Archive for the ‘discoveries’ category

Churchill and the Aliens…

February 16, 2017

Now this is kinda cool, especially if you’re a bit of a history buff as many nerds like myself are.  The history and science fiction nexus gets thick at times over World War II, what with the insane speculation that Nazi Germany was scientifically advanced due to alien “assistance.”  So it really floats my boat to hear that a lost essay has been discovered by none less than Winston Churchill in which he supports the existence of alien life…

…I swear that I am not making this up!  The unpublished essay from 1939 by Churchill was discovered in of all places a Missouri museum to which the paper had been donated and then forgotten.  Now Winnie was a remarkable guy; a politician, statesman, writer, and even a friend of the sciences who while prime minister of England appointed a science adviser, and regularly met with scientists.  Radar was developed during his watch, and may have kept England afloat when the Nazis came calling.  Anyways, Churchill in this essay ponders the timeless question of alien life, and concludes that we are not alone

…remarkably, Churchill’s reasoning even from over seventy years ago mirrors scientific thought even today, proving that the cigar-smoker was both broad-minded and a man ahead of his time.  Churchill and Carl Sagan probably would have liked each other.  The best politicians are scientifically friendly; if only such could be said of Mr. Trump…

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Oarfish, the “Sea Serpent”

October 22, 2013

oarfish– – Want a real life sea serpent?  Try the giant oarfish, a rarely-seen deep sea dweller of freakish size and appearance, and the world’s largest bony fish.  The oarfish is known to reach a length of up to 27 feet with unverified reports of specimens reaching 50 or more feet.  Although they rarely wash up due to usually staying in deep, open ocean habitats, two oarfish have recently been found along the San Diego coast in California, the most recent measuring nearly 14 feet and an earlier one discovered the same week measuring 18 feet.  The specimens were felt to have died of natural causes, and their weight was estimated at about 200 pounds.

As oarfish can dive more than 3,000 feet deep, sightings of them are rare and they are largely unstudied.  Tissue samples and video footage were sent to be studied by biologists at the University of California in Santa Barbera.    The serpentine creatures are largely thought to be responsible for sea serpent legends and sightings throughout the world…

New Mammal Discovered!

August 18, 2013

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— New species are discovered every year, although many of them are insects. Now insects don’t quite do it for me, and I tend to become far more excited about the discovery of a higher animal, especially a mammal, since I happen to be one myself!  What’s been identified is the olinguito, which resembles a mini-raccoon with a teddy bear face, and is almost unbelievably cute. The creature is indigenous to the rain forests of South America, and found in countries such as Ecuador and Columbia.  Running about 14 inches long with an equally long tail and and rust-colored fur and weighing in at about two pounds, the olinguito escaped classification for so many years owing to its nocturnal and tree-dwelling habits, and the fact that it was confused with the olingo, a larger and distinctive sister species.

The National Zoo in Washington actually housed an olinguito for a year, mistaking it for an olingo and expecting it to breed with them, which it sensibly refused to do. The species has accordingly been hiding in plain sight for some time! Looking like a cross between a teddy bear and a house cat, this smallest member of the raccoon family certainly possesses the “awww” factor!