Amazing Images: The Best Science Photos of the Week


Post 8731

Amazing Images: The Best Science Photos of the Week

 Each week we find the most interesting and informative articles we can and along the way we uncover amazing and cool images. Here you’ll discover 10 incredible photos and the stories behind them.

Preventing catastrophe:

In 1988, a wild great ape charged a researcher. Now, she’s working to save these majestic animals from poachers and land loss.

[Full Story: Half of Western Lowland Gorillas May Vanish by 2040. Here’s How We Can Prevent That. (Op-Ed)]


Making a comeback:

Lots of little baby humpback whales may be on their way.

[Full Story: Baby Humpback Whales May Soon Fill Antarctic Seas]


Looming doom:

Thwaites glacier is a cork on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. And it’s looking more and more ready to pop.

[Full Story: ‘Cork’ Glacier Holding Back Sea Level Rise May Pop]


Learning from nature:

Hibernating animals may look lazy, but their bodies are actually accomplishing an outstanding feat.

[Full Story: How Adorable Hibernating Squirrels Could Help Scientists Preserve Human Organs]


Amazing sci-fi animals:

Today (May 4) — also known as Star Wars Day — Live Science is debuting a new movie-themed column and video series, where we’ll be looking at how feature films represent science and scientists.

[Full Story: May the 4th Be With You As You Check Out These Amazing Animals of ‘The Last Jedi’]


Possible confirmation:

The Hebrew Bible states that the United Monarchy collapsed after the death of King Solomon. New evidence suggests the kingdom was real.

[Full Story: Does This 3,000-Year-Old House Confirm King David’s Lost Biblical Kingdom?]


Earthquake and eruption:

A magnitude-5.0 earthquake shook the Big Island of Hawaii on Thursday (May 3), causing lava to spew into a residential subdivision.

[Full Story: Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Erupts Dramatically After a 5.0-Magnitude Quake]


Farewell, old friend:

“Number 16,” a recently deceased trapdoor spider, was the oldest known spider in the world.

[Full Story: Say Goodbye to the World’s Oldest Spider, Dead at 43]


Desert creatures:

From the seven-spotted ladybug to clown beetles, the deserts are full of amazing insects with their own quirky features and lifestyles.

[Full Story: Photos: Amazing Insects of the North American Deserts]


Cheating fate?

Some scientists paint a brighter future for coral atolls.

[Full Story: Some Scientists Predict These Islands Are Doomed, But That’s Not the Whole Story]

Advertisements

The Most Interesting Science News Articles of the Week


Post 8730

The Most Interesting Science News Articles of the Week

 Each week we uncover the most interesting and informative articles from around the world, here are 10 of the coolest stories in science this week.
The United States dropped an atomic bomb on HIroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945.

The United States dropped an atomic bomb on HIroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945.

Credit: SuperStock/Getty Images

On Aug. 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” on Hiroshima, Japan, leading to a nuclear blast that instantly claimed about 45,000 lives. Now, the jawbone of one of those casualties — belonging to a person who was less than a mile from the bomb’s hypocenter — is helping researchers determine how much radiation was absorbed by the bones of the victims, a new study finds. [Read more about the levels.]

An illustration of two merging neutron stars.

An illustration of two merging neutron stars.

Credit: National Science Foundation/LIGO/Sonoma State University/A. Simonnet

It takes 512 years for a high-energy photon to travel from the nearest neutron star to Earth. Just a few of them make the trip. But they carry the information necessary to solve one of the toughest questions in astrophysics.

That data point, along with countless others like it collected over the course of months, will answer a basic question as soon as summer 2018: Just how wide is J0437-4715, Earth’s nearest neutron-star neighbor? [Read more about the solution.]

Most believers in a flat Earth think the planet is a flat disk surrounded by an ice wall.

Most believers in a flat Earth think the planet is a flat disk surrounded by an ice wall.

Credit: Getty

More than 200 flat-Earth enthusiasts descended on West Midlands, England, this past weekend to “engage freely in deep and meaningful discussions,” according to the Flat Earth Convention UK.

According to the group that put on the convention, the gathering also included some “alternative viewpoints.” (You think?) [Read more about the theory.]

Small flags mark the locations where coastal erosion has revealed human remains on Hart Island in New York.
Small flags mark the locations where coastal erosion has revealed human remains on Hart Island in New York.

Credit: Seth Wenig/AP/REX/Shutterstock

New York City goes by many nicknames: the Big Apple, Gotham, Empire City and the City That Never Sleeps, to name a few. But one corner of the city’s Long Island Sound has a more gruesome moniker: the Island of the Dead.

When a person dies in New York, the OCME assumes custody of the individual’s remains; if they are unclaimed or unidentified, the remains are then turned over to the DOC for burial on Hart Island, according to the DOC website. [Read more about the bones.]

The Bayeux Tapestry features a depiction of the 1066 Halley's Comet.
The Bayeux Tapestry features a depiction of the 1066 Halley’s Comet.

Credit: Myrabella/CC by 1.0

The far reaches of the outer solar system may be home to an icy giant — a hypothetical planet scientists have dubbed “Planet Nine.”

Planet Nine, if it exists, would have about 10 times the mass of Earth and orbit 20 times farther from the sun than Neptune does. (Planet Nine is not Pluto, which was once considered the ninth planet but was demoted to mere “dwarf planet” in 2006. [Read more about the tapestries.]

