Famous Scientists

5 Strangest Fossils Ever Found

Author: Heather Brown

Scientists love to categorize things, especially those who specialize in fossils. They enjoy the tedious process of classifying fossils according to their designated species. Paleontologists with amateur fossil hunters are continuously discovering new reserves – each of them is named and classified. However, paleontologists have never officially assigned one classification to “strange” fossils.

What makes a fossil bizarre? For some, it would depend on where and how it was discovered and the story it makes about the prehistoric past. While for others, strange fossils are those that look unimaginable and unfamiliar. Well, can you consider this picture strange?

For that, here are the 5 strangest fossils ever found. Can you imagine that they once roamed the earth?

1.  Gigantic Ant Fossil

There were four paleontologists who discovered this strange fossil, which included two from the Simon Fraser University. The gigantic ant fossil has showed how the events of global warming affected life distribution around 50 million years that passed.

The newly found gigantic ant fossil was named Titanomyrma lubei. It was believed that this winged giant ant lived in the Eocene Epoch and is already about 50 million years of age. Its body sized up to 5 centimeters long, which can be compared to a hummingbird.

2.  The Devil Frog, Beelzebufo

Discovered in Madagascar, the 70 million-year old giant frog fossil sized like a beach ball. The fossil was called by scientists, Beelzebufo or the devil frog. The enormous frog fossil weighed about 4.5 kilograms and with a height of 41 centimeters.

3.  A Nest of 15 Baby Dinosaurs

In 2011, paleontologist from University of Rhode Island, David Fastovsky discovered in Mongolia a nest of fossil remains from 15 juvenile baby dinosaurs, which were then classified as Protoceratops andrewsi dinosaur species. This is the first nest of the dinosaur specie ever found.

4.  Biggest Prehistoric Megalodon Shark Jaw

The Megalodon shark was considered to be the largest predator to have lived on earth. The jaw of the shark took 20 years to be reconstructed and it measured almost 9 feet tall and 11 feet across – the biggest ever assembled.

5.  Spider Attack Fossil (100 million years old)

This is the first and only spider attack fossil ever discovered and caught in amber. This spider existed in the Hukawng Valley in Myanmar during the Early Cretaceous period, around 97 to 110 million years ago – almost definitely with dinosaurs roving just nearby. This strange discovery was preserved with remarkable detail as these fossils are considered to be rare.

Hiccups and Tinnitus Explained

Author: Heather Brown

It is not a doubt that everyone already experienced hiccups and tinnitus at some point. Hiccups and tinnitus are two different conditions that create annoying body manifestations for a short amount of time. But remember, these are just signs and not actual diseases that you have to be scared of although these can be indications of underlying serious conditions especially if they become persistent. To fully understand hiccups and tinnitus, here are short discussions on each of them.

Hiccups

Hiccups take place when the diaphragm is being contracted by a spasm. The diaphragm is the large muscle sheet that separates the abdominal cavity from the chest cavity. This certain spasm will then lead to an intake of breath that suddenly stops as the glottis or the vocal cords close. The closure is the one causing the “hiccup” sound.

Causes

•  A very full stomach

•  Eating rapidly

•  Swallowing too much air

•  Intense emotions like euphoria, excitement, anxiety, and fear

•  Laughing

•  Smoking

•  Carbonated beverages, alcohol, and some spicy foods

Duration

Hiccups normally stop just within a few minutes or sometimes can last up to few hours. If it persists more than 48 hours, consult a doctor because it can be a sign of a more serious health problem.

Treatment

Most attacks of hiccups just stop on their own for few minutes and do not anymore require treatment. However, there are home remedies that you can apply – most of them involve increasing intake of carbon dioxide.

•  Hold your breath and count slowly up to 10.

•  Repeatedly breathe into a paper bag for limited span of time.

•  Quickly drink a glass of cold water.

•  Eat a teaspoon of honey or sugar.

Tinnitus

Derived from the Latin word meaning “ringing”, tinnitus is the perception of ear sounds (ringing of the ears) without the presence of an actual sound. Its causes depend on its types.

Types and Causes

•  Subjective – the ear sound that only you can hear and considered to be the most common form of tinnitus. Subjective tinnitus can be caused by problems in your inner, outer, and middle ear. It could also be the result of auditory nerve impairment.

•  Objective – this time, it is only the doctor that can hear during examination. This is a rare kind and is said to be caused by muscle contractions, an inner ear bone condition, or blood vessel problem.

Treatment

In many cases, specific treatment for tinnitus remains unidentified. It can go away on its own or may remain as a permanent disability. Some doctors would recommend niacin but there is still no scientific evidence that can back it up. Treatment usually depends on the cause of the tinnitus.

5 Strange Ocean Phenomena

Author: Heather Brown

A lot of people tend to forget that the Earth’s oceans are vast and deep and despite all the technological advances people have today, there are still so many hidden mysteries of the deep blue sea that have yet to be figured out. Some of the ocean’s mysterious working have already been explained but there are still some ocean phenomena that are yet to be explained. Below are some of the most amazing and most wonderful phenomena that occurs in the Earth’s oceans on a regular basis.

1.  Bioluminescence

When you look at the ocean at night, what do you see? Black waters, perhaps some lights from fishing vessel but what do you do when you see flashes of brilliant blue light? The blue ocean glow might alarm you at first but it really is just a wonderful thing called Bioluminescence which is the light marine creatures produce as a means of self-defense. Chemicals that are found on the sea creatures’ bodies are produced when they counteract with oxygen in the atmosphere and this is where the bioluminescent light comes from.

