Friday, November 17, 2017

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Mystery surrounds poisoned trees in Norfolk

The trees are protected due to their age and historical significance. 
Authorities have been investigating a recent 'attack' on a number of protected 200-year-old trees.

The incident, which occurred at Koolunga House in Gorleston, England, saw unknown individual drill holes in the trunks of eight protected trees before pouring a poisonous substance inside.

"It's a real mystery as to why anyone would want to do it," said council leader Graham Plant. "I don't know what their motive is, but they are doing it and it's got to stop."

Residents of the property have offered a monetary reward for information leading to the culprit's arrest.

The trees, which have been damaged but may not have to be felled, include a horse chestnut tree and beech trees.

"This is part of Gorleston's history, and it isn't just in Koolunga, there's been a 200-year-old beech tree that's been attacked at a neighbouring garden," said Plant.

"It's somebody who has got a motive and their reason for doing things, I don't care what they are, we will do what we can to protect those trees."

Source: BBC News
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Monday, November 13, 2017

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Prehistoric shark found off coast of Portugal

This ancient species was around during the time of the dinosaurs.
Considered to be a 'living fossil', the frilled shark has remained unchanged for over 80 million years.

The extremely rare shark, which would have swam the prehistoric seas at the same time Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops roamed the land, is only seldom observed by scientists.

Usually found up to 4,200ft beneath the surface, the frilled shark can grow up to 6ft and possesses a unique set of gills that, unlike those of other fish, stretch all the way across its throat.

It also has a particularly unusual set of teeth designed to help it latch on to its prey.

This latest specimen, which was caught off the Algarve coast, was discovered by European Union researchers who were working on a project to 'minimize unwanted catches in commercial fishing'.

In total, only a very small number of frilled sharks have ever been observed alive.
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Friday, November 10, 2017

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Barbary Lion

The Barbary lion was considered one of the biggest lion subspecies. They had dark, long-haired manes that extended over the shoulder and downwards to the belly. It is said that they developed the colors and size of their manes due to ambient temperatures, their nutrition, and their level of testosterone. It is also possible that they developed such long manes due to the temperature in the Atlas Mountains, which is much lower than other regions in Africa.


The Barbary lion once roamed the deserts of Morocco, Algeria,Maghreb and other regions around Atlas Mountains.The Atlas Mountains had cold temperatures when compared to other parts of the African region, especially in the winter. The Barbary lions lived in prides, even when there were not many of them left, especially in the eastern Maghreb.


The Romans greatly admired Barbary lions and used them in the Colosseum to battle with gladiators.The Romans killed thousands of lions in their games, the Arab empire that followed squeezed the remaining animals into smaller territories.

In Algeria, they lived in the forest-clad hills and mountains between Ouarsenis in the west, the Pic de Taza in the east, and the plains of the Chelif River in the north. There were also many lions among the forests and wooded hills of the Constantine Province eastwards into Tunisia and south into the Aurès Mountains. By the middle of the 19th century, their numbers had been greatly diminished. The cedar forests of Chelia and neighbouring mountains harboured lions until about 1884.The last survivors in Tunisia were extirpated by 1890.

The last known wild Barbary lion was shot in the Moroccan part of the Atlas Mountains in 1942. However, several people reported sightings of the Barbary lions in the 1950's in Morocco and Algeria although it was never proven. Some people say that small populations may have even survived until the early 1960's, but it is not known for sure. These lions used to be offered to royal families of Morocco and Ethiopia and were known as the "royal" lions. It is said that some of these "royal" lions survived until the late 1960's, until a respiratory disease just about wiped them all out.

There have been numerous sighting over the past three decades, but none of them have been genetically proven. Several zoos around the world claim to have Barbary lions in their collections. In all likelihood most if not all of these big cats are not real Barbary lions but rather hybrids with lions from sub-Saharan Africa.

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Friday, November 3, 2017

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Mysterious void found inside Great Pyramid

Khufu's pyramid was built by Pharoah Khufu during 4th dynasty.
Physicists have used the by-products of cosmic rays to reveal a large, previously unidentified chamber inside the 4,500-year-old Great Pyramid in Giza, Egypt. The find is the first discovery since the nineteenth century of a major new space inside the pyramid.