The engraved flint flake from Kiik-Koba, Crimea. The flint has 13 etch marks, which were likely made by one or multiple pointed stones.
The engraved flint flake from Kiik-Koba, Crimea. The flint has 13 etch marks, which were likely made by one or multiple pointed stones.

Credit: Ana Mahjkic et al./PLoS ONE/CC by 4.0

A Neanderthal seems to have left a message etched in stone about 35,000 years ago, a new study finds. [Read more about the etchings.]

The woman's abdomen before surgery.

The woman’s abdomen before surgery.

Credit: Danbury Hospital

Connecticut surgeons recently removed a 132-lb. (60 kilograms) ovarian tumor from a woman’s abdomen.

The woman had gone to her gynecologist after she experienced a rapid weight gain — about 10 lbs. (4.5 kg) a week — over a two-month period [Read more about the tumor.]

The Great Psalms Scroll seen next to the newfound fragment containing Psalm 147:1.
The Great Psalms Scroll seen next to the newfound fragment containing Psalm 147:1.

Credit: Shai Halevi/The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library

Previously hidden text on fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls is now readable, revealing a possible undiscovered scroll and solving a debate about the sacred Temple Scroll. The discoveries came from a new infrared analysis of the artifacts, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced yesterday (May 1). [Read more about the scrolls.]

Stephen Hawking’s final paper, which aims to test a theory that proposes parallel universes, appeared today (May 2) in the Journal of High Energy Physics.

Scientists later determined that this proposal implied something strange: that the multiverse is infinite, with endless, uncountable parallel universes existing alongside our own, Live Science previously reported. [Read more about the paper.]

The circled spots in this eye are melanomas.
The circled spots in this eye are melanomas.

Credit: Auburn Ocular Melanoma

Dozens of people in Alabama and North Carolina have developed a rare eye cancer — and doctors don’t know what’s behind the apparent spike in cases in these areas, according to news reports.

Right now, doctors don’t know the answer to the question, but they say something in the environment could be a factor, CBS reported. [Read more about cancer.]

Follow Live Science @livescience, Facebook & Google+.

Sacrificed Kids Had Their Hearts Ripped Out 550 Years Ago


Post 8725

Sacrificed Kids Had Their Hearts Ripped Out 550 Years Ago

Sacrificed Kids Had Their Hearts Ripped Out 550 Years Ago

The remains of a sacrificed child (left) and llama (right) that were found at the Peruvian site called Las Llamas.

Credit: Gabriel Prieto/National Geographic

More than 550 years ago, in one of history’s largest human sacrifices, about 140 children and 200 llamas were killed at a site in Peru that’s now called Las Llamas, archaeologists have discovered. The reason for the sacrifice? That remains a mystery.

The chests of the buried children, who were between 5 and 14 years old when they were sacrificed, had been cut open. The hearts of at least some of the children were removed, said John Verano, an anthropology professor at Tulane University in New Orleans who co-directs excavations at Las Llamas. Verano told Live Science that some people in Peru and Bolivia still remove the hearts of sacrificed llamas.

Many of the children were also found with red pigment smeared on their faces. As far as the scientists can tell, the children died when their chests were cut open. However, it is possible that they were killed first using some other method that hasn’t left any traces on their remains, Verano said. [25 Cultures That Practiced Human Sacrifice]

At the time of the sacrifice, much of Peru was ruled by a people that archaeologists now call the Chimú. These people created sophisticated works of art and built a large city at a site called Chan Chan. As far as archaeologists know, the Chimú did not practice slavery, Verano said.

About 140 child sacrifices have been discovered at the site of Las Llamas in Peru. Their chests were found cut open, with the hearts of at least some of the children removed.

About 140 child sacrifices have been discovered at the site of Las Llamas in Peru. Their chests were found cut open, with the hearts of at least some of the children removed.

Credit: Gabriel Prieto/National Geographic

This mass child sacrifice appears to predate the conquest of the Chimú by the Inca, which took place around A.D. 1470. If the sacrifice wasn’t related to that takeover, perhaps the Chimú suffered from environmental problems caused by El Niño — a climate cycle that causes warm water to pool offshore of northwestern South America, causing changes in global weather patterns — and carried out the sacrifice in the hope that, somehow, it would alleviate the conditions, Verano said.

The children appear to have been healthy and well nourished at the time of their death, and there are no signs that they tried to escape the sacrifice, Verano said. Some of the llamas, however, tried to flee. “The llama footprints sometimes suggest this, and they [the llamas] had ropes around their necks to lead/control them,” Verano said.

The children were buried facing the sea, while the llamas were buried facing east, toward the Andes mountains. Why this was done is unclear. “One possibility is that llamas originally came from the highlands, and the Chimú had deities and art that focused on marine themes, like fish and sea birds, so they had the children face the sea,” Verano said.

In addition to the sacrifices recently discovered at Las Llamas, another case of Chimú child sacrifice was found recently at a different Peruvian site: Pampa La Cruz, archaeologists reported recently at the Society for American Archaeology’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Archaeologists are not yet certain how many kids were sacrificed at that site.

The research at Las Llamas is funded by the National Geographic Society and was reported exclusively in National Geographic. The research is being prepared for scientific publication. Gabriel Prieto, a researcher at the National University of Trujillo in Peru, is the other co-director of the Las Llamas excavations.

Originally published on Live Science.