Humans

Archaeologists Have Uncovered a Place Where The Ancient Egyptians Mummifed Their Dead

An entire previously unknown burial complex has been uncovered in the Egyptian desert necropolis of Saqqara. The finds centre on a mummification workshop, where priests prepared the bodies of the deceased for burial – a burial shaft in its middle tunnelled up to 30 metres (98 feet) underground.   Down this shaft, archaeologists found a number of burial chambers, with …


Tech

These Are The Nuclear Weapons Terms We All Keep Hearing

Nuclear weapons are humankind’s most fearsome creations. In a matter of minutes, one nuclear-armed nation can level dozens of cities, spread radioactive fallout for hundreds or thousands of miles, and wreck Earth’s climate.   Most people are familiar with the basics: Slap together enough uranium or plutonium and – kaboom! – you have a nuclear blast. But the details of …


We May Have Been Wrong About The Inner Workings of The Minds of Narcissists

Narcissists aren’t hard to spot. You can tell them from the way they act, how they’re raised, or where they live. Even, apparently, their eyebrows. But where does this grandiose sense of self-importance and entitlement actually come from? A new study from psychologists in Germany suggests the answers might not be as simple as what some think.   One common …

Some of Jupiter’s Moons Are Leaving ‘Footprints’ in Its Aurorae

Since it arrived in orbit around Jupiter in July of 2016, the Juno mission has been sending back vital information about the gas giant’s atmosphere, magnetic field and weather patterns.   With every passing orbit – known as perijoves, which take place every 53 days – the probe has revealed things about Jupiter that scientists will rely on to learn …

Scientists Just Showed It’s Possible to Split Water Into Hydrogen And Oxygen in Space

Space agencies and private companies already have advanced plans to send humans to Mars in the next few years – ultimately colonising it. And with a growing number of discoveries of Earth-like planets around nearby stars, long-distance space travel has never seemed more exciting.   However, it isn’t easy for humans to survive in space for sustained periods of time. …

Astronauts Explain Why Nobody’s Visited The Moon in More Than 45 Years, And The Answer’s a Little Depressing

Landing 12 people on the Moon remains one of NASA’s greatest achievements, if not the greatest. Astronauts collected rocks, took photos, performed experiments, planted some flags, and then came home. But those week-long stays during the Apollo program didn’t establish a lasting human presence on the Moon.   More than 45 years after the most recent crewed Moon landing – …

Tiny Gold Specks Can Generate Hydrogen From Water 4 Times More Efficiently Than We Can Now

Star-shaped gold nanoparticles, coated with a semiconductor, can produce hydrogen from water over four times more efficiently than other methods – and could lead to better ways to store solar energy, a new study shows.   The discovery could also lead to other advances that could boost renewable energy use and fight climate change, researchers say. “Instead of using ultraviolet …

A Jaguar Escaped Its Zoo Habitat And Moved From One Enclosure to The Next Killing Animals

A jaguar at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans slipped out of its enclosure and went on a territorial killing rampage sometime overnight, attacking four alpacas, an emu and a fox trapped in their own habitats before zoo officials managed to sedate it.   The big cat was first reported missing at 7:20 am, before the zoo opened, officials said …

This Is The Clearest View of The Centre of The Milky Way to Date, And It Is Breathtaking

A mega new telescope has captured the clearest view to date of the centre of our Milky Way. The fiery image shows in extraordinary detail the region surrounding the supermassive black hole at the heart of the galaxy – a target 25,000 light-years away.   The telescope is called the MeerKAT radio telescope, and it’s actually made up of 64 …

A Monster Iceberg Looms Over a Tiny Village in Greenland, Prompting Tsunami Fears

An 11 million-ton iceberg is parked precariously close to the tiny village of Innaarsuit — a glacial faceoff that pits 169 residents of Greenland against the biggest iceberg many have ever seen.   Their fate could be entirely dependent on the weather forecast. If a strong enough wind blows at the right time, the berg could be dislodged from the …

This Little Creepy Robot Moves in And Out of The Sun to Care For a Plant on Its Back

Tianqi Sun, CEO of robotics firm Vincross, has created a delightful mod of his robot Hexa which cares for a houseplant when the owner is too forgetful to water it. Hexa is a small crab-like looking robot, which is available to buy for $US949 and is designed to give people the chance to experiment with robotics.   Tianqi published his …

Eight Rare Rhinos Have Died in an Attempt to Save The Species

Eight critically endangered black rhinoceroses died after being moved from parks near Kenya’s capital to a sanctuary in a national park in the country’s southeast, the government said Friday.   Preliminary investigations suggest the rhinos suffered from salt poisoning as they adapted to water with higher saline levels than they were accustomed to, according to tourism and wildlife minister Najib …