Egyptologists have been quick to dismiss any idea of finding lost treasure in the 30-metre-long void. “There’s zero chance of hidden burial chambers,” says Aidan Dodson, an Egyptologist at the University of Bristol, UK, who studies ancient Egyptian tombs. But experts hope that the finding will lead to significant insights into how this spectacular pyramid was built.

Khufu's Pyramid was built during the fourth dynasty under Pharaoh Khufu, who reigned from 2509 to 2483 BC. Despite being one of the oldest and largest monuments in the world, there is no consensus about how it was constructed.It famously contains three large interior chambers and a series of passageways, the most striking of which is the 47m-long, 8m-high Grand Gallery.
"We don't know whether this big void is horizontal or inclined; we don't know if this void is made by one structure or several successive structures," explained Mehdi Tayoubi from the HIP Institute, Paris.
"What we are sure about is that this big void is there; that it is impressive; and that it was not expected as far as I know by any sort of theory."

"To better understand its internal structure, we imaged the pyramid using muons, which are by-products of cosmic rays that are only partially absorbed by stone," the scientists reported in Nature.

"The resulting cosmic-ray muon radiography allows us to visualise the known and potentially unknown voids in the pyramid in a non-invasive way."

This study reported the discovery of the chamber of at least 30m in length, situated above the Grand Gallery of the pyramid.

"While there is currently no information about the role of this void, these findings show how modern particle physics can shed new light on the world's archaeological heritage," the scientists said.

Ultimately the plan is to try drilling a tiny hole in the adjoining wall so that a small robot can be sent through in to the hidden area to find out what might lie inside.

Permission from the Egyptian authorities will need to be given however before this can go ahead. 

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

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Mystery ancient stone structures found in Saudi desert

Several of the mysterious 'gates' can be seen in this image.
Over 400 unexplained structures have been discovered in the Saudi Arabian desert using Google Earth.

Found by Australian researcher David Kennedy whose team has already identified thousands of archaeological sites in the Middle-East, these peculiar man-made edifices seem to defy explanation.

Thought to have been constructed between 2,000 and 9,000 years ago by the ancestors of the modern-day Bedouin people, the structures are only visible when viewed from high above.

"You can't see them in any intelligible way at the ground level but once you get up a few hundred feet, or with a satellite even higher, they stand out beautifully," said Kennedy.

"I refer to them as Gates because when you view them from above they look like a simple field gate lying flat, two upright posts on the sides, connected by one or more long bar."

"They don't look like structures where people would have lived nor do they look like animal traps or for disposing of dead bodies. It's a mystery as to what their purpose would have been."

He said not much was known about the people who built them, but they were believed to be ancestors of the modern-day Bedouin.

Their discovery came about by chance after a Saudi doctor who was interested in the area's history contacted him, having heard about his work in Jordan.

"He said 'I'm interested in the heritage of my country, I've spotted on Google Earth that there are some rather strange structures in the lava fields'," Kennedy told broadcaster ABC.

"He sent the coordinates of them to me and I had a look and I was bowled over by them."

Kennedy, a founding director of the Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa project, specializes in aerial archeology.

Since 1997, he and his team have photographed tens of thousands of stone-built structures, mostly in Jordan, ranging from giant circles to animal traps and funerary monuments.
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Saturday, October 28, 2017

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Scorching hot exoplanet 'snows' sunscreen

Artist’s illustration showing the scorching-hot exoplanet Kepler-13Ab, which orbits very close to its host star, Kepler-13A.
Astronomers have observed an extrasolar planet with some of the weirdest weather conditions ever seen.

Six times more massive than Jupiter and situated at a distance of 1,730 light years from the Earth, Kepler-13Ab, with often sees dayside surface temperatures of up to 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit, is one of the hottest extrasolar planets ever discovered,
 Kepler-13Ab is "tidally locked," always showing the same face to its star. So, it has a dayside and a nightside.)

Situated extremely close to its parent star and with an orbital period of 1.8 Earth days, this distant world is tidally locked so that one side of the planet is always facing its star.

Now astronomers believe that strong winds may also carry titanium dioxide - one of the active ingredients in sunscreen - around to the planet's cooler side where it condenses in to clouds.

The peculiar 'snow' then falls in to the lower atmosphere where it stays due to the planet's gravity.