2.  Baltic and North Seas Convergence

This oceanic wonder has been debated for some years now and is the convergent point of the Baltic and north seas that can be found in Denmark in the province of Skagen. There is a clear mark where the two seas meet because of the different densities of the water. Some people have even said that this phenomenon is mentioned in the holy Koran.

3.  Steaming black sea

A steamy sea seems alarming but the steam arising from the Black sea simply comes from the humidity of the water that counteracts with the wind on the surface. Such a simple explanation but the effect is one that is oddly stunning.

4.  Green flash

When you think of the colors during sunrise and sunset, you may think mellow yellows and bright oranges for the first and brilliant shades of red, orange, and even purple for the latter. So what would you do if you say a flash of green? Some people may claim this green flash during sunrise and sunset is something alien but really, it is just a natural effect that happens due to the prismatic nature of the atmosphere. You see, during sunrise and sunset, the light from the sun gets divided into different colors which look green as a whole.

5.  Anomaly in the Baltic sea

Granted the previous phenomena have all been explained now it is time for an ocean phenomenon that baffles experts up until today and it is the anomaly in the Baltic Sea. This anomaly was discovered completely by accident back in 2011 wherein the divers found a thick circular entity that measured about 60meters thick and at a depth of about 90 meters in the sea. Nobody knows where the entity came from or even what it is for but for sure, it is one of the biggest ocean mysteries discovered during the recent years but it is indeed something that has captured their imaginations.

Groovy Science Experiments to Do at Home

Author: Heather Brown

Science is one of those things that can either become really boring or something that can be perceived as magic. It is all in how you look at it and if you want to give your kids a better outlook on science or if you want to encourage their budding interest in the subject, why not try out some experiments at home? Watching science in action is not only education for the kids but it is also highly entertaining and gives them something better to do than watching TV. Science experiments need not be overly complicated and below are some examples of amazing science experiments you can do at home.

Elephant toothpaste

This experiment is a lesson in reaction and the resulting foam is safe to touch. To get started, grab a soda pop bottle and set it in a tray to avoid making a mess. In a separate bowl, mix a tablespoon of yeast and two tablespoons of warm water. This mixture will help speed up the reaction.

In your soda pop bottle, pour in half a cup of hydrogen peroxide (6%). Choosing 8% will work too but if you get the 3%, it may not work as well. A few squirts of dish soap and some food coloring in the bottle and you are done. Pour in your yeast mixture in the bottle and watch magic happen! If you are performing this with older kids, they might have questions and it can be summed up in this formula that you can ask them to research: 2 H2O2  –>  2 H2O + 02.

Lava lamp

Lava lamps are groovy and if you have ever seen one in the stores and balked at the price, you can easily make one on your own and you can ask your kids to make it with you. It is a fun experiment that teaches them how oil and water do not mix. The result is just as groovy as a lava lamp you see in stores but so much cheaper. For this recipe, you need a clear and clean bottle, vegetable oil, water, food coloring, and effervescent tablets like Alka Seltzer. Fill your bottle with oil halfway and then add water. Make sure you have an inch of space left on top and add 10 drops of food coloring. Break your antacid tablets in quarters and drop them in one at a time. Make sure all the bubbles are gone before capping the bottle. The bubbles will move the globules of oil around and this will give off that lava lamp effect. This will teach your kids how oil and water do not mix and it makes for a nice room accessory.

These experiments are so much fun and very easy to do. Chances are, you already have the materials that you need and even if you do not have them, you can easily find them in your local stores. They are also safe to perform and you can manage the experiment with kids of all ages and never have to worry.

5 Most Important Inventions of all Time

Author: Heather Brown

The world as we know it today is convenient and fun to be in because of certain inventions which have made all the difference from being medieval to being modern man. Here are the 5 most important inventions of all time which have truly made their own marks in history.

•  Telephone

The name of the inventor should surely ring a bell. Alexander Graham Bell thought of how to communicate even from afar by converting the human voice into electric signals. He was the proponent of long-distance communication, and his development of the telephone had been the forerunner of the communication convenience we all experience today.

•  Electricity

There is no single man who can be truly credited for the discovery of electricity, but some of the names which would pop up in the list include Benjamin Franklin and his kite experiment, and Nikola Tesla who is often dubbed as the father of electricity because of his understandings of this force behind most of the everyday items which we use today. From home entertainment to the lights outside the road, electricity is behind it.

•  Airplane

Traveling by ship was okay. But traveling by air has proved to be much better. To get to other foreign destinations faster, the best way today is by plane and we owe it to the Wright brothers who had invented it back in 1903 when they had successfully made the first sustained flight. Abbas Ibn Firnas back in the 9th century had made his own attempts but they weren’t able to last. Only the Wright brothers were able to give way to the birth of the modern winged aircrafts.

•  Light bulb

Imagine being in a room. A dark room. Candles can give you light but that light just isn’t enough in the dead of night. Thankfully, Thomas Edison did not give up even if it had taken him almost a hundred tries before he had perfected his invention of the light bulb back in 1879. Joseph Swan made a light bulb in 1860 but since it glowed only for just a few hours, Thomas Edison is the one credited for the invention of the light bulb as we know it.

•  The Worldwide Web

You wouldn’t be reading any of this if not for the invention of Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s invention – the worldwide web. Accessing the websites you know today traces its origins back to the English engineer’s invention!



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