as a digital train conductor. The bad news is, that means we could have Vin Diesel and Nick Cage forever too.

Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin is 93 years old, so it’s about time the Air Force has promoted him to the rank of brigadier general with one star and was made an Honorary Space Force Guardian – making him just the third astronaut-Guardian. The only thing that would have made it better for Buzz is if he was allowed to celebrate by punching a moonwalk denier.

In Iran, 58-year-old Gholamreza Ardeshiri claims that the sight of food has long made him nauseous, so he quit eating in 2006 and has survived on water and soft drinks like Pepsi and Coca-Cola for the last 17 years – he claims he drinks three large bottles of soda per day, never feels hungry, has successfully undergone health exams and endoscopies, and despite losing a lot of weight, he feels more energized and gets by on just four hours of sleep a night. Not all at once – after three bottles of Coke, he still has to get up to go to the bathroom.

Move over bees, birds and butterflies – scientists in Brazil discovered that the Xenohyla truncata, a tree frog native to that country, jumps from flower to flower while eating fruit and nectar from the milk fruit tree and in the process is spreading its pollen, thus making it the first frog and first amphibian observed pollinating a plant. This will allow parents to add some new positions to their sex talks using the birds and the bees.

From the “Things to keep you awake at night” file comes word from NASA that its scientists are feeding artificial intelligence models with solar storm data and have developed an early warning system that they think could give us a whole 30 minutes notice before a potentially devastating solar storm hits a particular area of the planet and causes massive destruction of its electrical and communication infrastructure. Make sure you live within 30 minutes of a store that sells aluminum foil.

It the Battle of the Moons, Saturn is back on top after astronomers found an additional 62 more moons orbiting the ringed planet, bringing its official total to 145 moons and pushing it well past Jupiter, which only has 95. Earth only has one, but it still leads the solar system in songs written about it.

If you’ve been holding off conversing with a chatbot because you don’t know what to talk about, a recent survey found the top ten most popular questions asked of ChatGPT – the list includes “What is the meaning of life?”, “How can I start a successful business?”, “What are some effective ways to lose weight?”, “How can I improve my mental health?”, and “What are some effective ways to reduce stress?” The answer to the last two is “Stop talking to ChatGPT.”

University professor Joseph Dituri is now known as 'Dr Deep Sea' after spending 74 days (and counting) living alone underwater without depressurization at a Florida Keys lodge for scuba divers – he plans to stay until reaching 100 days to complete his Project Neptune 100 experiments monitoring how the human body responds to long-term exposure to extreme pressure. He deserves a pat on the back for not just asking ChatGPT what it’s like to live 100 days underwater without depressurization.

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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