Sadly, you can reliably trust that the internet will vomit up harmful pseudoscience all over the place. Thankfully, some people out there who actually know what they're talking about are willing to explain the facts as understood by the real experts.
For the first time in history, astronomers have observed galactic winds. This is a peek into the early stages of the formation of a very, very big galaxy, and it's looking like scientists might be able to observe and record this incredible celestial phenomena like never before.
Even though we're just at the tip of the iceberg of technological advancements, it seems like every second person is creating a robot of some sort. There are robots that deliver things to your house; robots that can perform heart surgery; and now, there's a sea urchin robot. Sure, I can understand why someone might want to create a robot to do a tedious task or perform it more precisely than humans can. But a sea urchin inspired robot... why? Well, I guess the answer is, why not?
There's no better way to celebrate an important occasion with a glass of champagne. For me, the novelty of champagne has never been about the taste of the alcohol, but rather the significant moment when the cork is popped out of the bottle. Little did I know that this pop is actually a miniature supersonic shock wave. Champagne just got even cooler.
December 26, 2004. The day of the worst tsunami in living memory that pummeled Indonesia and shocked the world. It was the first major tsunami that took place after mobile phones with cameras were created, and people around the world were able to witness the catastrophe through the shaky videos. But this footage was useful for more than that. Video footage helped scientists to understand tsunamis more. Here's how.
It's hard to imagine dinosaurs being afraid of anything, aside from attacks from other dinosaurs. But scientists have just discovered the fossil of a behemoth creature that did just that, preying on dinosaurs. Dear god.
Bats are widely misunderstood creatures in the animal kingdom - while they're associated with witches, vampires and darkness in general, they're actually super cute and interesting. And scientists have just discovered something amazing about them - bats use leaves as "mirrors" that reflect sound waves, helping them find insects hiding behind leaves. Cool, right? Or confusing? Keep on reading, we'll explain everything.
Penguins aren't exactly formidable creatures, are they? Although Emperor penguins can reach up to 4 feet 2 inches, they always seem super friendly and cute. Now imagine a penguin the same height as you. That changes things. Penguins the size of humans... the idea sounds like it comes from science fiction. But it actually just comes from science. It was recently discovered that giant penguins used to exist. We are not kidding.
While Lee Berger, the lead researcher behind the study, tells New Scientist that the species "doesn't look a lot like us," his team believes that features observed in the skull, hands and teeth of the skeletons make it part of the Homo genus.
They certainly have enough evidence from which to draw that kind of conclusion: the fossil find in the cave system was particularly rich. In fact, the team uncovered an amazing 1,400 bones and 140 teeth during a single field trip to the site. The team reckons the fossils could date back as far as 3 million years — though an accurate date is yet to be confirmed.
...The remains that have so far been studied suggest that Homo naledi was an unusual-looking creature. Its pelvis and shoulder are, apparently, reminiscent of apes that lived 4 million years ago, while its feet resemble Homo sapien remains from just 200,000 years ago. Meanwhile, its skull was much smaller, containing a brain less than half the size of modern humans. The team reckon the creature could have stood 5 feet tall and weighed almost 100 pounds.
What is the craziest part of this discovery is that these non-humans were intelligent enough to pull their dead into the sort of burial chamber, which hints at basic emotional understanding. They knew things!
Mashable put together this great video showcasing some of the researchers who discovered these mysterious hominid cousins:
Mollivirus sibericum, which translates to "soft virus from Siberia", is the fourth such 'giant virus' discovered this century. The same team of scientists discovered another of these, Pithovirus sibericum, last year, and Mollivirus sibericum was isolated from the same sample of permafrost.
These prehistoric viruses are called 'giant viruses' because they're visible by light microscopy, with lengths greater than half a micron - a thousandth of a millimetre. As bugs go, they're big.
If the idea that scientists are going to wake this thing up sounds a little disconcerting – and, to be honest, it's not altogether unlike the opening scenes of a plague disaster movie – don't worry. The researchers say they will only revive the virus if they can be certain it's not a threat to animals or humans.
Of course it sounds like the beginning of a movie like Outbreak, but the idea of reintroducing a 30,000-year-old thing back into society also sounds a lot like Encino Man.
The reanimating is meant to be held in the context of our warming Earth. Over time, those frozen Siberian tundras ain't going to be so frozen anymore and the Brendan Frasers of the virus world will reawaken without the help of Pauly Shore scientists.
So, that's terrifying.
But there's still little in the way of explanation as to why these researchers want to reanimate this ancient virus. Either they are just doing it to do it, or they are servants of Cthulhu and this is how they call him to come devour our world.
The whole thing reminds me of the massive plan to blow up the moon.