Discoveries

Evidence of huge impact event found in Australia: What did it mean for life on earth?

asteroid_7

Australian scientists announced they have discovered a twin asteroid impact crater in the Central Australia that may be the largest ever found. The question is, does it correspond to a major extinction event. Maybe, but it’s not clear yet as the age is questionable. World’s largest asteroid impacts found in central Australia | ANU. A…

Sky Shows Galaxy-lensed “Reruns” of Exploding Supernova, Demonstrating Gravity of the Situation

Gravitational Lensing Illustration

Sometimes† space is just awesome. More specifically, stuff (or mass) in space has some properties that manifest in empirically awesome ways. Earlier this week, Science put out a report on a supernova (Wikipedia) observed behind a galaxy in the MACS J1149.6+2223 cluster. This particular supernova is visible due to gravitational lensing (Wikipedia) around the cluster, greatly magnifying…

Nat Geo posts an “exclusive” stinker about a non-“lost city” in Honduras

Honduran rain forest - supposedly hiding a mythical city

Nat Geo presented a not “new” finding and forgot they had done this before! Why? They did it for the Nookie, I mean, the hype, the clicks, the attention. Exclusive: Lost City Discovered in Honduran Rain Forest. In search for legendary “City of the Monkey God,” explorers find the untouched ruins of a vanished culture.…

Warblers high-tailed it away from on-coming storm a day in advance

golden_winged_warbler_male2

In a small study that tracked 20 songbirds, scientists noted that five birds seemingly evacuated before an oncoming storm. BBC News – Birds ‘heard tornadoes coming’ and fled one day ahead. US scientists say tracking data shows that five golden-winged warblers “evacuated” their nesting site one day before the April 2014 tornado outbreak. Geolocators showed…

King Richard’s genes reveal hidden royal scandal

King Richard III.

Well, isn’t this interesting. You never know what you’re going to get. The body found buried in a car park now has additional evidence to show it really is that of Richard III. But wait… there’s more… Richard III DNA shows British Royal family may not have royal bloodline. Genetic testing through his maternal DNA proved…

New age proposed for Antikythera mechanism

Antikythera Mechanism Research Project

A new research paper suggests the Antikythera mechanism was older than previously thought. Solving the Riddles of an Early Astronomical Calculator – NYTimes.com. [A] new analysis of the dial used to predict eclipses, which is set on the back of the mechanism, provides yet another clue to one of history’s most intriguing puzzles. Christián C.…

New ideas arise from the grave – about vampire beliefs in Poland

'Vampire grave': A skeleton with the head between the legs, discovered in Gliwice, Poland.

This is an update to this story from July of last year. New Clues Point To The Origin Of Poland’s Mysterious ‘Vampires’. Unconventional burial practices to prevent vampires from rising up from the grave were common in post-medieval Poland, but historians aren’t entirely sure why certain people were targeted more than others. A new study…

Big Bang Gravitational Wave Study – Update: Interstellar dust clouds data

Superconducting Detectors for Study of Infant Universe
by NASA/JPL-Caltech

As previously covered on Doubtful News, in March 2014 the BICEP research team announced results from a series of cosmic microwave background (CMB) experiments, which appeared to detect the first evidence of gravitational waves. As previously mentioned further review would be required, and some problems with the data have emerged. Criticism of Study Detecting Ripples From…

Spinosaurus appears to have been toothy and semi-aquatic; but don’t call it a crocoduck

Ibrahim (left) and Sereno with Spinosaurus

Previously-known Spinosaurus was a dinosaur that blew my mind. I couldn’t figure out the deal with the sail and the ultra-long snout. Turns out it had more surprises in store. Scientists report first semiaquatic dinosaur, Spinosaurus: Massive predator was more than 9 feet longer than largest T. rex — ScienceDaily. Scientists today unveiled what appears…

Newly described animals do not fit into known phylum

Dried Dendrogramma gen. nov., all 15 paratypes of D. enigmatica and (with *) D. discoides. From doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102976.g001

A new kind of animal, Dendrogramma, looks like a mushroom but does not fit into either the jellyfish or comb jelly family. It resembles fossils of some very ancient fauna. Their discovery could change the way scientists currently think organisms evolved. New Deep-Sea Animal Species Look Like Mushrooms but Defy Classification. The tiny animals, less…

Mystery of moving rocks of Racetrack Playa solved by science

GPS-instrumented rock with its rock trail.

Mystery of mysterious moving rocks is solved. Actually, it was solved a while ago. It’s just finally published. The research is public access and it is WONDERFUL. This is a fantastic piece everyone should read to note how methodically, carefully and thororoughly experiments must be planned and executed to get reliable, convincing results. There was…

Mystery lake appears in Tunisia, may be radioactive

Gafsa_mystery_lake_Tunisia

It’s not everyday that a lovely lake appears in the middle of the desert. For good reason… Mystery as ‘lake’ appears in middle of Tunisian desert and becomes overnight tourist attraction. A mysterious lake that appeared suddenly in the Tunisian desert has created an impromptu “beach” in the drought-ridden country. No explanation has been given…

Discovered four-winged dinosaur was largest flier of its type at more than quadruple usual weight

Microraptor from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

This is rather exciting news for feathered dinosaur fans (who could probably use a win lately). A new species of feathered dinosaur has been discovered, and it is the largest four-winged flier yet known. Changyuraptor, Large Species of Flying Dinosaur, Is Discovered (New York Times): The new species, Changyuraptor, found in northeastern China, was four feet…