Environment

Ocean Circulation Has Slowed Down Dramatically, And It Can’t Be Explained by Climate Change

Global warming isn’t the cause of slowdown in a huge circulation pattern in the Atlantic Ocean, which is, in fact, part of regular, decades-long cycle that will affect temperatures in coming decades, according to a new study.   Oceanographers are concerned about the long-term stability of the Atlantic Ocean circulation, and previous studies show that it has slowed dramatically in …


Tech

Here’s What Your Emojis Say About You, According to a New Study

When you add a smiley face to the end of a message, you may be saying more than you realise. Emoticons, faces formed from punctuation symbols such as :-), and emojis, picture symbols such as 😀, are now common features of the way we communicate using phone and internet messaging services and social media.   They can help your recipient …


This Professor Is Teaching Math Through Knitting. Here’s Why It’s So Important

One snowy January day, I asked a classroom of college students to tell me the first word that came to mind when they thought about mathematics. The top two words were “calculation” and “equation.”   When I asked a room of professional mathematicians the same question, neither of those words were mentioned; instead, they offered phrases like “critical thinking” and …

This Is All The Time It Takes For a Dog to Die in a Hot Car

The soaring temperatures in Europe and North America have seen a rise in reports of dogs being rescued from hot cars. Police across England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, and Canada have all saved dogs from certain death.   But in the US, a Great Dane in Juneau, Alaska, a Pitbull Boxer mix in Trussvile, Alabama, and three Rottweilers in …

There’s a Yellowstone Region Called The ‘Zone of Death’ Because of a Creepy Legal Loophole

You probably know that, for the most part, Yellowstone National Park is located in Wyoming. But there’s a small sliver of the park that crosses the border into Idaho, and that tiny, 130-square-km (50-square-mile) patch is known as the Zone of Death.    Why? Well, thanks to a loophole in the US Constitution, you could technically get away with murder there. As …

We Hate to Tell You But This Moth With Tentacles Is Completely Real

What has six legs, two antennae, four furry appendages sprouting from its backside – and a big chunk of the Internet freaked out? The world’s most viral and terrifying moth. A man in Indonesia posted a picture and video of the insect on Facebook in October last year, drawing more than 36,000 comments, many from people expressing alarm and asking …

Oh No, Now People Want to Drink The Juice From Inside That Mysterious Black Sarcophagus

After days of intense and viral speculation, archaeologists in Egypt this week finally opened up that mysterious, 2,000-year-old giant black sarcophagus. So far, no curse has been unleashed (that we know of), but the team did discover something slightly gruesome inside – three skeletons, most likely soldiers, decaying in a pool of dark red, murky sewage water.   Of course, …

Lighting Has a Smell, And The Science Behind It Is Beautiful

You’ve seen it, you’ve heard it, but have you ever smelled it? As bizarre as it sounds, lightning has a distinct odor. But unlike its blinding flash or deafening roar, the scent of a lightning bolt is much more subtle. In fact, you’ve probably experienced it before.   Whenever lightning strikes, it heats the air to 30,000 degrees Celsius (50,000 …

Here’s How NASA’s Solar Probe Is Going to Touch The Sun Without Melting

In just a few weeks, NASA is due to launch one of its most ambitious projects yet. The Parker Solar Probe is going to swoop in and ‘touch’ the Sun – coming in closer to the solar surface than any probe has ever done before.   Parker’s three closest orbits will bring it within 6.1 million kilometres (3.8 million miles) …

A Genius Microscopy Method Just Set a Record in Imaging Individual Atoms

Electron microscopes have been capable of taking snapshots of individual atoms for nearly half a century. But we’ve never seen anything quite on this scale. A new method for catching and measuring the spray of electron beams is giving us a whole new resolution of the sub-ångström world, opening the way to studying molecular structures that would be impossible to …

This Armored Dinosaur With a Spiky Head Just Changed What We Know About Their Migration

Back in 2008, researchers found a weird set of dinosaur fossils in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah. Most ankylosaurid dinosaurs found in the area have smooth bony armour on their skull. This one was spiky.   After 10 years of hard work the research has just been published, confirming this weird spike-armoured oddity is, in fact, a …

The FDA May Have a Problem With Milk Substitutes. Would You Drink ‘Nut Juice’ Instead?

