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Science Chamber of Horrors

mszombi: imagineham: plume: OMG everyone I know the ACTUAL...













mszombi:

imagineham:

plume:

OMG everyone I know the ACTUAL story behind the gif this time!

Yes, it’s in Australia– that’s a big angry goanna that wandered into a popular restaurant. All the Australians in the vicinity went OH FUCK NO and cleared off, because goannas are mean.

The waitress you see there is a French exchange student, who was quoted as saying something to the effect of “I thought it was a weird ugly dog” and had no idea it was a reptile that wanted to rip her...

It came from beneath the sea!

It is basically a scene from a horror movie: an innocent victim is relaxing on a tropical island, when a monstrous creature that should not exist on land appears and tears it limb from limb.

But in this case, I’m not referring to a horror movie, but a scene that was actually observed recently, as reported in the Guardian:

A large, land-dwelling crustacean known as a coconut or robber crab has been seen hunting and killing a seabird, the first time such behaviour has been observed...

Ernest Fox Nichols’ darkly memorable lecture

Though there are many, many lectures given in the sciences, relatively few of them really stand out in a historical sense. One famous exception is Hans Christian Oersted’s 1820 lecture on electricity and magnetism, during which he discovered the relationship between electricity and magnetism.  This is, as far as I know, the only time that a major scientific discovery has been made for the first time in front of a lecture audience.

On the opposite end of the spectrum of “memorable”...

Terrifying ancient crocodile discovered in the Sahara was almost the size of a bus

Terrifying ancient crocodile discovered in the Sahara was almost the size of a bus:

Speaking of giant creatures, as we did in the last post, lots of ancient predators were HUGE.  And they would definitely be dangerous to humans, if they weren’t extinct. 

In 2016, for example, paleontologists uncovered an ancient crocodile in the Sahara that was scary big:

This prehistoric crocodile is believed to have measured more than 30 feet long and weighed three tons. The skull alone...

Creepy cobweb coats New Zealand soccer field

Creepy cobweb coats New Zealand soccer field:

When spiders get together and make a huge web, it’s either a delight or a terror, depending on how you feel about spiders!

...

typhlonectes: Munnopsid isopods are often found walking along...



typhlonectes:

Munnopsid isopods are often found walking along the abyssal plain.

These “Daddy Long Legs” of the deep have long walking legs and antennae making them well-suited for this habitat, but they can also swim by paddling their legs.

This species, Paropsurus giganteus, can get quite large. Lasers mounted on the ROV’s camera housing (the red dots you see) measure 29 centimeters (11.4 inches). This species lives deep on the seafloor, over 3,000 meters, but there...

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! In honor of the holiday, here are links to a few classic horror fiction stories that were inspired by the science of their eras.

The Damned Thing, Ambrose Bierce (1893). A story inspired by the existence of invisible radiation! Investigators probe into the mysterious mutilation of a man.

The Horror Horn, E.F. Benson (1923).  Recognition that humans evolved from more primitive ancestors inspired this story of a terrible chase on a shunned mountain.

The Whisperer...

Math’s Beautiful Monsters - Issue 53: Monsters - Nautilus

Math’s Beautiful Monsters - Issue 53: Monsters - Nautilus:

Monsters in literature are often creatures that defy our understanding of natural laws and inexorably destroy everything they come into contact with. Well, it turns out that this description can also apply to concepts in math and science.  Over at Nautilus, Adam Kucharski describes how mathematician Karl Weierstrass invented a simple mathematical beast that tore down much of the established ideas of calculus:...

Deepest ocean trench home to race of giant amoebas

Deepest ocean trench home to race of giant amoebas:

(Jumping back into some horror facts after a long hiatus with some classic science horrors!)

Horror movies are filled with creatures that are deadly simply because they are much, much, much bigger than they should be.  Sometimes, that happens in real life to creatures we really don’t want to be very big, as researchers in 2011 discovered:

The team documented the deepest known existence of xenophyophores, single-celled...

Bizarre bivalve: first living giant shipworm discovered in Philippines

Bizarre bivalve: first living giant shipworm discovered in Philippines:

Here is a description of a freaky marine creature for you for the day: 

About three feet long and glistening black with a pink, fleshy appendage, it looks like the entrails of an alien from a bad horror film. In fact, it is a giant shipworm.

Discovered in the mud of a shallow lagoon in the Philippines, a living creature of the species has never been described before – even though its existence has been known...

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