Archive for April, 2010

Evangelicals Find “Noah’s Ark” In Turkey

Friday, April 30th, 2010


The hunt for the most infamous floating zoo may have come to an end, if you ask a team of Chinese and Turkish evalgleicals who claim they’ve found the remains of Noah’s Ark.

The remains of Noah’s Ark have been discovered 13,000ft up a Turkish mountain, it has been claimed.

A group of Chinese and Turkish evangelical explorers say they have found wooden remains on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey.

They claim carbon dating proves the relics are 4,800 years old — around the same time the ark was said to be afloat.

Yeung Wing-Cheung, from the Noah’s Ark Ministries International research team, said: “It’s not 100 per cent that it is Noah’s Ark, but we think it is 99.9 per cent that this is it.”

Many believe it was the highest point in the mountain region Mount Ararat where the Ark ran aground.

[The Sun]

Indian Military Investigating Holy Man Claiming 70 Years Fast

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Mailplane for

In an effort to make a super soldier, the Indian military has turned to a holy man who claims to have not eaten in over 70 years since he was blessed by a goddess.

India’s Defense Research Development Organization thinks it may have found a new secret weapon: an 82-year-old holy man named Prahlad Jani. His tactical advantage: longevity. Jani claims via the UK’s Telegraph that he has not consumed food or drink for 70 years, and military authorities are conducting a rigorous study to see if he’s onto something they could use.

Skeptical? You should be. Medical science says — and there’s some variability here based on differences in metabolism, environment, etc. — that after 3 to 5 days of fasting your glucose levels get seriously out of whack. If you’re still hanging around at day 50, you’re tougher than most. That’s if you’re drinking water. If not, “your body can survive a maximum of 3 days without the intake of water, assuming you are at sea level, at room temperature, and a relative humidity,” says Bruce Zawalsky of the Boreal Wilderness Institute. That’s a far cry from seven decades.

Jani is currently under military observation.

[Pop Sci]

Jaw Of Likely Awesome New Winged Dinosaur Found

Thursday, April 29th, 2010


Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the best lede ever written for a news story.

An ancient reptile with a 9-foot wingspan was soaring over the sea in what is now North Texas some 95 million years ago when – plop – it fell into the water and died.

A full story of life and death. A dinosaur. The use of the word “plop.” A masterpiece.


Analysis of the jaw now suggests it belongs to a new-to-science genus and species of flying reptile or pterosaur, now called Aetodactylus halli after its discoverer Lance Hall, a member of the Dallas Paleontological Society who hunts fossils for a hobby.

“I was scanning the exposure and noticed what at first I thought was a piece of oyster shell spanning across a small erosion valley,” Hall said. “Only about an inch or two was exposed. I almost passed it up thinking it was oyster, but realized it was more tan-colored like bone. I started uncovering it and realized it was the jaw to something – but I had no idea what. It was upside down and when I turned over the snout portion it was nothing but a long row of teeth sockets, which was very exciting.”

Also, Aetodactylus means “eagle finder”.

[Live Science]

New Discovery Helps Prove That Earth Sucked Until Asteroid Brought Water

Thursday, April 29th, 2010


A thin film of water ice and organic material has been identified on an asteroid by a NASA telescope. This bolsters the theory that an asteroid brought both crucial elements for life to Earth.

“It now appears that when the asteroids and planets were first forming in the very early Solar System, ice extended far into the Main Belt region,” said Josh Emery, a planetary scientist at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. “Extending this refined view to planetary systems around other stars, the building blocks of life — water and organics — may be more common near each star’s habitable zone.”

The discovery also confuses the definition of comets and asteroids, in case you were wondering.

[Pop Sci]

Top Secret Hypersonic Air Force Glider Goes Missing Minutes After First Test Flight

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

In case you were tired of running down all the conspiracy angles for the Air Forces’ new X-37B shuttle, here is a fresh new piece of AF intrigue for you to chew on.

The Air Force’s Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2—designed to attack global targets at Mach 20—has disappeared nine minutes into its first test flight, just after separating from its booster. Contact was lost, and it hasn’t been found yet.

The Falcon was supposed to splash down in the Pacific Ocean after a 30-minute, 4,100-nautical-mile test flight. Not to be confused with the unmanned X-37B space shuttle—which launched on April 22—the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 blasted off last week from the Vandenberg Air Force Base on a Minotaur IV rocket.

The Falcon is designed to launch conventional weapons at any point on the globe in under one hour, Gizmodo continues.


The Smell Of Rotting Flesh? Oh, That’s Just The Blooming “Corpse Flower”

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010


Flower, for my dearest?

A rare behemoth flower — dubbed the “corpse flower” for its rotting-meat smell — is set to bloom at Western Illinois University this week. It’s one of a small group of these flowers that have bloomed in cultivation since the 1880s.

