A roundup of mysterious, paranormal and strange news stories from the past week.
NASA confirmed that a meteoroid about two feet in diameter weighing about 1,000 pounds streaked as a fireball across Texas before crashing on February 15 near McAllen, Texas, where residents reported that their houses shook “in a violent manner” and the police were inundated with calls – anyone finding what they think is a piece of the meteorite should contact the Smithsonian Institution because NASA doesn’t collect them. NASA doesn’t want your balloons either – donate them to a gender reveal party or a used car lot.
A forensic artist took the 8,300-year-old skull of a Stone Age teenager — nicknamed Vistegutten, Norwegian for “the boy from Viste” because the skull weas found in 1907 in a cave in Vistegutten – and reconstructed his face, revealing that the 15-year-old boy was short for his age, had an odd-shaped skull and spent a lot of time alone. Even worse, he had no social media for complaining about his life.
Cockpit audio confirms that not only did two US Air Force pilots miss the UFO over Lake Huron with the first heat-seeking missile fired from one of their F-16 Falcons, they also debated about whether it was a balloon or something else – with one calling it a “kind of black-ish” container, while the other guessed a balloon because he could “definitely see strings hanging down below” and thought it was the about the size of “like a four-wheeler or something.” That clapping sound you hear is extraterrestrial airship camouflage designers high-fiving.
Microsoft just announced its new AI-powered Bing search interface that incorporates a language model powered chatbot that can run searches while having conversations with you like GPT-3 and ChatGPT, but users are already complaining that argumentative, aggressive, sometimes threatening and often tries to gaslight them. That explains the new movement to convince it to run for president.
The Journal of Pediatric Surgery reports that a baby girl born at the rural Mexican hospital had a tail covered in skin and hair that was 5.7 centimeters long and 3-5 millimeters in diameter, filled with nerves that caused her pain with it was pierced with a needle, and grew in proportion to her body – while it was a “true tail” and not a useless appendage, the doctors removed it and reconstructed the area with plastic surgery. This is so rare that both her hometown and the location of the hospital are claiming her, making this a tail of two cities.
Loch Ness Monster fans are concerned because their favorite cryptid has not been seen yet this year and the last new entry in the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register was recorded in October 2022 – Eoin O’Faodhagain, who has a number of sightings via webcam, blames the lack of sightings in 2023 on “atmospheric conditions” that make it hard to see Nessie, and the fact that most years have very few if any sightings before April. What does the Nessie fan do in the off season – binge-watch his old sightings?
If you have curly hair … you’re cool! A new study found that humans developed scalp hair when they began to walk upright in order to keep their heads and brains cool – and that “tightly curled hair may provide an additional reduction in heat influx beyond the capacity of typically straight mammalian hair” because it allows the scalp to breath better than it does with flat hair while still protecting it from the sun. Baldies – have you thought about an umbrella covered with curly wigs?
Mory Gharib, a professor of aeronautics and medical engineering at Caltech, was looking through the sketchbooks of Leonardo da Vinci when he found drawings of triangles formed by sand-like particles pouring from a jar – he claims this shows da Vinci knew that gravity was a form of acceleration more than 400 years before Einstein did in his 1907 ‘Equivalence Principle’. Some things never change – da Vinci thought about work even when he was on a beach vacation.
Athos Salomé, a Brazilian psychic being called the ‘living Nostradamus’ because so many of his predictions have come true, is now being forced to deny claims by some on the Internet that he is actually “messenger of the Antichrist” and a so-called “Illuminati elitist” – he warned that these comments on websites and social media platforms could make people fall victim to scams. Maybe he should go undercover for a while as the living Baba Vanga.
A study published in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, a peer-reviewed publication that supports the use of advanced science and technology to resolve archaeological riddles relating to health, reveals that a woman’s well-preserved 1300-year-old skull was examined by an international team of experts and paleoanthropologists and they determined that the poor woman had undergone not one but two invasive surgical brain procedures which left tell-tale scars on the frontal and upper areas of her cranium – whoever did it may have been trying to treat pain, injury or psychological or behavioral issues. She had two surgeries because she either had a lot of pain or a lot of money.
