Humans

Racist Attitudes And Climate Denial Have a Disturbing Link We Never Knew About

The drivers behind climate change denial look to be even more complex than we thought, with new research finding evidence of a “racial spillover” – in which racist attitudes have become linked with skepticism over climate change.   A new study examining attitudes to climate change during the Obama presidency found white Americans became significantly less concerned about climate change …


Space

The Latest Photo of Earth From This Chinese Satellite Will Make You Feel Absolutely Tiny

As a Chinese microsatellite called Longjiang-2 slipped into orbit around the moon last month, the spacecraft looked back at Earth and snapped its first test photos. One of those images shows our blue-marble planet hanging in the void of space beyond the Moon.   The images were taken on May 28 using an on-board camera funded by a Saudi Arabian …


Here’s What The “Best Case Scenario” For Nuclear Warfare Is Like, According to Science

It’s called MAD. The notion that Mutually Assured Destruction would be inescapable if one nuclear superpower were to unleash its deadly arsenal against another. The reasoning is that by launching a first strike against any nuke-toting enemy, the aggressor would inevitably provoke an automatic counter-attack – ensuring mutual, fiery annihilation. But aside from this fatal Catch-22, there’s a scientific reason …

Scientists Have Invented a Software That Can ‘See’ Several Minutes Into The Future

Most of us are used to technology predicting the words we want to type. Soon this kind of software will be able to look even further into the future to predict actions we’ve barely considered ourselves.   This isn’t some creepy Minority Report style of precognition. Not yet at least. But it could see us get robot butlers that hand …

The Cryptic Voices of Narwhals Have Been Recorded in The Most Detail Yet

Scientists have collected the most detailed recordings of narwhals to date, displaying a charming range of click, squeak, and buzz vocalisations that will help researchers understand these ‘sea unicorns’ like never before.   This information could help scientists predict how the East Greenland narwhals might be affected by an increase in human-made sounds in their waters, as climate change warms …

Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Is Literally Raining Gemstones Now, And We Want Some

If Hawaii’s Kīlauea volcano were to offer an apology for its chaos and destruction, it just might come in the form of a beautiful green mineral called olivine. Over the past months we’ve reported on devastating lava flows and bone-shattering boulders. Now it’s raining gems – a rare event that has geologists enthralled and the rest of us just plain …

Einstein’s Newly Published Travel Diaries Reveal a “Shocking” Racist And Sexist Streak

In 1946, Albert Einstein stood in front of students at one of the oldest historically black college in the United States and decried the oppression of African Americans. “There is separation of colored people from white people in the United States. That separation is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not …

These Penguins Appear to Be Living on an Island of Plastic, But The Truth Is Kinda Worse

We know. We’ve been told. The plastic waste that has been piling up in our oceans is out of control. But sometimes, when the problem is so far away, we can lose track of how dire the situation truly is.   A viral video from researchers in the South Pacific has put the consequences of our actions front and center. The …

A Dust Storm Is Engulfing Mars, And NASA Images Show The Situation Is Bleak

Mars is not a friendly place to be right now, especially if you’re an aging solar-powered rover. NASA says a global dust storm is forming. The storm is now about 10 billion acres in size, which is enough to cover North America and Russia, or more than one-quarter of Mars. Some regions of the Martian surface have become so obscured …

Antarctica Has Lost 3 Trillion Tonnes of Ice Since 1992, And It’s Speeding Up

The most complete analysis to date measuring ice sheet changes in Antarctica reveals Earth’s southernmost continent has lost some 3 trillion tonnes of ice over the past quarter-century.   A collective effort by over 80 scientists across the world used satellite data to determine estimates of ice-sheet mass balance between 1992 and 2017, ultimately calculating that global sea level increased …

IQ Scores Are Falling in “Worrying” Reversal of 20th Century Intelligence Boom

A defining trend in human intelligence tests that saw people steadily obtaining higher IQ scores through the 20th century has abruptly ended, a new study shows. The Flynn effect – named after the work of Kiwi intelligence researcher James Flynn – observed rapid rises in intelligence quotient at a rate of about 3 IQ points per decade in the 20th …

These Abnormally Huge Viruses Create Their Own Genes, Defying Standard Biology

They were first discovered on a beach in Santiago, Chile in 2013. And these gargantuan viruses are a far cry from your garden variety, sub-microscopic virus. Not only are the members of the Pandoravirus family stupidly huge, these microbes also have more genes than any virus has business carrying. Now, the discovery of three new members might finally help us …

