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Shark Swallowed Whole By Even Bigger Shark

Shark Swallowed By Shark

Everyone knows the story: The little fish gets eaten by a big fish, and the big fish gets eaten by an even bigger fish and so on.

But it isn’t often that the big fish is a shark — in this case, a dogfish — that then gets swallowed whole by a much larger sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus), one of the nastiest-looking top predators in the ocean.

This bizarre “turducken of the sea” photo was captured by researchers at the University of Delaware’s Ocean Exploration, Remote Sensing, Biogeography (ORB) Lab. The scientists were in Delaware Bay this month to recapture sand tiger sharks that had been tagged with satellite-tracking tags, or to recover tags that had come off prematurely.

More at NBC News

The First Billion Digits Of Pi

Pi

We eat up pi. We bear a very strange, age-old history of counting π. Six-year-old wunderkinds are memorizing and reciting dozens, hundreds, even thousands of digits of the constant, irrational number with relative ease. We know what pi “looks” like. But what does pi, or at least part of pi, really, actually look like?

Count your lucky integers, Archimedes, because this raw string of the first billion digits of pi is a real, live thing that exists. It’s hardly much of anything in the scope of a number that for all we know neither ends nor repeats.

More at Motherboard

How To Explain Spontaneous Human Combustion

Spontaneous Combustion

At some point in the 15 hours or so prior to the evening of March 26, 1986, a 58-year-old former firefighter named George Mott apparently burst into flames and died. When he was found that night, what remained of him were mostly the ashes on the floor beneath his mattress, which his body had apparently burned through. There was more, but reports vary a little as to what; Wikipedia says they found “an implausibly shrunken skull” (as opposed to the plausible level of shrunkenness, I guess) and a piece of rib cage. Others say it was a shrunken skull and the lower half of his right leg. Either way, the scene found in Mott’s Crown Point, New York, apartment was pretty grim.

More at Pacific Standard

Far-Out Projects Funded By Famous Billionaires

10000 Year Old Clock

South African entrepreneur Elon Musk, the Tesla founder who made his name by co-founding PayPal, unveiled plans Monday for a high-speed tubular transportation system called the “Hyperloop,” which could shuttle passengers between San Francisco to Los Angeles in 30 minutes. The futuristic project has already received its fair share of criticism, and even if a prototype were ever built, it would likely face stiff resistance from state officials. But a mulit-billionaire mogul can dream, can’t he? Here are a few more far-out dreams from men with too much money.

More at New Republic

Astounding Spaceship Designs From Before The Space Age

Early Spaceship Picture

Long before we were building spacecraft, we were dreaming of them. And some of our earliest ideas about space vehicles were pretty fanciful, or even downright bizarre. Here are the most astonishing and baffling spaceship designs from before we had spaceships.

Plus, as a bonus, a few images from the very early days of the Space Age, right after Sputnik launched in 1957.

More at io9

Shark Found On Subway

Dead Shark

A dead shark has been discovered on the subway in New York City, transport officials have confirmed. The unlikely passenger, about 1.2m (4ft) long, was found under a row of seats on a Queens-bound train.

The conductor asked passengers to leave the carriage and the train continued to the end of the line, where a supervisor disposed of the shark.

Pigeons and even an opossum have made their way on to the trains before, but never a shark, transit officials said. However, where it came from remains a mystery.

More at BBC

Hundreds Of New Fairytales Discovered

Fairy Tale

A whole new world of magic animals, brave young princes and evil witches has come to light with the discovery of 500 new fairytales, which were locked away in an archive in Regensburg, Germany for over 150 years. The tales are part of a collection of myths, legends and fairytales, gathered by the local historian Franz Xaver von Schönwerth (1810–1886) in the Bavarian region of Oberpfalz at about the same time as the Grimm brothers were collecting the fairytales that have since charmed adults and children around the world.

More at The Guardian

Man Arrested For Making 28,000 Prank Calls To Emergency Number

Telephone

Police have arrested a Tokyo man who made 28,000 prank phone calls to emergency number 110. According to police, Teruo Nozaki, 44, a part-time convenience store worker, made the hoax calls from his cell phone from January 2012 until June this year, NTV reported.

Police said that Nozaki sometimes called 110 up to 1,500 times a day and when someone answered, he would immediately hang up. Nozaki was quoted by police as saying “I did it because I was irritated by the fact that I was always watched by police,” NTV reported.

More at Japan Today

How The Speed Of Light Was First Measured

Speed Of Light

The speed of light in a vacuum stands at “exactly 299,792,458 metres per second“. The reason today we can put an exact figure on it is because the speed of light in a vacuum is a universal constant that has been measured with lasers; and when an experiment involves lasers, it’s hard to argue with the results. As to why it comes out somewhat conspicuously as a whole number, this is no coincidence- the length of metre is defined using this constant: “the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299,792,458 of a second.”

Prior to a few hundred years ago, it was generally agreed or at least assumed that the speed of light was infinite, when in actuality it’s just really, really, really fast- for reference, the speed of light is just slightly slower than the fastest thing in the known universe.

The first known person to question the whole “speed of light is infinite” thing was the 5th century BC philosopher Empedocles. Less than a century later, Aristotle would disagree with Empedocles and the argument continued for more than 2,000 years after.

More at Today I Found Out

Our Cyborg Overlords May Arrive Sooner Than Expected

Cyborg

How do you make a cyborg?

High on the list of requirements would be “a technology that allows targeted, fast control of precisely defined events in biological systems.” This technology now exists, although not exactly as it was envisioned on television in the ’70s. Today, the Six Million Dollar Man’s bionic enhancements would involve optogenetics—a technology based on a mix of micron-scale electronics, designer viruses, and a set of light-activated proteins taken from aquatic microorganisms.

Optogenetics was invented in 2005 when a group of scientists at Stanford University showed that they could control rat neurons using a light-activated protein transplanted from green algae. The killer feature of this algal protein is that, when activated by light, it generates an electrical current. In green algae, this light-sensing protein converts light energy into an electrical current as part of the process of harvesting energy from sunlight; transplanted into neurons, that same protein induces an electrical current that will trigger those neurons to fire. In other words, by simply expressing one new protein in neurons, scientists can control brain functions using beams of light.

More at Pacific Standard