"These observations of Kepler-13Ab are telling us how condensates and clouds form in the atmospheres of very hot Jupiters, and how gravity will affect the composition of an atmosphere," said study lead author Thomas Beatty from Pennsylvania State University.

"When looking at these planets, you need to know not only how hot they are, but also what their gravity is like."

"In many ways, the atmospheric studies we're doing now on these gaseous, 'hot Jupiter' kinds of planets are test beds for how we're going to do atmospheric studies of terrestrial, Earth-like planets," he said in the same statement. "Understanding more about the atmospheres of these planets and how they work will help us when we study smaller planets that are harder to see and have more-complicated features in their atmospheres." 

As its name suggests, Kepler-13Ab was discovered by NASA's planet-hunting Kepler space telescope, back in 2011. The planet is part of a triple-star system that includes the hot Jupiter's host star, Kepler-13A, and two companion stars (Kepler-13B and Kepler-13C).
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'Mega-carnivore' dinosaur found in Africa

An enormous meat-eating dinosaur measuring up to 30ft in length once roamed what is now Southern Africa.

Discovered by a team of researchers from universities in the UK, South Africa and Brazil, this prehistoric behemoth was part of a group of carnivorous dinosaurs known as 'megatherapods'.

Its footprints were found in the Maseru District of Lesotho - a small country in Southern Africa.

The discovery of such a large carnivorous dinosaur dating back to the Early Jurassic epoch was particularly unexpected as meat-eaters from that time were typically much smaller.

"The latest discovery is very exciting and sheds new light on the kind of carnivore that roamed what is now Southern Africa," said Dr Fabien Knoll from the University of Manchester.

"That's because it is the first evidence of an extremely large meat-eating animal roaming a landscape otherwise dominated by a variety of herbivorous, omnivorous and much smaller carnivorous dinosaurs. It really would have been top of the food chain."
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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

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Supervolcano could erupt sooner than previously thought.

The enormous supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park could erupt with only a few years' warning.

The natural beauty and hot springs of Yellowstone National Park attract thousands of tourists from all over the world on an annual basis, but not far below the park's serene surface is an increasingly large chamber of molten hot magma with the potential to erupt at any time.

When the inevitable does eventually happen, the Yellowstone supervolcano will cause untold devastation across hundreds of square miles and impact the climate on a global level.

The last time an eruption occurred was 631,000 years ago, suggesting that another one is long overdue, however exactly when this might happen has long remained a bit of a mystery.

Now scientists studying fossilized ash deposits from earlier eruptions have reached the unsettling conclusion that a future eruption could occur with far less warning than previously thought.

Rather than knowing about such an eruption centuries or even thousands of years in advance, we may only have mere decades to prepare and perhaps even less time than that.

"It's one thing to think about this slow gradual buildup - it's another thing to think about how you mobilize 1,000 cubic kilometers of magma in a decade," said geochemist Kari Cooper.
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Monday, October 23, 2017

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New prehistoric marine predator discovered

Palaeontologists have identified a new species that could shed light on the origins of crocodiles.

Nicknamed the 'Melksham Monster' after the town in England where it was first discovered, the 10ft predatory reptile, which dates back 163 million years, is officially known as Ieldraan melkshamensis.

The find is particularly interesting because the Geosaurini - the sub-family of prehistoric crocodiles to which this new species belonged - was previously believed to have arisen much later.

"It's not the prettiest fossil in the world, but the Melksham Monster tells us a very important story about the evolution of these ancient crocodiles and how they became the apex predators in their ecosystem," said Davide Foffa, a PhD student at Edinburgh University.

"Without the amazing preparation work done by our collaborators at the Natural History Museum, it would not have been possible to work out the anatomy of this challenging specimen."

Ieldraan melkshamensis was undoubtedly one of the most fearsome predators of its time and would have dominated the warm, shallow seas of the Middle Jurassic.

Its huge jaws and razor-sharp serrated teeth would have no doubt spelled certain doom for any hapless creature unfortunate enough to have caught its gaze.

Source: BBC News
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Friday, October 20, 2017

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Can Aliens observe the earth?

Astronomers have identified nine planets from which intelligent aliens could possibly be watching us.

While much work has been done over the years to look for signs of intelligent life out there in the cosmos, there has been little consideration of the possibility that someone might be watching us.