All those liquids made out of soy, almond, rice, coconut or oats won’t be called milk anymore, if the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its way. According to the government body’s definition, the word “milk” only refers to lactate from an animal, preferably a cow. And whatever was squeezed out of that soybean is not it.   The …

Neanderthals May Have Used Their Stone Tools to Start Fires

Tens of thousands of years before Swiss inventor Karl Elsener attached a corkscrew to a pocketknife, Neanderthals had their own multipurpose tools: hand axes. These four- or five-inch (10 -13 centimetre) stones were cut into large teardrop shapes, with wide bases that tapered to twin cutting edges. Neanderthals used hand axes to chop and carve wood, butcher meat, scrape hides …

For The First Time, Scientists Might Have Caught a Star Devouring a Planet

They mystery of why a young star dims every so often may have just been solved. For the first time, researchers have observed what they think may be a star hoovering up the debris after a nearby collision between two planets.   It’s not Tabby’s Star, sorry everyone. But it’s actually been puzzling astronomers for much longer – nearly a century, …

Never-Before-Seen Structures Have Been Detected in Our Sun’s Corona

Using longer exposures and sophisticated processing techniques, scientists have taken extraordinarily high-fidelity pictures of the Sun’s outer atmosphere – what we call the corona – and discovered fine details that have never been detected before.   The Sun is a complex object, and with the soon-to-be-launched Parker Solar Probe we’re on the verge of learning so much more about it. …

The Wild Idea of Introducing Rhinos to Australia Is Not as Insane as It Sounds

Rhinos in Australia might seem like an insane proposition – after all, we’ve had historically bad luck with introduced species. But on reflection it’s not quite as crazy as it sounds.   There are five species of rhinoceros in the world: two in Africa and three in Asia. The world of all five species is being rapidly destroyed and shredded, …

Geologists Have Finally Defined a New Chapter in Earth’s History, And We’re Living in It

After years of debate, the current geological epoch has finally been cut into three sections. While some geologists clearly think it’s a justified change, others feel the move was premature and deserved further discussion.   The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) recently ratified the division of the Holocene into the Meghalayan, Northgrippian, and Greenlandian ages after siding with arguments …

The First Known Baby Snake Fossil Has Been Discovered in a Lump of Amber

This brand-new baby snake wouldn’t have been on this world long when it died in the Cretaceous period. But in an interesting twist of fate, it was encased in resin and found by humans 99 million years later in Myanmar.   The snake fossil is tiny – missing a head and with about 97 bones all up, the minuscule specimen …

The World’s Biggest Tech Leaders Have Officially Pledged to Not Develop ‘Killer Robots’

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to save lives by predicting natural disasters, stopping human trafficking, and diagnosing deadly diseases. Unfortunately, it also has the potential to take lives.   Efforts to design lethal autonomous weapons – weapons that use AI to decide on their own whether or not to attempt to kill a person – are already underway. On …

Cracks Are Appearing in The Rocks Near Yellowstone. Here’s Why You Don’t Need to Panic

Rangers have temporarily closed off parts of Grand Teton National Park after guides noticed growing fissures in the area just over a week ago. Since Grand Teton is connected to Yellowstone, and Yellowstone is well known for sitting on top of what could well be a giant volcanic time bomb, the news has rung some alarm bells. It really shouldn’t. …

The Standard Cosmological Model Just Got Confirmed Thanks to an Epic Sky Survey

A four-year survey of the entire sky has just delivered results, and they are awesome: we have confirmation that the standard cosmological model, which describes the age, rate of expansion, history and contents of the Universe, is indeed accurate.   For four years, the European Southern Observatory’s Planck satellite sailed the skies, constantly scanning and collecting data so that we …

Here’s The Science Behind The Magical Colours of Sunsets And Sunrises

“A red sky at night is a shepherd’s delight! A red sky in the morning is a shepherd’s warning.” Perhaps this saying came to mind if you caught a spectacular sunrise or sunset recently.   Since biblical times and probably before, proverbs and folklore such as this developed as a way for societies to understand and foretell prevailing weather conditions. …

Your Earliest Memories Might Never Have Actually Happened

In one of the largest studies of its kind, scientists have made a fascinating discovery. Nearly 40 percent of people have a first memory that is entirely fictional. It’s not that their memories are muddled and out of sequence – but that they never happened at all.   Researchers surveyed 6,641 people about the earliest memories they had, and what …

A Rare And Epic ‘Firenado’ Was Caught on Video Over The Weekend. Here’s How They Form

A brush fire turned into a “firenado” along the Colorado River on Saturday as shocked bystanders filmed the horrifying blaze. An Arizona couple was driving near the state border of Blythe, California on Saturday when they came across the flames.   What started out as a brush fire turned into a “firenado,” or a fire tornado, before it spun across …

