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.

Methane in the atmosphere gives Uranus its blue hue, as seen in this image from the Keck telescope from 2004.

Methane in the atmosphere gives Uranus its blue hue, as seen in this image from the Keck telescope from 2004.

Credit: Lawrence Sromovsky, University of Wisconsin/W. M. Keck Observatory

In case you were wondering, Uranus smells like farts. A new study found that the seventh planet from the sun has an upper atmosphere filled with hydrogen sulfide. This makes Uranus different from the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn, which have more ammonia in their upper atmospheres. [Read more about Uranus’ smell]

 Scientists at Brown University built an indoor asteroid cannon to see what might happen if one of these space rocks were to collide with Earth. During several trials, the researchers blasted the fake asteroid into a fake Earth at speeds “comparable to the median impact speed” in the asteroid belt, they wrote in a study. [Read more about the fake asteroid cannon]
An artist's interpretation of how the sloth likely flailed its arms around to protect itself against the human hunters.

An artist’s interpretation of how the sloth likely flailed its arms around to protect itself against the human hunters.

Credit: Alex McClelland/Bournemouth University

About 11,000 years ago, ancient humans followed a giant ground sloth, stepping in the tracks of its clawed paws. These track marks are now fossilized and indicate that the humans once interacted with — and possibly hunted — these now-extinct towering sloths in what is now New Mexico. [Read more about the fossilized footprints]

Could anyone transform a foil ball into a shiny metal sphere? Sure — if you have the right tools, and a lot of patience.

Could anyone transform a foil ball into a shiny metal sphere? Sure — if you have the right tools, and a lot of patience.

Credit: Seamster/Instructables.com/CC by 2.5

In a new internet trend, videos show crumpled aluminum foil balls transforming into beautifully smooth and highly polished spheres. But how do the people convert these ugly balls into stunning globes? Live Science looked into it and found that the technique has similarities with Japanese samurai sword making. [Read more about the aluminum foil spheres]

This parasitic ant, called <i>Megalomyrmex symmetochus</i>, crashes colonies of fungus-farming ants (<i>Sericomyrmex amabilis</i>), eating their crops and killing their babies.

This parasitic ant, called Megalomyrmex symmetochus, crashes colonies of fungus-farming ants (Sericomyrmex amabilis), eating their crops and killing their babies.

Credit: David Nash, courtesy of The Ohio State University

A sneaky, parasitic ant uses chemical warfare to get a free meal and home. This Central American ant has a potent venom that can scare off invaders. And even though this ant eats baby ants, it’s still accepted into the homes of certain ants that use it as a guard dog. [Read more about the sneaky ants]

A human bone dagger (top) from New Guinea and a cassowary bone dagger (bottom), attributed to the Abelam people of New Guinea

A human bone dagger (top) from New Guinea and a cassowary bone dagger (bottom), attributed to the Abelam people of New Guinea

Credit: Copyright Hood Museum of Art/Dartmouth College; Dominy NJ. et al, Royal Society Open Science

The warriors of New Guinea used to carve daggers out of two unusual thighbones — those from humans and others from flightless, dinosaur-like birds called cassowaries. But which dagger was better? A new analysis shows that the human-bone daggers were stronger, largely because of the way they were carved. [Read more about the bone daggers]

A brain scan shows a key lodged about 1.5 inches into a man's brain.

A brain scan shows a key lodged about 1.5 inches into a man’s brain.

Credit: Goal Post Media/SWNS

A 19-year-old man in India got into a brawl and ended up with a key embedded 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) into his skull. So, how did he survive? Luckily, the key didn’t cause internal bleeding or any damage to his brain, doctors said. [Read more about the key injury]

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

Original article on Live Science.

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