In a recent study, scientists from Belfast set out to determine where the best vantage points would be for an extraterrestrial civilization who wanted to observe what we were up to.

The research involved identifying the parts of the sky from which the planets in our solar system could be seen passing in front of the Sun from the perspective of a distant observer on another world.

Surprisingly, it turned out that the rocky terrestrial planets such as the Earth and Mars would be the easiest to spot.

"Larger planets would naturally block out more light as they pass in front of their star," said Robert Wells from Queen's University Belfast. "However the more important factor is actually how close the planet is to its parent star. Since the terrestrial planets are much closer to the sun than the gas giants, they'll be more likely to be seen in transit."

The scientists ultimately detected 68 extrasolar planets from which at least some of the planets in our solar system could be observed and at least 9 that would be "ideally placed" for observing the Earth.

None of these planets however are currently believed to be habitable.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

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'Vampire' kangaroos lived longer than thought

An extinct species of fanged kangaroo survived five million years longer than previously believed.

An analysis of fossilized teeth discovered at the Riversleigh World Heritage Area in north Queensland has revealed that these wallaby-sized fanged marsupials went extinct around 10 million years ago, which is five million years later than earlier studies had suggested.

The discovery means that existing extinction theories concerning the species will now have to be thrown out because the timing of their disappearance no longer fits.

"Northern Queensland was predominantly covered in rainforest when these fanged kangaroos first appear in the fossil record," said Univesity of Queensland PhD student Kaylene Butler.

"Every hypothesis we have about their extinction doesn't line up with the timing of when they went extinct so we kind of have to start from scratch now."

There are however two major events at the time of their disappearance that could help to explain it.

"You were starting to see the extension of open grasslands and open woodlands and at the same time you were also seeing potential ancestors of modern kangaroos on the scene," said Butler.

"Potentially the answer is that the fanged kangaroo was outcompeted in food and resources."

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

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China's space station is falling back to Earth

The Chinese space agency's Tiangong 1 space lab is going to hit the ground within the next few months.

Launched back in 2011, Tiangong 1 - or 'Heavenly Place' - was part of China's efforts to assert itself as a major player in the space industry and to create a manned orbital laboratory for scientific research.

Last year however, following months of speculation over peculiarities observed in Tiangong 1's orbit, China's CNSA space agency revealed that it had lost control of the station and that it would be plummetting back to Earth, sparking fears over the risk of falling debris.

Most recently, it has emerged that the station's descent has accelerated and that there is a high chance that it will crash-land either before the end of this year or at the beginning of the next.

While it is next to impossible to predict exactly where it will come down, the chances of it striking a populated area are extremely remote and it is a lot more likely to fall in to the ocean.

Most of the debris will have also burnt up in the atmosphere long before it reaches the ground.
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Saturday, October 14, 2017

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Evidence of a great lake discovered on Mars

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has identified the site of an ancient lake on the Red Planet's surface.

Mars might be a cold, barren wasteland today, but millions of years ago its surface would have been alive with rivers and lakes of liquid water that could have possibly supported primitive life.

Now scientists have discovered even more strong evidence of the planet's watery past in the form of a colossal lake that would have held ten times as much water as all the Great Lakes combined.

The site was identified thanks to the detection of large mineral deposits hidden beneath the surface.

"Even if we never find evidence that there's been life on Mars, this site can tell us about the type of environment where life may have begun on Earth," said NASA's Paul Niles.

"Volcanic activity combined with standing water provided conditions that were likely similar to conditions that existed on Earth at about the same time - when early life was evolving here."
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

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Giant James Webb Space Telescope is delayed again

James Webb Space Telescope
The launch of the giant orbital telescope has been delayed from October 2018 to Spring 2019.

The result of a long-running international collaboration between NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency, the James Webb Space Telescope will provide scientists with an unmatched view of the cosmos thanks to a resolution and sensitivity that is unrivalled by anything that has come before.

Its primary goals will be to image some of the first stars and galaxies to have formed after the Big Bang, to study the formation and evolution of galaxies, to better understand the formation of stars and planets and to study the origins of life in the universe.

It should even be able to provide more clear direct imaging of planets in orbit around distant stars.

