The universe is not only strange but stranger than we can imagine


The mystery of the GIANT SEA SPIDERS emerging in Antarctica baffle scientists

In the dark, cold depths of the polar oceans lurk the creatures of your nightmares. Huge ‘sea spiders’ in the Arctic and Southern Oceans grow bigger in these regions than anywhere else.

Well, they are ugly devils to be sure, and we can all be happy they live deep in the Arctic Ocean rather than under the bed. However, their disturbing size may not be as much of a mystery as the newspaper headline suggests. According to the Daily Mail article, these critters have slow metabolisms and live in oxygen-rich waters  — facts which probably help explain why they are so seriously bulked up. Much as it would be fun to discover that the spiders owed their stature to, let’s say, radiation from a wrecked flying saucer or a fiendish experiment by a local mad scientist, the explanation may be much more mundane — a superabundance of good old O2 and a sluggish, cold-water constitution.

Source: The mystery of the GIANT SEA SPIDERS emerging in Antarctica baffle scientists | Daily Mail Online

Tylenol can ease existential uncertainty, fear of death (really!)

tylenol2-300x225And you thought Tylenol was just for headaches! A very weird but apparently valid study has found that good old Tylenol can actually (somehow) make the idea of death more acceptable, by dulling the “pain” that usually accompanies thoughts of one’s own demise.

Interesting question department — if someone  had a hangover so bad that she/he wanted to die, what effect would taking a Tylenol have? By removing the hangover pain, it would bias the person away from death, but by removing the fear of death, it would presumably move the needle in favor of self-slaughter.  Something to try out next January 1 perhaps

Waxed to extinction (and nobody cares!)

"Crabs" -- one species whose passing few people will regret.

“Crabs” — one species whose passing few people will regret.

We’re pretty well used to reports of species walking the gangplank towards extinction as humans destroy their natural habitats.  In most cases, the loss is tragic — but this story of environmental disaster has a comical sort of twist.

The creatures in question are  pubic lice (also known as “crabs”). The threat to their environment is known variously as Brazilian waxing or bikini waxing, a practice so common that  the little crablike vermin are threatened with extinction. Although exact numbers are (for obvious reasons) hard to come by, sexual health clinics report dramatic drops in crab infestations, presumably thanks to this new grooming trend.

In the grand scheme of things, no doubt crab lice are as much a miracle of nature as, say, leopards or dolphins. But it will be hard for most people to shed a tear at the passing of these little beasties, should they be waxed into oblivion.