Stories tagged mystery

Sep
19
2010

What happened to the missing ships and planes?


Bermuda triangle
Bermuda triangleCourtesy alphaios
Large amounts of frozen methane gas can be found under the ocean floors. When the BP oil drills hit a pocket of this gas it raced upwards, expanding ever larger as the pressure on it decreased. When it reaches the surface it really expands.

Methane bubbles can sink ships and snuff out airplane engines

Methane deposits occasionally erupt to the surface. A research paper published in the American Journal of Physics explains how large methane bubbles rising from the ocean floor might account for many, if not all, of the mysterious disappearances of ships and aircraft.

Oceanographic surveyors of the sea floor in the area of the Bermuda Triangle have discovered significant quantities of methane hydrates and older eruption sites.

Source

How Brilliant Computer Scientists Solved the Bermuda Triangle Mystery Salem News

Aug
13
2008

Heyo!: The best day of my life.
Heyo!: The best day of my life.Courtesy JGordon
So, hey, get a load of this: my face is bleeding, y’all!

I know what you’re thinking: “That’s great, JGordon, but what good does it do me? How can my face be more like your face?”

Good question, Buzzketeer, but I don’t know the answer. Why not?

Because it’s a mystery!

So let’s look at the clues:
Clue #1) A fluid seems to be coming out of my face, via the nostrils.
Clue #2) The fluid has the color, taste, and temperature of blood, so it is most likely blood.
Clue #3) The episode began in the bathtub.

Not a lot to go on, but I’ve tackled trickier cases before. The Case of the Missing Mac & Cheese, for one, was almost entirely devoid of physical evidence, and yet I was able to confidently declare the perpetrator (and I will never forgive you, Brother).

Let’s start with what we have. Fluid from the facial region can result from any number of conditions. Sadness, for example. But I’m very rarely sad while in the tub, so that’s out. The fact that the fluid seemed to be blood (lab tests are pending, but I’m fairly certain that it was blood) indicates “epistaxis,” or the nosebleed.

The nosebleed, eh? But how could this have happened? Time for phase 2 of our little investigation: The Whys and Wherefores. Get the usual suspects together.

Suspect #1) A sharp blow to the face—Um, no, I think I would remember that. That didn’t happen.

Suspect #2) Nasal sprays, or nasal prong O2—No, no sprays were administered prior to face bleeding, nor did I have a nasal prong inserted.

Suspect #3) Co-co-cocaine!—Nope. I’m afraid that I don’t do coke. And I think that that might be a tricky proposition in the tub anyway. I’ll have to watch Scarface again.

Suspect #4) Nosepicking—Ho ho! Now we’re getting closer to home! But, no, I only pick my nose at parties. As fun as bath time is, it’s no party.

Suspect #5) Low humidity—I don’t know. I mean, I was in the tub, and it was full of hot water. Probably no.

Suspect #6) Intranasal tumors—Oh, goodness gracious! But a simple test confirms that I can still breath freely from both nostrils. Probably no tumors there.

Suspect #7) Inflammatory reaction—Hmm… like allergies? I don’t have much in the way of allergies, but I’ve been known to sniffle and sneeze now and again. What if there was something irritating in the house…like everything I own that is never dusted (everything I own)…and what if this natural irritant was combined with vigorous facial scrubbing. Perhaps that could cause the rupture of an anterior nasal blood vessel, and subsequent hemorrhaging.

Or it could be, as Wikipedia says, “a significant number of nosebleeds occur with no obvious cause.” Whatever.

Case closed? Just about. But how to get this thing to stop, how to shut off the blood faucet (as the doctors say)?

Just pinch the nose, okay? And if anyone tells you to tilt your head back, try to sneeze blood on them—tilting your head just ensures that the blood drains into your mouth and stomach, instead of onto their carpet.

Jun
24
2008

Opps! There's one!: So I guess it's 17 now.
Opps! There's one!: So I guess it's 17 now.Courtesy Minnete Layne
Well, if you were feeling anxious about there being no more undiscovered sea monsters, chill out. There are still some out there. About 18, to be specific.

See, ever since Science’s parents (Magic and Critical Thought) stopped putting Science’s stuff up on the fridge, Science has really been going out of its way to make sure we all know how special it is.

We get it, Science, you’re great. Take it easy.

As if.

Science, in its latest flailing and pathetic play for attention, has announced that there are indeed more huge, unknown sea creatures out there, and it knows that there are 18 of them.

Okay, Science, whatever you say. Act like you know.

But, no, Science goes on to explain, here’s my reasoning: If we first decide that a body length exceeding 1.8 meters defines a large sea creature (which, by the way, makes JGordon a large sea creature by 3 cm when he goes swimming), we can then look at the rate at which large sea creatures have been discovered in the last 180 years or so. The rate of discovery for large sea creatures remains pretty strong, and if you consider the places large sea creatures could be hiding, deep in the oceans, or under polar ice, say, it’s very likely that there are quite a few of them left to find. Using some flashy statistical modeling, Science predicts that there could be as many as 18 of these large sea creatures still undiscovered.

Science goes on to emphasize that there probably aren’t any monsters hiding out in lakes and lochs, and that accounts of sea serpents and their ilk can probably all be explained by known creatures, like colossal squid, and 30 plus-foot oarfish. Ah, thanks for that, Science.

Still, Science doesn’t hold all the cards. It may know that there are 18 monsters still hiding out there, but I know exactly what they are. Deal with it, Science.

Anguirus
Baragon
Destroyah
Ebirah
Gabara
Ganime
Gigan
Gorosaurus
Kamoebas
King Caesar
King Ghidorah
Kumonga
Megalon
Minilla
Mothra
Rodan
Urkel
Varan

Feb
05
2008

There is a disease detective mystery unfolding right here in Minnesota. Two of the project advisors for the Disease Detectives exhibition (Dr. Ruth Lynfield and Dr. Mike Osterholm) are working to discover what causes a strange neurological illness. The medical mystery was recently highlighted in the New York Times and you can find more information on the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) website as well.


The MDH is investigating a cluster of neurological illnesses in workers at a pork slaughtering facility in Austin, Minnesota. To date Minnesota has identified 12 people that share similar symptoms and workplace exposures. The illnesses are characterized by changes in sensation and weakness in the limbs. MDH is working closely with clinicians to identify other possible cases.

It's good to know that Minnesota has one of the strongest health departments and best-equipped laboratories in the country!