fnc/science

Terrifying details of Thai cave rescue revealed by divers

Divers involved in the rescue of 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave have revealed extraordinary details of the dangerous operation. A team of more than 150 worked together to free the group from Tham Luang cave, a 6-mile limestone cave system, in an operation that scared even the most seasoned professionals. New details of the rescue were revealed Monday night on Four Corners, an Australian television series, including how it was decided which of the 12 boys were rescued first. NEW NASA SATELLITES WILL BETTER FORECAST HURRICANES “It’s one of the most difficult and dangerous and risky things I’ve ever done, not in terms of my own personal safety, but in terms of the people I was responsible for,” British cave diver Jason Mallinson told the reporter. “I’ve never done any...

11-million-ton iceberg threatens to inundate tiny Greenland village with tsunami

A massive iceberg is looming near a tiny village in Greenland.  (Reuters) An 11-million ton iceberg, perched off the coast of a tiny Greenland village, is striking fear in the hearts of residents. Residents of Innaarsuit worry that a chunk of it could break off and unleash a tsunami upon the town. What happens to the gigantic mountain of ice, which a Danish meteorologist said is 650 feet wide—nearly the length of two football fields—and rises almost 300 feet into the air, depends largely on the weather. A strong wind could push the iceberg into the nearby Baffin Bay, averting a crisis. Alternatively, a large amount of warm precipitation could further destabilize the berg and cause a large piece to break off and create a wave that would inundate the town. “It’s not a peaceful process,” Joer...

What Ötzi the Iceman ate before he was murdered

Scientists take samples from Ötzi’s stomach during an exam in Bolzano, Italy, in November 2010. Credit: South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology\Eurac\M. Samadelli A mere 2 hours before his grisly murder about 5,300 years ago, Ötzi the iceman chowed down on some mouthwatering morsels: wild meat from ibex and red deer, cereals from einkorn wheat and — oddly enough — poisonous fern, a new study finds. It’s unclear why Ötzi ate the toxic fern, known as bracken (Pteridium aquilinum). But it’s possible that he used the fern to wrap his food, almost like a piece of plastic wrap, and then unintentionally ingested some of the toxic spores the fern left behind, said study co-senior researcher Albert Zink, head of the Eurac Research Institute for Mummy Studies in Bolzano, Italy. Or perhap...

Last meal of ancient ‘Iceman’ revealed

In this November 2010 photo provided by the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, researchers examine the body of a frozen hunter known as Oetzi the Iceman to sample his stomach contents in Bolzano, Italy.  (Marco Samadelli/Eurac/South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology via AP) Scientists studying the body of Oetzi the Iceman — a hunter who died in the Alps 5,300 years ago — found that his last meal was particularly well-balanced. The fat and meat of wild goat, meat of red deer, whole wheat seeds and traces of fern leaves and spores were discovered in Oetzi’s corpse, researchers detailed in the scientific journal Current Biology on Thursday. OETZI ‘THE ICEMAN’ HAD HEART DISEASE GENES The leaves and spores may have been unintentionally swallowed or may have been used as medicine for...

Nearby alien planet may be capable of supporting life

This artist’s illustration shows the potentially temperate planet Ross 128b, with its red dwarf parent star in the background. Credit: M. Kornmesser/ESO One of the nearest exoplanets to Earth may be a decent abode for life. Ross 128b — which lies just 11 light-years from our planet — is likely a rocky and temperate world, a new study suggests. “Although Ross 128b is not Earth’s twin, and there is still much we don’t know about its potential geologic activity, we were able to strengthen the argument that it’s a temperate planet that could potentially have liquid water on its surface,” lead author Diogo Souto, of the Observatório Nacional in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, said in a statement. [10 Exoplanets That Could Host Alien Life] Ross 128b has excited and intrigued astr...

Tennessee woman bitten by brown recluse spider allegedly finds dozens more in apartment

A brown recluse spider.  (iStock) A Brentwood, Tenn. woman who was recently treated for a brown recluse spider bite later found dozens more in her apartment, she claims. Angela Wright was rushed to the hospital, unable to walk and hallucinating, after she was bitten by a brown recluse spider in her apartment, WSMV-TV reported.  “I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t move and I could barely swallow,” Wright told the news station, adding that doctors told her that she could have suffered a stroke had she waited to go to the emergency room.  SPIDERS CAN USE ELECTRICITY TO FLY THROUGH THE AIR LIKE A REAL-LIFE ‘SPIDERMAN’ Brown recluse spiders are venomous. Its bite can cause fever, rash, chills and nausea, among other side effects. In Wright’s case, the bite first res...

