Discoveries

Ordovician extinctions may have been caused by metals poisoning in oceans

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Science news driblet: Toxic metals such as iron, lead and arsenic may have helped cause mass extinctions in the world’s oceans millions of years ago, according to recent research from the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Center for Scientific Research, France; and Ghent University, Belgium. These findings largely came from studying “teratological” or malformed fossil…

A solution to the information paradox? We need the information first.

Black Hole From Wikimedia Commons

News blip: Physicist Stephen Hawking made a splash this week when he announced that he had solved a vexing conundrum that had puzzled generations of leading physicists — including the 73-year-old scientific superstar himself — for the better part of a half-century. During an eight-minute speech at a scientific meeting in Sweden, Hawking said that…

Creationists foiled again: Ancient rock painting is NOT a pterosaur

Photo credit: Jean-Loïc Le Quellec, Paul Bahn and Marvin Rowe

The interpretation of ancient rock paintings of Utah’s Black Dragon Canyon should finally be put to rest. But it won’t be. Source: ‘Winged Monster’ Rock Art Finally Deciphered Now, using cutting-edge technology, researchers suggest the red paintings show five separate images, including a tall bug-eyed person, a smaller person, a sheep, a dog and a serpentlike…

Mystery message in ancient Israeli bath site

Photo credit: Shai Halevy/Israel Antiques Authority

News smidgen: Well-preserved Aramaic inscriptions are discovered in a cave including a depiction of a the sacred menorah. Source: Mysterious Message Found in 2000-Year-Old Ritual Bath in Jerusalem : Discovery News A mysterious message has been found in an underground cave which turned out to house the remains of a Jewish ritual bath, the Israel Antiquities Authority…

There are stranger things…

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In our effort to supply the masses with information about the real world, here is a new video from the SERPENT project. This is a Rhizophysid Siphonophore possibly Bathyphysa sp. observed off Angola in 1325m deep water. Taken 15 June 2015. So, now you know these things are really real. When someone posts this video…

Elongated skull find in Russia hijacked for pseudoarchaeology ideas

elongate skull

UFO watchers are in a tizz over the discovery of an ancient skeleton with an elongated skull that resembles an ALIEN. The humanoid skeleton was unearthed from a site known as Russia’s Stonehenge and it is being heralded as proof that aliens visited Earth thousands of years ago. Researcher Maria Makurova told Russian news agency…

Blood Falls hint at what’s underneath

National Science Foundation/Peter Rejcek - http://photolibrary.usap.gov/Portscripts/PortWeb.dll?

This area of Antartica is dry with just ice, but appears to contain briny cold groundwater that may host some extreme life forms. The seeps of salty water contain iron oxide which turns blood red and stains the ice and ground. Creepy but a clue… Scientists find the origin of Antarctica’s creepy ‘Blood Falls’ –…

More evidence that near death experiences are related to brain activity, not the supernatural

near death NDE OBE

It’s long been suspected that what we describe as near death experiences (NDEs) may be related to processes in the brain that create a flurry of activity to produce the strange sensations. Those that survive the beginning of the shutdown process may tell about it as a religious or spiritual experience. Well, it’s certainly strange. New…

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

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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

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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…