This week Jupiter’s Great Red Spot has shrunk to the smallest we’ve ever seen it, a 71-million-year-old snoozing dinosaur suggests they slept like birds, and one of nature's “most intimidating spectacles” may become a lot more common. Finally, we investigate how the natural world made ancient warfare pretty weird.
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Earth’s Surface Is Leaking Water Down To Its Core
Within the Earth, there is a thin layer just around the molten metal of the outer core. Its origin has been uncertain for decades, but researchers now believe that the cause of it is to be found right here: It’s the water on the surface that caused that differentiation to take place in the first place. This is difficult to explain by assuming the concentration of a single element dropping there, but it could be explained if a widespread chemical reaction is taking place. Read the full story here
This 3D-Printed Robot Has Tendons, Ligaments, And "Bones" – Just Like A Human Hand
The latest advances in 3D printing have been put to good use by scientists at ETH Zürich, who have now unveiled an incredibly human-like robotic hand. What makes this hand unique is that it’s made up of bones, ligaments, and tendons – all the building blocks of a human skeleton – created from different flexible polymers, opening up a whole world of potential applications for this technology. Read the full story here
Jupiter's Great Red Spot Is The Smallest We've Ever Seen It
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, the Solar System’s most infamous storm, is the smallest it has been in observational history. The reasons behind its shrinking fortunes are not fully understood, but it's been suggested this gargantuan pool of storm clouds isn't going anywhere soon. Read the full story here
New Dinosaur Species Snoozing For 71 Million Years Suggests They Slept Like Birds
Around 71 million years ago, a small theropod dinosaur curled up to snooze one final time before becoming a part of the fossil record. Retrieved from the Barun Goyot Formation in what we now call Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, it’s become a central part of new research that states its curled-up position suggests they slept like modern birds. Read the full story here
"One Of Nature's Most Intimidating Spectacles" Is Set To Become A Lot More Common
Sand and dust storms – described by UN officials as “one of nature's most intimidating spectacles” – have become dramatically more common in many world regions. While these colossal forces of nature are a seasonal natural phenomenon, up to 25 percent of them can now be attributed to human-driven factors, such as poor land management and climate change. Read the full story here
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Feature of the week:
Scorpion Bombs, Infectious Donkeys, And Pigs Vs Elephants: 5 Ways Ancient Warfare Got Weird
Throughout history, humans have been coming up with creative ways to maim and kill one another, and many leaned on the devastating power of the natural world. From Black Death Bombs to war elephants, let’s take a look at five of the worst – or best, depending on your outlook – weapons born from ancient warfare. Read the full story here
Check out season 3 of IFLScience's The Big Questions Podcast, so far we've asked:
PLUS, have you seen our free e-magazine, CURIOUS? Issue 16 November 2023 is out now. Check it out for exclusive interviews, book excerpts, long reads, and more.