A new supervolcano is brewing under Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire

A Google Earth view showing Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, under which an unexpected large blob of molten magma has been detected. (Credit: Google Earth, News.com.au) Something unexpected has been gradually making itself known to geologists in the United States. A huge mass of molten rock is creeping upwards beneath the nation’s north eastern states. “The upwelling we detected is like a hot-air balloon, and we infer that something is rising up through the deeper part of our planet under New England,” says Rutgers University geophysicist Professor Vadim Levin. Traces of the brooding mass only became evident through a large-scale new seismic study. The idea that there may be a super volcano brewing under Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire is something of a surprise. “Our stu...

Could self-repairing ‘Star Wars’ droid L3-37 come to life? Not quite

Phoebe Waller-Bridge plays L3-37 in “Solo: A Star Wars Story”  (Lucasfilm) Is the newest droid in the “Star Wars” universe the future of modern robotics? In the recently released film “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” the droid L3-37, also known as L3 or Elthree, showcased a unique set of traits among “Star Wars” robots. The intelligent pilot droid is always changing, improving and repairing itself with found scraps from other bots. L3 is also one of the first bots in the “Star Wars” franchise to bring feminine programming to a major role. L3 is a hodgepodge of various droids and astromechs, which are robots typically used for repairs aboard starships in “Star Wars.” She’s “a bit of a mutt,” as the film̵...

Alligator goes for a swim at Florida beach

 (U.S. National Park Service) Beachgoers in Bonita Springs, Fla., were treated to a strange sight last week: an alligator going for a swim.  “Rare alligator sighting today at the Island!” Capt. Jessica DeGraw of Island Time Dolphin and Shelling Cruises, Inc. posted on the cruise company’s Instagram page. The video shows the gator swimming in the water before coming ashore on Big Hickory Island. “First time I’ve ever seen it on Big Hickory Preserve,” DeGraw told Fox 13. According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, it’s rare to see alligators in the ocean since they are freshwater animals. FLORIDA GATOR HEAD-BUTTS TRAPPER IN ESCAPE ATTEMPT “There are many things you may encounter when swimming in the ocean. Alligators probably aren’t one of them,” the agency said on it...

Apollo Moon rock rediscovered in Cambodia debuts on display

Encased in lucite, this 1.142-gram moon rock was returned to Earth by Apollo 17 in 1972 and presented to Cambodia a year later.  (U.S. Embassy in Cambodia via collectSPACE.com) A small moon rock gifted to Cambodia by the United States amid the Vietnam War has resurfaced after being all but lost to time and strife. Officials representing the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh and the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia unveiled the museum’s display of the “goodwill” moon rock on Monday (June 18), following an extensive effort to determine its origin. “Last fall, the National Museum approached the U.S. Embassy to investigate the background of this unique artifact,” said Michael Newbill, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy. “The history and background r...

Why does Venus spin so weirdly?

A composite image of Venus as seen by Japan’s Akatsuki spacecraft. Venus’ spin varies because of atmospheric waves over the planet’s mountains, according to a new study.  (JAXA) For years, scientists have been unable to agree on the length of a day on Venus, but one new study might put an end to this confusion. The planet Venus rotates very slowly, with a single revolution taking about 243 Earth days, and this rotation rate varies. Additionally, while the planet turns slowly, its atmosphere moves dramatically faster, making a complete rotation in only four Earth days, according to a statement about the new study. However, while we can follow the planet’s changing rotation, until now, scientists weren’t able to clearly explain why the rate changes.   Thanks to ...

Mysterious wolf-like creature killed in Montana ID’d through DNA test

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) said this week that a mysterious animal that was shot in The Treasure State was a gray wolf.  (Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks via AP, File) The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) revealed the identity of the mysterious wolf-like creature that was shot dead in the state last month. Officials confirmed in a news release Monday that DNA results proved the animal was a gray wolf.   “The lab compared the animal’s DNA with thousands of other DNA samples from wolves, coyotes and dogs. The conclusion was clear – this animal is a gray wolf from the northern Rocky Mountains,” the statement read. Montana FWP officials initially weren’t certain what the creature was when a rancher fatally shot it on his property. STRANGE WOLF-LIKE ANIMAL KILLED IN MON...