As of Monday, the mega flower (one of four in the university’s greenhouse), was 44.5 inches (113 centimeters) tall, having grown nearly 4 inches (about 5.7 cm) in 24 hours. In the wild, the plant can grow as big as 20 feet (6 meters) tall and 15 feet (4.5 meters) across.

“The Titans in the WIU Botany Greenhouse will only get about half that in size,” said Jeff Hillyer, greenhouse gardner at WIU.

This one might be kind of redundant to leave on a grave stone…

[Live Science]

Study: Facial Hair Creates Less Intelligible Speech

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010


Study gave test subjects fake mustaches and wicked amish beards to see how much visual speech recognition was affected.

Investigating the interference of facial hair with visual speech intelligibility poses the problem of accurately controlling the amount and shape of facial hair across several speakers while keeping the recording situation constant. Since it is difficult to find participants willing to grow and then cut their beards as needed, we decided to use artificial beards made from natural hair. Two different types were chosen: mustache and long chin beard.

This explains why understanding hockey players en route the Stanley Cup because more and more of a chore

[Improbable Research]

1907 Newspaper Report Of California Sea Monster

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010



“The first thing which attracted my attention was when a huge head bobbed up
above the surface of the water,” said Mr. Franklyn last night.

“This head was about the size of a keg. A great mouth was cut across the
lower part of it and gleaming teeth could be seen.

“I had with me a powerful pair of spyglasses and I turned them toward the
creature. From where I was standing the eyes appeared to be as large as
base balls and to protrude from the head.

“The creature was about thirty feet long and was striped.

“Running along its spine was a great fin, while two other fins protruded
from the sides. With these fins the serpent lashed the water about it to a
foam as it swam back and forth.

“I could not at first believe that I was seeing anything real and I rubbed
the lenses of my glasses in astonishment. At last I handed them to Mathews
and for several minutes he stood gazing at the creature.

The fine reporting was done by the Los Angeles Herald on September 2, 1907.


Despite Best Efforts, Exposed Breasts Fail To Trigger Massive Earthquake

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Cleric said boobs cause earthquake. Boobs tried to do just that. Boobs failed.

Hooray science!

Chemists & Biologists Unite To Crack Bacterial Defense Code

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Could be the path to besting bacteria like E.Coli. High five!

[Science Daily]

Gigantic Asphalt Domes Found Off Coast Of California

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Ancient asphalt domes discovered off California coast.jpg

See nature? This is what happens when you leave your oil laying around the ocean floor of 35,000 years!

California scientists found two massive asphalt domes on the sea floor, most likely the result of oil deposits made thousands of years ago.

“It was an amazing experience, driving along…and all of a sudden, this mountain is staring you in the face,” said Christopher M. Reddy, director of WHOI’s Coastal Ocean Institute and one of the study’s senior authors, as he described the discovery of the domes using the deep submersible vehicle Alvin. Moreover, the dome was teeming with undersea life. “It was essentially an oasis,” he said, “almost like an artificial reef.”

What really piqued the interest of Reddy — a marine geochemist who studies oil spills — was the chemical composition of the dome: “very unusual asphalt material,” he said. “There aren’t that many opportunities to study oil that’s been sitting around on the bottom of the ocean for 35,000 years.”

This is why we can’t keep anything nice on this sea shelf!

[Science Daily]

Amazing, Nightmare-Inducing Pictures Of Insects Waking Up In Morning Dew

Monday, April 26th, 2010
The stunning pictures of sleeping insects covered in early morning dew | Mail Online.jpg

Good morning to you too! Bugs. Dew. Camera. Many more where this came from. Hello Monday.

Thanks to Weird Things reader Marty.

[Daily Mail]

Stephen Hawking Warns Us Of Impending Alien Invasion Threat

Sunday, April 25th, 2010


Stephen Hawking is a world renown thinker and a one of a kind personality. Now, he’s also the guy who can flop the “told ya so” card when we are enslaved by a nomadic race of aliens.

“We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet,” the award-winning British scientist said in a series for the Discovery Channel, “Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking.”

To drive the point home, Hawking argued that aliens visiting Earth would likely be the same as when explorers first arrived in the New World.

“If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans,” he said.

His solution: stop trying to talk to aliens. Our solution: welcome our new wise and just overlords with open arms.

Underwater Freak Show! Creatures So Bizarre They Hide In The Ocean Depths!

Saturday, April 24th, 2010
Pictures_ Hard-to-See Sea Creatures Revealed.jpg

[National Geographic via Boing Boing]

Just In Case Anyone Gets Any Wild Ideas…

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

[Oddly Specific via pharyngula]

Lost Boys Meet CHUD In The Columbian Sewers

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Thomas Morton of takes the sewers of Bogota, Columbia where he experiences the lives of children living a subterranean life style fleeing the police, getting high on crack and trying to forget that they are waist deep in feces.