White Tropical Beaches Like Hawaii Actually Harbour a Dirty Secret in The Sand

We have some bad news. Those amazing white sandy beaches in Hawaii and similar places are not just finely milled pieces of rock. Instead, that beautiful sand is at least partially made up of fish poop. Lots and lots of fish poop.   The species responsible are parrotfish – large and colourful tropical fish that live in coral reefs and near rocky …

The Longest Eclipse of The 21st Century Happens Next Week, And Earth Will Colour The Moon Blood Red

Huge swaths of Earth are in for a special astronomical treat in late July: the longest total lunar eclipse in roughly 100 years. During the early morning of July 28, Earth will pass between the sun and the moon to cast a shadow on our 4.5-billion-year-old satellite.   Earth’s shadow isn’t a dull grey, though. It ranges from orange to …

80,000 Angry Bees Attacked a Woman For Trying to Get to Her Car in California

The 10:23 am emergency call to the 23000 block of Buckland Lane was dispatched as a reported bee sting. Responding firefighters quickly discovered how big of an understatement that was.   When their truck pulled up to the home in Lake Forest, California, they saw a cleaning lady being attacked by a swarm of some 80,000 bees. The woman – …

150,000 Stone Tools Found in North America Add More Evidence That We’re Wrong About The First Settlers

Until recently, if you asked most experts when the first human beings arrived and settled in North America, you’d get an answer along the lines of 13,500 years ago. But over the last few years, evidence has been mounting that humans arrived at the continent earlier. And now a massive discovery of hundreds of thousands of stone tools suggest we …

Critical Parts of The Internet Never Designed to Be Underwater Will Drown in a Few Years

We only have fifteen years. That’s how long experts say it will be before thousands of miles of American internet cables will be submerged by rising seas. A new analysis has overlaid sea level incursion projections on top of maps of critical internet infrastructure in the US, to discover that ‘locked in’ climate change by 2033 will submerge some 4,000 …

An Ancient Mystery Henge Has Appeared in ‘Once in a Lifetime’ Discovery in Ireland

It materialised out of almost nowhere. Thousands of years after disappearing from human sight and knowledge, an ancient ‘henge’ site has been discovered hidden within the archaeological landscape of Ireland’s Brú na Bóinne.   To reveal this long-forgotten structure, it took a chance intersection between an aerial drone flight and a brutal hot streak that’s been slowly roasting the UK …

Astronomers Just Announced The Discovery of 12 New Moons Around Jupiter

Astronomers looking for stuff in the outer Solar System have received a huge and unexpected surprise – the accidental discovery of 12 previously unknown moons in orbit around Jupiter.   This brings the total of known Jovian moons to 79. The newly discovered satellites increase Jupiter’s lead in the Solar System as the planet with the most moons – although …

Hawaii’s Volcano Has Destroyed a Boat With a Lava Bomb, Injuring People

Hawaii’s continuously erupting Kīlauea has been pretty busy this week, creating short-lived islands and hurling lava bombs at unsuspecting tourists over the last few days. On Monday morning, a lava bomb (a flying chunk of molten rock) hit a tour boat, injuring 23 people, and damaging the boat roof and railing.   According to officials, 13 passengers are being treated …

Scientists Have Found a Quadrillion Tonnes of Diamonds Lurking Deep Beneath Earth’s Surface

That diamond on your wedding ring isn’t as rare as you might think. Using sound waves, scientists uncovered a cache of diamonds distributed deep below the Earth’s surface, and it amounts to over a quadrillion tonnes of the precious mineral. (Yes, you read that right.)   That’s according to a new study published by a team of researchers from MIT, …

Scientists Have Discovered The Earliest Evidence of Bread, And It’s Much Older Than We Expected

Historians and archaeologists have traditionally linked bread to the dawn of agriculture, when people domesticated plants such as wheat, cultivated them and ground them into flour.   But a new discovery of blackened crumbs at an ancient stone building in the Middle East indicates that people were baking bread thousands of years earlier. Based on the radiocarbon dates of charred …

A Humble Seaweed Just Changed What We Know About Antarctica as The ‘Isolated Continent’

Large algae seaweeds known as kelp have been able to float some 20,000 kilometres (12,427 miles) from the southernmost reaches of the Indian and Atlantic oceans all the way to the shores of Antarctica – a trip previously thought to be impossible.   Not only is it an incredible journey, it’s the first hard proof that Antarctica isn’t as isolated …

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 …

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 …

The Blood Stains on The Shroud of Turin Seem Totally Fake, Study Claims

A blood pattern analysis of the Shroud of Turin has revealed that there’s just absolutely no way the stains could have been made by a body laying flat on the fabric. A pair of researchers have found that the blood-like splotches on the linen cloth are inconsistent with each other – some can only have occurred by a person standing …

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 …