An Empty Ship Has Washed Up in Japan, And It Could Be Another North Korean ‘Ghost Ship’

An empty, overturned wooden boat has been found drifting off Japan’s western coast, and it could mark the start of another flood of “ghost ships” from North Korea to wash up on Japan’s shores.   The vessel, measuring 8-meters (26-feet) long, was found floating in a rocky area off the island of Hokkaido on Wednesday afternoon, Japan’s Sankei Shimbun reported. …

There’s One Simple Thing You Should Do if You Really Want to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

If you’re the type who fusses over recycling and using cold water to save the planet, boy do we have some news for you. Research shows that the best ways to cut down on your carbon footprint are actually not the ones typically recommended by governments and textbooks. And there’s one life choice in particular that makes the most radical …

An Air China Pilot Accidentally Cut Off Oxygen to Passengers While Trying to Hide His Vaping

A vaping pilot on board an Air China Boeing 737 is believed to have caused his plane to make an emergency descent in search of breathable air on Tuesday. The BBC, citing Chinese investigators, reported that the first officer of Air China Flight CA106 accidentally shut off the plane’s air conditioning system – causing insufficient oxygen levels in the cabin. …

Kepler Telescope Has Entered Hibernation Mode to Download Data Before Its Final Mission

The Kepler space telescope has had a relatively brief but distinguished career of service with NASA. Having launched in 2009, the space telescope has spent the past nine years observing distant stars for signs of planetary transits (i.e. the Transit Method).   In that time, it has been responsible for the detection of 2,650 confirmed exoplanets, which constitutes the majority …

Here’s an Important Reminder to Stay Away From This Giant Horror Plant That Causes 3rd Degree Burns

If Hollywood wanted to make a movie about a horrifying plant invasion, giant hogweeds would make a great candidate for the lead role – they are absolutely massive, incredibly toxic, and readily spread wherever their seeds take root.   Listed as a noxious weed in at least eight states, back in June the giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) was spotted in …

An “Asteroid” Discovered Last Year Just Turned Out to Be Something Way Cooler

An asteroid discovered orbiting the Sun in December last year has revealed a fun surprise: it’s not one asteroid, but two, locked in their own binary orbit around a mutual centre of gravity.   The object is called 2017 YE5 (as in “YE5 a surprise second asteroid, hooray!”)*, and when it was first detected on 21 December 2017, it was …

Scientists May Have Figured Out a Historic Climate Puzzle

Thirteen thousand years ago, an ice age was ending, the Earth was warming, the oceans were rising. Then something strange happened – the Northern Hemisphere suddenly became much colder, and stayed that way for more than a thousand years.   For some time, scientists have been debating how this major climatic event – called the “Younger Dryas” – happened. The …

Not All Peer Reviewed Science Is The Same. Here’s How to Tell What to Trust

The words “published in a peer reviewed journal” are sometimes considered as the gold standard in science. But any professional scientist will tell you that the fact an article has undergone peer review is a long way from an ironclad guarantee of quality. To know what science you should really trust you need to weigh the subtle indicators that scientists …

Of Course We Should Open That Mysterious Egyptian Sarcophagus, Why on Earth Not?

An Egyptian archaeological mission found an enormous sarcophagus – the largest ever to be found in Alexandria – made from a striking black marble. It’s been closed for 2,000 years, according to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities, and no one knows who’s inside.   “Experts have not yet determined to whom the tomb belongs,” Mostafa Waziri, the General Secretary of Egypt’s …

An Endangered Blue Whale Has Been Slaughtered by Icelandic Whalers, Reports Claim

Photos of what might be a dead juvenile blue whale have recently surfaced online, allegedly showing the catch of Icelandic whalers. It’s a species that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) says hasn’t been deliberately killed since 1978.   If confirmed, this will cause serious problems for the whalers in question, as it’s illegal to deliberately kill …

This Video of a Massive Iceberg Breaking Off Greenland Is Relaxing And Scary All at Once

Want to see something really amazing? Well, you can enjoy this video of an iceberg breaking off Helheim Glacier in eastern Greenland. Filmed by scientists on June 22, it shows an absolutely huge 6.4-kilometre (4-mile) chunk of ice making a break for the sea.   Iceberg calving, as it is known, is not unusual. It’s a natural consequence of the …

A French Farmer Found an Incredibly Rare Fossil And Kept It Secret For Years

Quick question – if you found a strange-looking fossil on your property, would you a) call the press, b) call the experts, or c) do neither because, well, who needs that kind of attention?   For those who went with c, you have a kindred spirit in a farmer who stumbled on a giant four-tusked skull near the French town …

