This Week’s Strangest Science News


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This Week’s Strangest Science News

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At Live Science, we delve into science news from around the world every day — and some of those stories can get a little weird. Here are some of the strangest science news articles from this week.

A mosquito foot magnified 800 times under a scanning electron microscope.

A mosquito foot magnified 800 times under a scanning electron microscope.

Credit: Steve Gschmeissner/RPS

This bizarre image of a mosquito foot sent Reddit into a frenzy as users gave it tens of thousands of upvotes. A bit a digging revealed that this photo — made with a scanning electron microscope by photographer Steve Gschmeissner — shows the end of a mosquito’s leg, including a claw, scales and the pulvillus, a pad with adhesive hairs. [Read more about the magnified mosquito foot]

Sheep can recognize celebrities? Ewe gotta be kidding.

Sheep can recognize celebrities? Ewe gotta be kidding.

Credit: Live Science; Shutterstock

Sheep can identify a person merely by looking at a photo, new research finds. Scientists showed sheep photos of famous people, including actress Emma Watson and former U.S. President Barack Obama. When given the choice between a stranger’s photo and a photo of the celebrity, the sheep chose the celebrity almost 80 percent of the time, even when the photo was taken from a different angle. [Read more about the smart sheep]

On Oct. 22, 2017, 245 people broke a record by "rope jumping" off a bridge in Hortolandia, Brazil.

On Oct. 22, 2017, 245 people broke a record by “rope jumping” off a bridge in Hortolandia, Brazil.

Credit: Paulo Whitaker/Reuters/Newscom

A group of 245 daredevils jumped off a bridge in Brazil and lived to tell the tale, thanks to a keen understanding of physics. The record-setting jump was made possible with a system of ropes, experts told Live Science. After the jump, the daredevils swung like pendulums from the bridge. [Read more about the incredible jump]

This artist's illustration depicts a hypothetical dust ring orbiting KIC 8462852, also known as Boyajian's Star or Tabby's Star.

This artist’s illustration depicts a hypothetical dust ring orbiting KIC 8462852, also known as Boyajian’s Star or Tabby’s Star.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

If an alien megastructure were the cause of the odd blinking seen from “Boyajian’s Star” (also known as “Tabby’s Star”), it would have to be massive enough to block the star’s light in a noticeable way. In other words, it would have to be on the order of five times the sun’s radius, and larger than the star, known as KIC 8462852, itself. [Read more about the size of the possible alien megastructure]

We’ve all heard of crash test dummies. But what about Robutt: the robot butt that tests car seats? Ford engineers estimate that people sit down on their car seats about 25,000 in a 10-year period. Robutt is now testing the Ford Fiesta to ensure these seats stay durable despite heavy use. [Read more about Robutt, the robot butt]

A female bonobo embraces a newcomer on her first day in a new group.

Credit: Courtesy of Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary

Bonobo monkeys didn’t earn the nickname “hippie chimps” for nothing. New observations show that they help unfamiliar bonobos get a food reward, even when they didn’t receive a reward themselves. The monkeys also help strangers, regardless of whether the unknown bonobo asked for help in the first place. [Read more about these helpful monkeys]

The Greek sealstone's small size, along with the veining on the stone, meant that many of the tiny details could be seen only using photomicroscopy.

The Greek sealstone’s small size, along with the veining on the stone, meant that many of the tiny details could be seen only using photomicroscopy.

Credit: Courtesy of The Department of Classics, University of Cincinnati

Researchers found a real treasure: an intricately carved gemstone in an ancient Greek tomb. The gemstone carving depicts a warrior standing over the body of a slain enemy, plunging his sword into another soldier’s neck. [Read more about the gemstone discovery]

Want more weird science news and discoveries? Check out these and other “Strange News” stories on Live Science!

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