NASA Is About to Deliver Major News on That Dust Storm Raging on Mars

Mars is currently being blasted with a dust storm the likes of which we’ve rarely seen. And at 1:30 pm EDT (5:30 pm UTC) this Wednesday, NASA will let us know just how this weather event will affect their ongoing operations.   A week ago the storm was 18 million square kilometres (7 million square miles) in size. Since then …

This Adorable Toddler Has ‘Uncombable Hair Syndrome’, And It’s a Rare Genetic Quirk

It might sound like an excuse for a bad hair day, but Uncombable Hair Syndrome (UHS) is actually a real genetic condition. It’s caused by a rare genetic mutation, and creates silvery-blond or straw-coloured hair that is easily damaged and cannot be combed flat. The result? Frizzy, shiny hair that sticks out in all directions.   Some have speculated that the …

A Woman Is Suing NASA Over Some Moon Dust Neil Armstrong Once Gave Her

It was a Saturday, and Laura Murray was a 10-year-old girl hanging out with her nanny outside her family’s Cincinnati townhouse. Her mother, giddy with excitement, handed the little girl a small glass vial filled with light-gray dust.   It was from the Moon, her mother told her. Along with it was a handwritten note: “To Laura Ann Murray – …

Astronomers Just Cracked The Cosmic Mystery of Anomalous Microwave Glow in Our Galaxy

The source of a mysterious microwave glow detected across our galaxy eluded astronomers for decades. But now a crack team has finally pinpointed the source: nanoscopic particles of crystalline carbon, otherwise known as diamond dust.   There are several environments across the Milky Way that produce a faint glow known as anomalous microwave emission (AME). Scientists have known for a …

Here’s How Long It Would Take North Korean Nuclear Warheads to Reach The US

As President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have conducted a meeting in Singapore, it’s worth remembering a key impetus for the summit: North Korea can likely strike anywhere in the US with its nuclear weapons.   In July and November, North Korea test-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, that can reportedly deliver nuclear warheads to targets thousands of miles away. …

Africa’s Ancient ‘Trees of Life’ Are Suddenly Dying, And Scientists Don’t Know Why

For centuries – millennia even – they’ve towered over the savannah like giants from another world, but their long, almost immortal watch is at last beginning to fade. The African baobab, the largest and longest-living tree among all angiosperm (flowering) plants, is in the midst of a deadly crisis, with new research finding several of these ancient trees have recently …

Elon Musk’s Flamethrowers Are Here, And People Are Already Doing Crazy Stuff With Them

Remember Elon Musk’s Not-A-Flamethrower – a propane-fuelled, oversized barbecue starter that looks more like a modified Nerf gun? It might have been a joke when Musk first posted about it on Instagram in January, but it got deadly serious when 20,000 people pre-ordered it.   On Saturday, the first wave of 1,000 people have received their devices, at a party …

Right Now, NASA’s Opportunity Is Battling a Potentially Deadly Martian Dust Storm

NASA has suspended science operations on its brave little Mars rover, Opportunity, as a huge dust storm rages over its location in the planet’s Perseverance Valley. First detected by NASA on June 1, the storm has worsened over the weekend, the intense dust darkening the sky over Mars and leaving Opportunity in the dark.   And this is a problem …

These Are The Most Common Misconceptions About Our Universe, And Why They’re Wrong

You’d think that in the age of the internet, where more information than we can possibly consume in several lifetimes is at our fingertips, stubborn myths from the past would die away.   But who among us still thinks the Great Wall of China is visible from space, and that it’s a bad idea to pick up a lost baby …

The Best Time of Day to Do Everything at Work, According to Science

At work, a calendar filled with meetings and deadlines often dictates the cadence of our days. But despite what tightly timed agendas might try to insist, our internal body clocks are secretly running the show. Scientists call this personalised daily pattern of sleep and wakefulness a circadian rhythm.   Whether you know it or not, our bodies have a specifically set programming schedule …

India Has Discovered an Amazing Planet Where a Year Lasts Just 19.5 Days

In an exciting first, Indian scientists have discovered a sub-Saturn exoplanet orbiting a Sun-like star around 600 light-years away. The planet has been named EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b and it’s big – around 27 times more massive than Earth. The find sees India join a small group of countries to have confirmed a planet outside our Solar System.   Exoplanets themselves …

Dolphins Are So Smart They Use Individual ‘Names’ to Build Surprisingly Manipulative Social Networks

In life it often pays to keep a close eye on competitors and rivals. Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, Team of Rivals, tells how US president Abraham Lincoln persuaded each of his political rivals to join his cabinet, thereby turning them into his allies.   But the formation of alliances with potential competitors is not unique to humans. In a …

