Archive for March, 2010

New Proof Unknown “Structure” Tug at Our Universe

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 22, 2010   View Article

“Dark flow” is no fluke, suggests a new study that strengthens the case for unknown, unseen “structures” lurking on the outskirts of creation.

In 2008 scientists reported the discovery of hundreds of galaxy clusters streaming in the same direction at more than 2.2 million miles (3.6 million kilometers) an hour.

This mysterious motion can’t be explained by current models for distribution of mass in the universe. So the researchers made the controversial suggestion that the clusters are being tugged on by the gravity of matter outside the known universe.

“Hobbits” Had Million-Year History on Island?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 17, 2010   View Article

Newfound stone tools suggest the evolutionary history of the “hobbits” on the Indonesian island of Flores stretches back a million years, a new study says—200,000 years longer than previously thought.

The hobbit mystery was sparked by the 2004 discovery of bones on Flores that belonged to a three-foot-tall (one-meter-tall), 55-pound (25-kilogram) female with a grapefruit-size brain.

The tiny, hobbit-like creature—controversially dubbed a new human species, Homo floresiensis—persisted on the remote island until about 18,000 years ago, even as “modern” humans spread around the world, experts say.

St. Patrick’s Day 2010: Irish Shamrock Shortage and More

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 17, 2010   View Article

Today, St. Patrick’s Day 2010, millions of people will don green and celebrate the Irish with parades, good cheer, and perhaps a pint of beer. But pinning a shamrock to your lapel in 2010 may require a heaping helping of the luck of the Irish.

Find out why shamrocks are in short supply, what St. Patrick really did, and more in our no-blarney roundup of St. Patrick’s Day facts.

Headless Man’s Tomb Found Under Maya Torture Mural

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 12, 2010   View Article

The tomb of a headless man adorned with jade has been discovered beneath an ancient Mexican chamber famously painted with scenes of torture.

Found under the Temple of Murals at the Maya site of Bonampak, the man was either a captive warrior who was sacrificed—perhaps one of the victims in the mural—or a relative of the city’s ruler, scientists speculate.

Ancient Corpses Ritually Dug Up, Torn Apart, Reburied

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 9, 2010   View Article

According to the first known evidence of “double burials,” ancient people in what is now Mexico routinely dug up decomposing bodies and took off their arms, legs, and heads, then reburied the bodies, new research shows.

Indigenous peoples of the Cape Region of Baja California Sur practiced these double burials for about 4,500 years, from about 300 B.C. to the 16th-century A.D, when Europeans first arrived in the region, anthropologists say.

Water Found in Apollo Moon Rocks?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 9, 2010   View Article

Recently NASA crashed two spacecraft into the moon and orbiters scanned the lunar surface for telltale light signatures—all to confirm the rocky body isn’t bone dry after all.

But, it turns out, solid evidence for water on the moon was under our noses the whole time.

Tiny amounts of water have been found in some of the famous moon rocks brought back to Earth by the Apollo astronauts, scientists announced last Wednesday.

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