For now though, all this will have to wait just a little bit longer as the launch of the James Webb has been pushed back again, this time until the beginning of 2019.

"The change in launch timing is not indicative of hardware or technical performance concerns," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

"Rather, the integration of the various spacecraft elements is taking longer than expected."
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Thursday, October 5, 2017

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Giant prehistoric frog could eat small dinosaurs

A giant, beach ball-sized frog that lived 70 million years ago had a bite that would have been strong enough to snap up small dinosaurs.
At the size of a beach ball, the giant Beelzebufo ampinga was the largest frog to have ever lived - at least that we know of. But it was similar to the modern Ceratophrys frogs, and now scientists have used those similarities to make a fascinating discovery.
Ceratophrys frogs are also known as Pacman frogs, for their round bodies and almost comically large mouths. They're grumpy creatures, sitting quietly in wait and snapping at anything that passes by with force.
It's these Ceratophrys frogs that researchers studied to determine the bite force of Beelzebufo.They used a custom-made force transducer, two plates covered with leather. When the frog bites down on the plates, they act as scales that can accurately measure the force of the bite.
So the team used it to scale the bite force up for the mouth size of Beelzebufo, around 15.4 centimetres (6 inches) wide, and found a bite force of up to 2,200 Newtons (around 224 kg or 494 lb).A Ceratophrys frog was found to have a bite force of 30 Newtons or approximately 3 kilograms.
By then scaling up this figure, it was determined that a Beelzebufo with a mouth six inches wide would have managed a bite force of 2,200 Newtons - the equivalent of a similarly sized snapping turtle.

"At this bite force, Beelzebufo would have been capable of subduing the small and juvenile dinosaurs that shared its environment," said researcher Marc Jones of the University of Adelaide.
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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

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Blue Lava

One of the most destructive occurrences in our world is the explosion of a volcano. But in Indonesia, the Kawah Ijen crater on the island of Java appears to stream blue lava instead of the traditional orange and yellow tone.

This produces a confusion as the lava is not inherently blue, the glow is actually due to the light from the combustion of sulfuric gases.These gases emerge from cracks in the volcano at high pressure and temperature -- up to 1,112°F (600°C). When they make contact with the air, they ignite,producing a blue glow and sending flames up to 5 metres high.Because only the flames are blue, rather than the lava itself, the effect is only visible at night—during daytime, the volcano looks like roughly any other.

Some of the gases condense into liquid sulfur, "which continues to burn as it flows down the slopes," said Grunewald, "giving the feeling of lava flowing."

A River of Sulfur flows into the Lake
Grunewald and Etienne produced the documentary partly to bring attention to these harsh working conditions. Most of the miners do not have gas masks (which the photographers wore throughout shooting and distributed to miners afterward), and suffer from health problems due to prolonged exposure to sulfur dioxide and other toxic gases.
Shooting these striking photos—some taken just a few feet away from the flames—was far more physically demanding than most of Grunewald's previous projects of landscapes and wildlife. "The main problem was the acidic gases that whirled constantly in the crater," he says. "The night seriously increased the difficulty as well, because it became almost impossible to see when dense gases arrived—at times, we were stuck in gas plumes for over an hour without being able to see our hands."
Another image of the beautiful phenomena
Just 30 nights in the crater, distributed over six trips, were enough to show Grunewald how destructive the environment of these mines can be. "During my first trip, I lost a camera and two lenses that had been corroded by acid," he says. "After we got back home, it took up to three weeks for our skin to lose the smell of sulfur."
His photos make the blue flames appear dramatically beautiful, even surreal. But for the miners that spend months or years at the volcano, the sulfur dioxide is quite real, and the health effects of chronic exposure—throat and lung irritation, difficulty breathing and a propensity for lung disease—can be devastating.
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Saturday, September 30, 2017

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Sixty ancient shipwrecks found in the Black Sea

Scientists who took part in an expedition of marine archaeology, called Black Sea Maritime Archaeological Project, have found ships used in antiquity at the bottom of the Black Sea.

The wrecks, which include vessels from the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, were spotted by researchers who had been studying the effects of climate change along the coast of Bulgaria.

"Some of the ships we discovered had only been seen on murals and mosaics until this moment," said Black Sea Maritime Archaeological Project CEO Ed Parker. "There's one medieval trading vessel where the towers on the bow and stern are pretty much still there."