Whoa, We Now Have X-Rays That Take Colour Images of The Human Body

Phil and Anthony Butler aren’t just father and son. The physics professor and bioengineering professor (respectively) are also business partners. And this week, their company, MARS Bioimaging, unveiled a first-of-its-kind X-ray scanner 10 years in the making.   First, a quick recap of how X-ray imaging works. When X-rays travel through your body, they’re absorbed by denser materials (bones) and …

NASA May Have Accidentally Obliterated Organic Molecules on Mars in The ’70s

When NASA confirmed the Curiosity rover had found traces of complex organic compounds on Mars recently, it wasn’t just a promising sign that the building blocks of life might exist on the Red Planet.   Curiosity’s ongoing discoveries have also turned up a crucial piece of chemical evidence, shedding light on a strange scientific mystery that has divided astronomers for …

We Finally Know Where High-Energy “Ghost Particles” Are Coming From

Finally, scientists have found the source for a high-energy cosmic neutrino coming from outside our galaxy. The so-called mysterious “ghost particle”, detected on 22 September 2017, travelled 4 billion light-years to reach us, originating from an extremely energetic object called a blazar.   It’s an amazing discovery, one that not only confirms blazars as a source of high-energy neutrinos, but …

Falling in Love Changes Your Body And Brain

Have you ever looked at your partner lovingly and felt your heart flutter, palms sweat, or mood instantly get better? That’s because falling in love actually changes what happens in your body – for the better.   When in love, neurochemicals like dopamine and oxytocin flood our brains in areas associated with pleasure and rewards, producing physical and psychological responses …

Our Love of a Food Found Inside Bones Helped Evolve Human Hands

Of all the animals, humans have evolved pretty spectacular hands. Our particular manual configuration is unique in the animal kingdom, which means we were probably doing something differently from our primate cousins.   Now anthropologists think they have figured out a previously overlooked activity: cracking open bones to get to the rich, fatty, calorie-dense marrow inside. Compared to primate hands, …

The Story of Human Origins in Africa Is Changing in a Way We Never Expected

The t-shirt representation of human evolution as a sequence of hunched primates standing tall is a popular cliché. Of course, deep down we know it has to be more complicated. New research argues we seriously don’t know the half of it – the journey of humanity is far more diverse than we ever imagined.   Scientists representing a variety of …

A Supermoon Solar Eclipse Is Striking on Friday 13th, But Only a Lucky Few Will See It

We Earthlings are about to get a pretty cool celestial moment. A supermoon delivering a partial solar eclipse, falling on Friday the 13th – and all that for the first time since 1974.   The kicker? If you want to see it, you’re going to have to be in the very southern tip of Australia, New Zealand, the southern Pacific …

This Ancient Tablet Could Be a Lost Copy of The Odyssey, One of The Oldest Ever Found

Experts think they might have found the oldest-ever Greek copy of The Odyssey, the epic poem by Homer which is widely regarded as one of the most significant works of literature ever put down on paper… or rather clay.   An ancient slab of stone thought to date back to the 3rd century CE looks to contain 13 verses of …

Unique Bone Discovery Shows Dinosaurs Grew Gigantic Way Earlier Than We Thought

The discovery of some rather large dinosaur bones in Argentina has got scientists wondering whether the creatures may have grown to their biggest sizes earlier in history than we previously thought.   This trend towards gigantism or above average growth in sauropodomorphs – the biggest dinosaurs and indeed the biggest land animals in history – marks a crucial step in …

Borrowing Einstein’s Body Can Actually Change The Way You Think, Study Shows

Not many of us can lay claim to being Nobel-Prize-winning theoretical physicists, but even if we’re not Albert Einstein, we can still visualise ourselves in the great scientist’s shoes.   If we can do that, surprising things might happen. A new study by scientists in Spain showed that when people assumed Einstein’s physical identity as part of a virtual reality …

There Are Tantalising Hints of Life-Supporting Features on This Nearby Exoplanet

Last year, scientists announced the discovery of an exoplanet just 11 light-years (3.37 parsecs) from Earth. Not just any exoplanet – a rocky one, that looks like it might just be habitable. Now another team has taken a closer look, and found evidence that bolsters that supposition.   The planet is Ross 128 b, orbiting a star called Ross 128. …

You Were Right, New Study Shows You Probably Didn’t Need That High School Calculus After All

If you’re struggling through a course in Calculus 101 in your tertiary degree right now, wishing you’d paid attention in high school, we’ve got some good news: it probably wouldn’t have helped.   A study of more than 6,200 freshmen at 133 colleges and universities across the US has found you’d have been better off mastering the basics than cramming …

