Discoveries

Clues on the formation of sprites in the ionosphere

New info on sprites, an above-cloud electrical phenomenon. Sprites form at plasma irregularities in the lower ionosphere. Atmospheric sprites have been known for nearly a century, but their origins were a mystery. Now, a team of researchers has evidence that sprites form at plasma irregularities and may be useful in remote sensing of the lower…

Cue all the “vampire” headlines

Yep. “We want young blood” is soon to become a popular request as studies show it is rejuvenating. New studies show that young blood reverses the effects of aging when put into older mice – The Washington Post. A trio of new studies has discovered that the blood of young mice appears to reverse some…

Periodic Updates

What happens when a new element is discovered? Another new element, Element 117, is one step closer to being named. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) will review findings and rule on whether the element will be granted an official name and be allowed to strike terror into the hearts of high…

Explorers find Shipshape Volcano

While underwater resemblances aren’t anything new, a recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expedition discovered multiple shipwreck sites in the Gulf of Mexico, and another anomaly led a combined team from NOAA and Texas A&M University to the site of what appeared to be another wrecked ship’s hull. The Asphalt Ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico…

Gallipoli ‘ghost’ solved: A lesson in non-paranormal persistence

Here is a great lesson for paranormalists: Make sure you exhaust all the avenues of “normal” before you conclude “paranormal”. In almost all cases, you CAN get to a sound explanation. Gallipoli ‘ghost’ an open and shutter case. Fairfax photographer Joe Armao spent an entire night studying the strange, hair-raising blur on one of his pictures…

Over a century ago, a bottle was tossed into sea

A really nice story, for a change. Sometimes strange things happen that are amazing. German Fisherman Finds ‘World’s Oldest Message In A Bottle’. A message in a bottle tossed in the sea in Germany 101 years ago, believed to be the world’s oldest, has been presented to the sender’s granddaughter, a museum said Monday. A…

Pneumonic not bubonic plague?

Research from skeletons has led to a new idea that the Black Death was spread human to human via coughs and sneezes. Only this could explain the rapid spread and huge death toll, not bacteria directly from fleas (bubonic). As we often find, perhaps the explanation is more complicated than that. Black death was not…

Richard’s remains questioned

Uh oh, someone is doubtful that the remains really are of the king. Not surprising. ‘Richard III remains’ found in Leicester car park have doubt cast upon them. Leading archaeologists have challenged one of the most sensational discoveries of the last century, insisting there is no proof that the man with the twisted spine found…

Hallmarks of a dwindling population

The last of the mammoth population may have experienced high rates of birth defects due to the dwindling numbers and inbreeding, along with prenatal stress. Last Woolly Mammoths May Have Suffered Birth Defects | LiveScience. Fossils of mammoths found near the North Sea and dating to the late Pleistocene, about 12,000 years ago, frequently sported…

Nineteen new species of praying mantis discovered

Our cataloging of diversity continues unabated. New praying mantis species discovered | Environment | theguardian.com. Nineteen new species of a tree-living praying mantis family have been discovered, tripling the group’s diversity at a stroke. The bark mantises (Liturgusa Saussure) from Central and South America were found in tropical forests and among specimens kept in museums.…

Gravitational Wave Detection Rumors: We’ll just have to wait (UPDATE: Announced)

Have gravitational waves, an Einsteinian prediction based on general relativity, been detected? The physics rumor mill is propagating speculation about a weighty discovery, but what’s the big deal? (See update below) The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics will be hosting a press conference Monday, March 17, 2014, to announce a “major discovery.” What is the announcement? It…

Hubble records rare asteroid breakup while rest of world notices there are lots of rocks.

Asteroid scares are nothing new, but three asteroids in a twenty-four hour period have news headlines buzzing. Another Asteroid! Third Space Rock Buzzes Past Earth (NBC News): The 25-foot-wide (8-meter-wide) asteroid 2014 EC came within 38,300 miles (61,600 kilometers) of our planet at 4:21 p.m. ET, NASA officials said. For comparison, the moon orbits Earth…

Martian meteorite micro-structures raise questions about possible biological processes

With all the talk of jelly donuts and related frivolous lawsuit filed against NASA that Doubtful News has covered recently, it is nice to cover a martian story that’s a bit more down-to-earth (Antarctica, more specifically). A team of NASA researchers has published a paper reporting “the first observation of indigenous carbonaceous matter” in a martian meteorite,…

Take a cete in this ancient whale graveyard…

More from The Strange… it seems algal blooms may have been responsible for bringing down the mass grave of whales discovered by a construction crew in Chile in 2010. Tiny Algae Responsible for Mysterious Fossil Whale Graveyard? (National Geographic): This week, a team of them proposed an answer: The huge baleen whales were felled by…