"It's as if you are looking at a ship in a movie, with ropes still on the deck and carvings in the wood."

It is thought that the environment of the Black Sea, which is unable to support the types of organisms that typically feed on wooden shipwrecks, has played a major role in the preservation of the vessels.

Another scientist involved, Dr. Krum Bachvarov from the University of Connecticut said the ship’s mast was broken but its lower part was left. “There is a full load of amphorae. We saw at least two types of amphorae and we found ceramics, kitchen ceramics and part of the galley.”

Processing all samples found and analysing all the data will take years.
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Thursday, September 28, 2017

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The Ghost Of Dorothy Durant

In 1665, a bright 16-year-old schoolboy named Bligh suddenly became depressed and withdrawn. His friends, observing the change without being able to find the cause, attributed it to laziness, an aversion to school, or to some other motive which he was ashamed to avow. He was led, however, to tell his brother, after some time, that a ghost was troubling him. Twice a day, while walking to and from school through a field in Launceston, England, the ghost of a late neighbor named Dorothy Durant (who had been dead about eight years) would silently follow him. 

Ridicule, threats, persuasions, were alike used in vain by the family to induce him to dismiss these absurd ideas.Only his headmaster, Mr. Ruddle, was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. The next morning, walking together with his pupil in the field, Mr. Ruddle was shocked to see Durant pass them by. He would see her spirit several more times after this.

On a morning in late July, Mr. Ruddle encountered the ghost again and tried to talk to her. At first, the apparition was reluctant to speak. Her voice was hard to hear, and her words were unintelligible, but Mr. Ruddle had a conversation with her that lasted 15 minutes. In the evening, Durant’s ghost met the headmaster on his way home. This was the last time she ever appeared but after exchanging a few words it vanished into thin air.
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Saturday, September 23, 2017

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550 million-year-old creature mystery solved

A Dickinsonia fossil was first described in 1947.
Scientists believe that they have finally worked out what type of creature 'Dickinsonia' actually was.

Resembling a strange cross between a fungus, a lichen, a worm and a jellyfish, this peculiar organism was first described back in 1947 and has remained something of an enigma ever since.

Dickinsonia lived hundreds of millions of years ago on the sea floor and ranged in size from a few millimeters across to around half a meter. What's particularly intriguing about the species is that it was one of the earliest known organisms to move around rather than simply staying rooted to the spot.

Now a new study conducted by researchers from the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Bristol, and the British Geological Survey has determined that Dickinsonia was most likely to have been an animal as oppose to a plant or a fungus.

The research involved analyzing the 'units' that run down the length of the creature's body and comparing them to those of other specimens to determine the rate of growth over time.

"When we combined this growth data with previously obtained information on how Dickinsonia moved, as well as some of its morphological features, we were able to reject all non-animal possibilities for its original biological affinity and show that it was an early animal, belonging to either the Placozoa or the Eumetazoa," said Dr Renee Hoekzema, a PhD candidate in Oxford University's Mathematical Institute.

"This is one of the first times that a member of the Ediacaran biota has been identified as an animal on the basis of positive evidence."

Dr Liu added: "This finding demonstrates that animals were present among the Ediacaran biota and importantly confirms a number of recent findings that suggest animals had evolved several million years before the "Cambrian Explosion" that has been the focus of attention for studies into animal evolution for so long.

"It also allows Dickinsonia to be considered in debates surrounding the evolution and development of key animal traits such as bilateral symmetry, segmentation and the development of body axes, which will ultimately improve our knowledge of how the earliest animals made the transition from simple forms to the diverse range of body plans we see today."
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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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Mysterious Medieval grave on channel island puzzles archaeologists

Archaeologists excavating a historic religious retreat have found the grave of a medieval porpoise.
The unusual discovery, was made after three weeks digging on the small island of Chapelle Dom Hue off the coast of Guernsey. , 
The team found evidence of a grave due to a change in the soil and unearthed a skull and other skeletal remains, but were left puzzled when it became clear they were not human.
Quite why the porpoise was buried so carefully on the island, which is thought to have been used by monks seeking refuge, is a mystery.
Dr Philip de Jersey, a research associate at Oxford University who works at Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery, said he estimates that the skeleton, which was the first organic matter found on the dig, dated from the 13th or 14th century.
He said it was the most unusual find in his 35-year career. "It's very peculiar, I don't know what to make of it," archaeologist Philip de Jersey from Oxford University in the UK told The Guardian.