Brutal Heat in The UK Is Revealing Hidden Footprints of Historic Civilisations

For weeks, the UK has been gripped by a punishing, record-breaking heatwave. While conditions on the ground may be unprecedented, what’s happening underneath it comes as an even bigger shock.   Aerial archaeologists combing the wilted Welsh countryside have discovered a transforming landscape revealing a forgotten legacy of ancient monuments – a faded map of centuries-old structures laid bare, at …

These Physicists Think Key Ingredients For Life Formed Shortly After The Big Bang

Physicists from Eötvös University in Budapest and the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle have taken an innovative approach to determining when the first organic chemicals formed, and it turns out they could be a lot older than we imagined.   Complex organic chemistry once considered unique to life might not only be ubiquitous throughout the modern Universe – it …

It’s 2018, And We Still Don’t Know Why Zebras Have Stripes

Zebra stripes do not help regulate their body temperature. That’s the conclusion reached by researchers in Hungary, trying to narrow down a longstanding mystery about the animals’ amazing coats.   Zebras are magnificent animals, with the tall stature and long faces shared with their horse family (equid) cousins. Unlike equids, though, they’re dazzlingly striped black and white. It’s a colouration …

A Gigantic Crocodile Was Just Caught in Australia After 10 Years on The Run

Following a nearly decade-long hunt, a massive saltwater crocodile has been captured in northern Australia, according to wildlife authorities. Rangers caught the crocodile Monday after setting a trap on a private property near Katherine, a town in Northern Territory, Australia.   The evasive crocodile is said to be one of the largest trapped in the region, which is not far …

500 Internal Server Error

500 Internal Server Error The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request. Please contact the server administrator at [email protected] to inform them of the time this error occurred, and the actions you performed just before this error. More information about this error may be available in the server error log. Additionally, a 500 …

A Deadly Air Conditioning Problem Could Strike Us All by 2050

As the world warms up, millions of us turn up the air conditioning, and that dependence on cooling technology could be causing hundreds of deaths by 2050. That’s the conclusion of researchers studying the impact of air con that relies on coal, gas, and oil for its power. More power for more cold air means more polluting particulate matter in …

A Massive, Black Sarcophagus Has Been Unearthed in Egypt, And Nobody Knows Who’s Inside

Archaeological digs around ancient Egyptian sites still have plenty of secrets to give up yet – like the huge, black granite sarcophagus just discovered at an excavation in the city of Alexandria, on the northern coast of Egypt.   What really stands out about the solemn-looking coffin is its size. At 185 cm (72.8 inches) tall, 265 cm (104.3 inches) …

8,000-Year-Old Remains Tell a Surprising Story About The Ancestry of Southeast Asia

They were called the Hòabìnhian: an ancient society of hunter-gatherers who populated Southeast Asia for some 40,000 years, until the dawn of agriculture around four millennia ago.   When the farms came, the age-old ways of these prehistoric foragers disappeared into history, but it’s never been settled how their time on Earth drew to a close. Did the indigenous Hòabìnhian …

Eerie Space Sounds Are Coming From a Strange Bond Between Enceladus And Saturn

Data recorded during Cassini’s final months is still giving us gold. New research from the probe’s Grand Finale mission has uncovered a previously unknown interaction between Saturn and its moon Enceladus – plasma waves, travelling between the two.   When Cassini drew ever closer to Saturn before plunging to its demise amongst the planet’s storms, it took advantage of its …

World’s Oldest Colour Pigment Has Been Found in 1.1 Billion-Year-Old Fossils

Traces of fossilised chlorophyll detected inside seriously ancient rocks have shattered records for the oldest sample of an organic pigment by 600 million years. And that pigment was a fetching shade of pink.   Not only does the find provide tangible evidence of ancient photosynthesis, analysis of the compounds indicates they were left behind by bacteria, which helps explain why …

This Timelapse of a Huge Stinky Corpse Flower Is Surprisingly Beautiful

Visitors to the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) were in for an incredibly rare treat in June, when its resident corpse flower burst into bloom. And for those of us who couldn’t get there, the garden staff recorded the event in a spectacular timelapse.   The corpse flower or titan arum – Amorphophallus titanum (a name which means “giant deformed …

1 Year On, That Huge Antarctic Iceberg Is Still Out There

One of the largest icebergs ever documented is still mostly intact one year after it broke off Antarctica, despite losing a big chunk and having its northern flank smashed to bits.   The huge ice block, called A68 or A68a, calved from the Larsen C ice shelf in July 2017. It’s hard to say exactly when A68 was born due …