A massive haul of animal bones found at Durrington Walls, a place near Stonehenge where it is presumed the builders lived, shows that the workers feasted primarily on pigs, with a little beef from cattle and aurochs, an ancient wild ancestor of cows – there was little evidence of fish, fruit or vegetables. Since the builders were so strong from dragging stones, did they eat primarily pulled pork?
Archeologists examining the skeleton of a female medieval religious hermit found buried in an unusual tightly crouched position under a church in York, England, think it may belong to Lady Isabel German, who lived a life of seclusion inside a single room at the church during the 15th century, and the religious woman died of arthritis and syphilis – an unusual disease for a hermit … the researchers think she may have become a hermit as penance for contracting the STI. Sounds like the plot for yet another British television drama.
A Twitter user posted a painting of King Henry Vlll’s sandals and claimed it is proof that the king was a time traveler because the sandals look exactly like Greggs steak bakes, a popular beef-filled puff pastry – the tweeter doesn’t explain why Henry VIII went to the future and came back with food on his feet instead of some soft leather loafers. Or another wife.
Scientists from Lancaster University and the University of Manchester found that a high-fat “Western diet” filled with junk food is actually a good way to get rid of parasitic worms, as fatty foods increases a molecule in white blood cells called T-helper 2 cells that rid parasitic whipworms from the large intestinal tract before they can cause trichuriasis, which can lead to abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and other problems. How soon before our favorite fast-food restaurant changes its sign to read “Over 1 billion dewormed”?
Astronomers used the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) in China recently discovered FAST J0139+4328, a dwarf galaxy located 94 million light-years away, and have identified it as a “dark galaxy” because it emits almost no light at all and appears to be made up almost entirely of dark matter – making it the first time that a gas-rich isolated dark galaxy has been detected in the nearby Universe. Maybe we can persuade Simon and Garfunkel to reunite one more time to sing, “Hello darkness, my NEW friend.”
The world’s deadliest mushroom, the so-called “death cap” mushroom (Amanita phalloides), is extremely toxic to humans and has been spreading across the United States faster than expected – a new study from researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that the death cap mushroom can produce spores using the chromosomes of a single individual, which means they don’t need a mate in order to reproduce. If these ever end up on pizzas, we’ll all fall like dominos.
A cancer patient in the US developed what experts from North Carolina’s Duke University and the Carolina Urologic Research Center of South Carolina say was an “uncontrollable Irish accent” during treatment despite never having been to Ireland – foreign accent syndrome (FAS) is more common after strokes or head trauma, but this is the first linked to prostate cancer. Would kissing the Blarney stone help?
While most of the media and the public is focused on balloons, the Pentagon is working with DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) to collect bids from suppliers for a $78 million contract to develop a new ‘weapon of mass destruction’ that involves deploying thousands of drones that strike by air, land and water to destroy enemy defenses -the top-secret project is called AMASS (Autonomous Multi-Domain Adaptive Swarms-of-Swarms). We’ll know they’re ready when the Pentagon starts referring to bases as ‘hives’ and chow as ‘pollen’.
While it was known that Goffin’s cockatoos are smart enough to join humans and chimps in using tools, a new study found that wild-caught Goffin’s cockatoos could use tools as a set, and can even carry the tools around with them when the situation calls for it – they had to retrieve cashew nuts from behind a clear sheet by using a short, pointy stick to break open the barrier, before fishing out the nuts with a long plastic straw. The talking birds are now the second species to brag about their tools.
Humans aren’t the only species losing their jobs as police in the Chinese city of Chongqing have begun using specially-trained drug-sniffing squirrels instead of dogs in their war against drug traffickers – the squirrels were reportedly trained to scratch at the place where they detected drugs and can reach smaller and higher places than drug-sniffing dogs. Better go check and see what that squirrel is burying in your backyard.