German WWI submarine similar to the missing U-31.
Over the Edge
Roundup of Strange Science for the Month
Sub Found After a Century - After more than a century
after a German WWI submarine disappeared at sea, it has
been found on the bottom of the ocean by a company developing
an off-shore windfarm. The wreck was located in September
of 2012 56 miles off the British coastline. "It was a really
special day. We were looking for wrecks, but what we found
was a huge wreck that didn't appear in any of the charts,"
said Teri Nicklin of Scottish Powers Renewables. While the
survey crew could see it was a submarine, which submarine
it was continued to be a mystery until a team of Dutch divers,
looking for a Dutch submarine that had gone missing in 1940,
dove on the wreck and took a look. The depth and murkiness
had made it hard to previously identify. They found that
was the German submarine U-31 which was last seen on January
13, 1915 as it set off on its patrol. It never returned
and it is believed it was sunk by a mine. All 35 hands on
board perished. Authorities will try and contact living
relatives of the crew to let them know of their fate.
Makes Debut - The American Museum of Natural History
has just placed the skeleton of perhaps the largest dinosaur
that ever lived on display: the Titanosaur. In life the
creature, whose bones were unearthed in Argentina in 2014,
stood 20 feet high at the shoulder and weighed about 70
tons (about 10 African elephants). It has a thigh bone about
8 feet long. The reconstruction of the creature can't even
completely fit into the dinosaur exhibit area, but part
of its 39 foot long neck extends though the doorway out
into the hall. The skeleton on display contains none of
the ultra-valuable fossils themselves, but are laser scanned,
3D printed replicas. The Titanosaur displaces the Blue Whale
as the largest of animals on display at the museum by a
length of 30 feet
Supernova has Unknown Cause - According to a recent
study a supernova seen back in June of 2015 may have been
the most energetic ever detected. "This may be the most
powerful supernova ever seen by anybody ... it's really
pushing the envelope on what is possible," said study co-author
Krzysztof Stanek an astronomer at Ohio State. The detonation
was perhaps 570 billion times brighter than the sun and
20 times brighter than all the stars in the Milky Way galaxy
according to a press release from Ohio State. The event
was discovered by the All Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae,
(ASASSN). The explosion, 3.8 billion light years from Earth,
has created a huge gas cloud being studied by astronomers
around the world. Scientists are at a loss to explain the
mechanism for such a large supernova. "The honest answer
is at this point that we do not know what could be the power
source for ASASSN-15lh," said Subo Dong, lead author of
the study published in the journal Science. Scientists
plan to use the Hubble Space Telescope this summer to look
for answers as to the mechanism of the explosion.
for Airliner Turns Up Ship - While the underwater search
for Malaysia Flight 370 has not turned up the missing airliner,
two previously unknown ship wrecks have been found in the
depths of the Indian Ocean. The latest found in December
appears to be the remains of a 19th century ship. "An anomalous
sonar contact was identified in the course of the underwater
search, with analysis suggesting the object was likely to
be man-made, probably a shipwreck," said the Joint Agency
Coordination Centre, the Australian agency directing the
search for MH370. After the initial detection a boat was
sent out to take sonar pictures of the wreck. Experts at
the Shipwreck Galleries of the Western Australian Museum
took a look at the photos and believe them to be the remains
of a ship from the early 1800's made of steel or iron. The
expedition made a similar find back in May of 2015.
Quote of the Month -"I'm
sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It's just
been too intelligent to come here." - Arthur C. Clarke
New at the Museum:
Saltzburg Cube -The cube is an archeological oddity.
The story starts in 1855 when a workman broke open a large
block of coal which was destined for the factory's furnace.
He was surprised to find embedded in the coal an artificial-looking
object. >Full Story
Giants in the Bible - In Genesis it says," And the
sons of God saw the daughters of man, that they were fair
and they took wives from among those they chose." Isn't
this some sort of alien abduction? Who were the sons of
God and who were the daughters of man? Aliens and us? Aliens
and apes? Us and apes? Confusing isn't it?
would not be alone in suggesting that Genesis 6:2 might
be interpreted as some kind of interbreeding of humans with
visitors from outer space. It often cited as evidence of
the "Ancient Astronaut" theory that Earth was
visited by aliens in early history.
a more traditional view of this would be the "sons
of God" are angels (or fallen angels) that produced
a hybrid race of giants (call Nephilim in the Bible)
which were killed in Noah's flood.
objection to this idea is that Jesus says in a later portion
of the bible that angels do not marry (and therefore do
not reproduce). However, other people argue that this only
applies to angels in heaven, not fallen angels (what we
might call demons) on Earth.
most interesting interpretation I've heard of this scripture
comes from Gerald Schroeder author of The Science of
God. In this excellent book he tries to reconcile a
literal interpretation of the Bible with modern science
and suggests this may be a case of non-human humanoids living
on the earth (for example, Neanderthal Man) interbreeding
with modern man.
Rock Illuminated - On February 1st, 1811, the Bell Rock
Lighthouse was lit for the first time. The lighthouse, which
is considered a wonder of 19th century engineering was constructed
on the dangerous Inchcape Rocks just off the coast of Scotland.
The rock, submerged under the sea most of the day, was the
site of many shipwrecks until engineer Robert Stephenson
took on the challenging project with an innovating design.
For more information see our page on the Bell
Mercury - February 7, if you can find clear skies, will
be the best night to view the planet Mercury. Because it
is the closest to the sun, Mercury is very hard to see.
On February 7th, however, it will be at its greatest western
elongation of 25.6 degrees. This means you will have the
best chance to view it low in the eastern sky just before
the glare from the sunrise obscures it
Killer Robots are Coming - A panel of experts at the
World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is warning the
world of the danger of killer robots. It might sound like
something out of an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, but these
specialists believe that the advancement of drone and self-driving
cars could be harnessed for autonomous robots designed to
assassinate people. "It's much easier to manufacture [autonomous,
lethal robots instead of nuclear weapons.] That, to me,
is the greatest concern," said Angela Kane, a senior fellow
at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation.
"We must make sure it doesn't get into the hands of the
wrong people." The panel is urging governments and industry
to create tough regulations to control the proliferation
of these robotic terminators.
and Meep are on a well deserved vacation. In their place
we feature highlights from their past adventures.