Dr Phil De Jersey, right, and Mike Deane alongside the skeleton of a medieval porpoise.
The mystery is all the greater due to the way the animal was buried, which doesn't suggest the dead porpoise was simply disposed of underground.
Instead, it looks like it's been laid to rest, with the body aligned east to west per Christian tradition, and the careful digging of the grave itself suggests it was intended as a solemn resting place.
It's possible that the porpoise was killed for food, since these mammals were eaten in medieval times.
But if that's the case, the researchers say it would have made a lot more sense for people to have disposed of the remains in the sea – located just 10 metres from the site, and the small island is surrounded by water on all sides.

Dr de Jersey added: 'If we were in a church and we found something like this, based on the shape, we would think it was a grave cut.
'That is what puzzles me. 'If they had eaten it or killed it for the blubber, why take the trouble to bury it?'
Dr de Jersey said it appears as if the animal had been buried with care, unlike a donkey skeleton they found which had been dumped in a hole after it died. Dr de Jersey added: 'It was cut down from the medieval layer and we have found medieval pottery in the same film.'
After their discovery, the porpoise bones were removed from their resting place, and will now be studied by a marine expert.
Once that analysis is complete, maybe then we'll get some answers on just how and why this medieval porpoise came to be laid to rest in a monk's graveyard.

Location of Chapelle dom Hue

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

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Bimini Road Bahamas

One of the most famous attraction in the Bahamas is Birmini road,an ancient underwater pathway discovered in 1930s.The mysterious path makes many wonder if it is remnants of the mythical lost land of Atlantis.

The Road consists of a 0.8 km (0.50 mi)-long northeast-southwest linear feature composed of roughly rectangular to subrectangular limestone blocks.

Bimini is an island in the Bahamas, part of a chain of islands 50 miles east of Miami, Florida.

Possible origin stories for Bimini road have been featured in different mystery pieces on Unexplained MysteriesUnsolved Mysteries in the World, and more. The origin theories include ancient Egyptian divine protectors, the path to Atlantis, and a natural occurrence without any help from humans.

Not all have been satisfied with the mainstream theories, and expeditions have been mounted to solve the riddle of the Bimini Road.
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Monday, September 11, 2017

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An artist's rendering of Mananggal

The Manananggal (sometimes confused with the Aswang) is a vampire-like cryptid creature of the Philippines, an evil, man-eating and blood-sucking monster. 


It is described as hideous, scary, (usually) female, and it is also capable of severing its upper torso and sprouting huge bat-like wings to fly into the night in search of its victims. The word manananggal comes from the Tagalog word tanggal (cognate of Malay tanggal), which means "to separate" or "to remove", which literally translates as "separator" or "remover". In this case, "one who separates itself". The name also originates from an expression used for a severed torso.

The Manananggal shares some features with the vampire of balkan folklore, such as its dislike of garlic, and vulnerability to sunlight.


According to the legends, they mostly prey on sleeping, pregnant women, using an elongated proboscis-like tongue to suck the hearts of fetuses, or the blood of someone who is sleeping. The severed lower torso is left standing, and it is said to be the more vulnerable of the two halves. Sprinkling salt or throwing crushed garlic or ash on top of the standing torso is fatal to the creature. The upper torso then would not be able to rejoin itself and will die by sunrise. It is known to hide in volcanic caves during daytime.

The legend of the Manananggal is popular in the Visayan region of the Philippines, especially in the western provinces of Capiz, Iloilo, and Antique. There are varying accounts of the features of a Manananggal. Like vampires, Visayan folklore creatures, and aswangs, Manananggals are also said to abhor garlic and salt. They were also known to avoid daggers, light, vinegar, spices and the tail of a stingray, which can be used as a whip. Folklore tales of similar creatures can be found in the neighboring nations of Indonesia and Malaysia. The province of Capiz is the subject or focus of many Manananggal stories, as with the stories of other types of mythical creatures, such as ghosts, goblins, ghouls and aswangs. Sightings are purported here, and certain local folk are said to believe in their existence despite modernization.

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