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Rat Island, Antimatter Rockets, Exoplanetary Earthquakes and More Mysterious News Briefly — March 9, 2021

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Mysterious News Briefly — March 9, 2021

Tectonic activity, the sliding of planetary plates that results in earthquakes and volcanoes, has been detected for the first time on a planet outside of our Solar System – exoplanet LHS 3844b, whose lava activity unexpectedly flows in both directions from its hot to cold side and vice versa. Let’s welcome them to the tectonic club by showering them with the radio signals of “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.”

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is studying the technical feasibility of a “Portable Personal Air Mobility System,” a military jetpack potentially for use by US special forces. Are the soldiers being trained by Drill Sergeant ‘Hisboy’ Elroy Jetson?

Rat Island – an island in Alaska’s Aleutian archipelago that was completely taken over by invasive rats from shipwrecks dating back to the 1700s and World War II occupation – has been completely eradicated of the rats and its ecosystems restored and its native species of birds and fish brought back from near extinction. “Rat Island” is once again available as a band name.

A meteor the size of a bowling ball exploded over Vermont this week with the force of 440 pounds of TNT, shaking Vermonters with its “loud boom and body-rattling vibration” as it passed over the state before disintegrating. Until the cause was determined, the peaceful Green Mountain State became the Green Mountain of WTF State.

A single meteorite, called Erg Chech 002 (EC 002), that crashed in the Sahara Desert in 2020 has been identified as a 4.6 billion-year-old piece from a protoplanet — a large pre-planet that was destroyed in the early days of our solar system before it could grow into a planet. “So it doesn’t count as a planet, right?” asked a still angry Pluto.

A well-preserved 2,500-year-old helmet found in Haifa Harbor in Israel in 2007 has finally been identified as an ancient Greek helmet likely worn by a soldier during a war with the Persians. “I told you it was Greek to me,” said one know-it-all researcher.

In a cryptic answer to a question on Twitter, Elon Musk hinted that he’s thinking about replacing the SpaceX Starship’s methane rocket with one powered by antimatter. Um, can you wait until they stop crashing first, Elon?

A new study found that plants have a “bedtime alarm clock” that regulates their sugar levels at dusk to help them survive through the night. Is this really a surprise considering plants spend all of their lives in a bed?

A study of 2,000 coffee-drinking Americans found that those who prefer cold brew and iced coffees are more likely to prefer sunny weather (40%), binge-watch science-fiction shows (37%), and are more likely to be part of Generation Z (40%), while hot coffee drinkers are more likely to be extroverts (40%), prefer overcast weather (36%), enjoy comedy shows (33%), listen to artists like Taylor Swift (24%), and be a baby boomer. And 100% of tea drinkers look at these studies with disdain.

Astronomers have identified a radio blast from quasar P172+18 that took 13 billion years to arrive at Earth, meaning it was sent when the universe was just 780 million years old, making it the oldest such blast ever detected. Does that make quasar P172+18 the first oldies radio station?

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