Mysterious Objects Have Been Detected Coming Way Too Close to The Milky Way’s Black Hole

During the 1970s, astronomer became aware of a massive radio source at the center of our galaxy that they later realized was a Supermassive Black Hole (SMBH) – which has since been named Sagittarius A*.   And in a recent survey conducted by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers discovered evidence for hundreds or even thousands of black holes located in the same vicinity of …

These Rarely Seen Images Show What The Internet Actually Looks Like

Every second, millions of emails, clicks, and searches happen via the world wide web with such fluidity that the internet seems almost omnipresent. As such, people often mistakenly assume that internet traffic happens by air – our mobile devices, after all, aren’t wired to anything.   But satellites carry less than 1 percent of human interactions, and in some ways …

This Tree Is So Toxic, You Can’t Stand Under It When It Rains

In 1999, radiologist Nicola Strickland went on a holiday to the Caribbean island of Tobago, a tropical paradise complete with idyllic, deserted beaches. On her first morning there, she went foraging for shells and corals in the white sand, when the holiday quickly took a turn for the worse.   Scattered amongst the coconuts and mangoes on the beach, Strickland …

Biologists Have Discovered an Underwater Octopus City And They’re Calling It Octlantis

At the end of last year, scientists discovered a small octopus city – dubbed Octlantis – a find that suggests members of the gloomy octopus species (Octopus tetricus) are perhaps not the isolated and solitary creatures we thought they were.   Octlantis features dens made out of piles of sand and shells, and is home to up to 15 of the …

Here’s How Long It Really Takes to Break a Habit, According to Science

From daily tooth-brushing to the 11am coffee, we all have dozens of habits that get us through our daily routine. Some are great – weekly gym visits are often encouraged – others not so much, like smoking a pack a day, or dialling the number of the pizza place way too often.   Because we recognise our habits as useful …

Neuroscientists Accidentally Discovered a Whole New Role For The Cerebellum

One of the best-known regions of the brain, the cerebellum accounts for just 10 percent of the organ’s total volume, but contains more than 50 percent of its neurons. Despite all that processing power, it’s been assumed that the cerebellum functions largely outside the realm of conscious awareness, instead coordinating physical activities like standing and breathing.   But last year …

This Device Sucks Drinking Water Out of Dry Desert Air, Powered Only by The Sun

When it comes to future challenges, one of the biggest will be water scarcity – on a warming planet we’re going to have plenty of seawater, but not enough fresh, clean water in the right places for everybody to drink.   And while a lot of research has focussed on desalination, a team of scientists have now come up with …

There Are Now So Many City Rats They’ve Split Into Distinct ‘Uptown’ And ‘Downtown’ Populations

Welcome to the age of the urban rat. There are about 2 million New York City rats, a 2014 estimate suggested, which would mean the rodents in New York outnumber the humans in Philadelphia. Do not discount the power of gnawing teeth in aggregate — Cornell University scientists once calculated rats cause $19 billion in damage annually.   Rats and other rodents directly transmit 11 diseases, according to …

Bees Can Understand an Incredibly Complicated Mathematical Concept

When it comes to bees, it seems that nothing really does matter. As shown in a paper published today, our research demonstrates that the honeybee can understand the quantitative value of nothing, and place zero in the correct position along a line of sequential numbers.   This is the first evidence showing that an insect brain can understand the concept …

The Body of a Mysterious Sea Creature Has Washed Up in Namibia

Last week the corpse of a mysterious, 6-metre (20-foot) long sea creature washed up in Namibia, confusing experts over whether the remains belonged to a whale or a dolphin. Scientists have now identified the animal – and it’s a unique deep-diving species of whale that hasn’t been seen in Namibia since 2000.   After measuring the body and analysing its …

It’s Official, Plastic Pollution Has Now Reached Our Last Unspoilt Wilderness

Scientists have reported finding traces of plastic and hazardous chemicals in Antarctica, which before now was the last part of the planet that remained mostly untouched by the damaging effects of human activity.   Samples of water and snow, collected over a three-month period earlier this year, paint a sorry picture of the environmental consequences of our modern way of …

Recovery of Lost Apollo Data Has Solved a 40-Year-Old Mystery on The ‘Moon Warming’

Between 1971 and 1977, Apollo scientists conducting experiments on the Moon discovered that the surface of our li’l satellite buddy got mysteriously warmer. But the data from 1974 onwards went missing, and the strange warming phenomenon remained an enigma.   Now a team of researchers from Texas Tech University has found and restored that data – and discovered that the …

Here’s The Mind-Boggling Reason The Periodic Table Doesn’t Seem to Have an End

As researchers around the globe race to create the next element on the periodic table – an atom that contains 119 protons – one scientist from Michigan State University is looking into where the table might end.   While there’s no conclusive answer, it seems we still have a lot left to discover. According to nuclear physicist Witold Nazarewicz, there …

13 Wild Science Facts You Probably Didn’t Learn in High School

We learn about some awesome science in high school – like Einstein’s theory of relativity, the Periodic table, and DNA replication. The knowledge we pick up there sets the foundations for all the other amazing things we go on to study. But science definitely doesn’t end at high school, and it’s once you take your learning to the next level …

Astronomers Are Fighting Over What to Call a Mysterious Planet That May Not Even Exist

The search is heating up for a planet beyond Pluto – not just over the evidence, but also over the hypothetical world’s name. No one knows for sure if there really is a missing planet out there, since astronomers have yet to identify it in telescope images. However, they keep turning up indirect evidence that it exists.   A study …

A Man Was Nearly Killed by a Rattlesnake AFTER He Cut Off Its Head

A Texas man narrowly survived a venomous rattlesnake sinking its fangs into him – after he had already decapitated it with a shovel. According to local news station KIII-TV, Jennifer Sutcliffe and her husband Jeremy were working in their yard in Corpus Christi, South Texas on the weekend of May 27. While weeding, she spotted the snake, a western diamondback …

The Leaning Tower of Pisa Should Have Crumbled in an Earthquake Long Ago. Now We Know How It Survived

The Leaning Tower of Pisa and its 5.5 degree lean has vexed engineers for centuries. Partially constructed on unexpectedly soft soil, the ancient bell tower began to lean before it was even finished, a historical goof that went on to become one of the world’s historical oddities – and made the tower a UNESCO World Heritage site.   How can …

This Mindblowing Video of The Moon Coming Down to Earth Is Totally Real

One minute, you’re chilling on a mountain. The next you’re being dwarfed by the biggest Moon you’ve ever seen – one that seems to be coming right down to rest on Earth’s surface.   That’s what appears to be happening in this video on NASA’s Astronomy Picture of The Day (APOD) site for 4 June 2018. Of course, we all …

Here’s Why Most of Us Stop Discovering New Music After 30, According to Science

It’s a simple fact of life that older people reminisce about the glory days. You might believe you’ll stay young and free-spirited forever, but one day you’ll find yourself grumbling about not understanding the latest slang words and asking a young person what a meme is.   For some it might be happening earlier than they thought. That’s according to …

These Are The Oldest Animal Footprints Ever Discovered on Our Planet

Scientists have found what they think is the oldest animal footprint in the fossil record, uncovering incredibly ancient track marks imprinted in the dirt as far back as 550 million years ago.   These trackways, preserved near burrows, were discovered in Dengying Formation – a rich fossil preserve in China’s south – and constitute the first evidence confirming that an …

NASA Just Revealed Conclusive Evidence of Organic Compounds on Mars

For years, NASA’s Curiosity rover has patiently gathered samples on the surface of Mars. Today, scientists are announcing they’ve discovered conclusive evidence that several organic compounds are indeed found on the Red Planet.   On top of that, after keeping close tabs on methane levels in the Martian atmosphere, scientists have finally confirmed something weird is definitely going on, and …

Scientists Have Turned Regular Bees Into “Killer Bees” With a Single Injection

A few clipped neuropeptides make all the difference between a chill honey bee and one that has an irritable need to shiv anything that moves. To discover what makes Africanised “killer bees” so hostile, scientists from University of São Paulo State in Brazil compared their neurochemistry with those of their domesticated relatives and found it mostly comes down to a …

A NASA Probe Just Woke Up in The Outer Solar System, Ready For a Historical Mission

NASA’s New Horizons probe – the same one that gave us stunning photos of Pluto – has just woken up, approximately 6 billion kilometres (3.7 billion miles) from home. It’s currently flying through the Kuiper Belt, and off on an exciting mission scheduled for New Year’s Day – the first-ever flyby of the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule.   …

These Science Backed Post-Breakup Strategies Can Ease Your Heartache

Breakups are tough. Love is one of the most powerful emotions we can feel, making heartbreak one of the most traumatic. After a particularly raw breakup, it can feel like nothing will ever be the same again, with many sufferers reporting feelings of depression, anxiety, exhaustion, and even insomnia.   And the one piece of advice so often doled out …