When you can’t sleep on your first night in a new place, your brain is trying to protect you. Many animals sleep with only half their brain, while the other half stays alert to possible dangers. It’s called the ‘first night effect’ in humans, because our bodies put us in a strange, half-asleep/half-awake state the first time we sleep in an unfamiliar environment.
the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes including, the start of the Holocene Epoch (roughly 11,700 years before present). It includes the study of fossils to determine organisms’ evolution and interactions with each other and their environments (their paleoecology). Paleontological observations have been documented as far back as the 5th century BC.
the scientific study of the nervous system. Traditionally, neuroscience is recognized as a branch of biology. However, it is currently an interdisciplinary science that collaborates with other fields such as chemistry, cognitive science, computer science, engineering, linguistics, mathematics, medicine (including neurology), genetics, and allied disciplines including philosophy, physics, and psychology.
A group of amateur cave explorers discovered a river in Mexico with banks, trees and leaves just like an ordinary river, but with an additional metric shit ton of “WTF,” because they were hovering 25 feet over it in scuba gear when they discovered it.
While underwater water doesn’t seem possible, the “river” is actually a briny mix of salt water and hydrogen sulfide. It’s much more dense than regular salt water, so it sinks to the bottom and forms a distinct separation that acts and flows like a river.
In addition to giving scuba divers the distinct feeling that they’re flying through a landscape painting, the underwater river allows them to snap mind-blowing pictures like the one you’re looking at taken by Anatoly Beloshchin.
Unfortunately, hydrogen sulfide is extremely toxic, so the chances of the above scuba diver pulling in some sort of meta-fish aren’t great. However, there is an underwater body of water on the abyssal plain (the part out past the continental shelf where the ocean floor starts to make shit real) that is teeming with life. Deep sea lakes look like normal lakes, complete with sandy and rocky shores. Scientist call these lakes “cold seeps,” but they’re a hotbed for life, because apparently waterfront real estate is a hot commodity under water, too. The “rocky” shores are actually made up of hundreds of thousands of mussels.
Acmella oleracea, often known by its former scientific name Spilanthes, is a unique flower in the Asteraceae family. It has many common names, including electric daisy and toothache plant. These stem from the fact that the plant contains numbing agents. Chewing on the flower causes temporary numbness, tingling and salivation. This has made it a useful treatment for toothaches and stomach issues.
Familiar stars in Orion and constellations across the sky now have official names. Over the past year, the International Astronomical Union, the only body officially tasked with naming stars, approved names already in common use for 227 of the brightest stars, including the most famous stars on the sky Sirius, Polaris, and Betelgeuse. Pictured, the constellation of Orion is shown with several of these now-official star names superposed.
Spanning about 30 degrees, this breath-taking vista stretches across the well-known constellation from head to toe (left to right) and beyond. The common names for all three stars in Orion’s belt are also now official. At 1,500 light years away, the Great Orion Nebula is the closest large star forming region, here visible just right and below center. Also visible are famous nebulae including the Horsehead Nebula and the Witch Head Nebula.
Of course, the Orion Nebula and bright stars are easy to see with the unaided eye, but dust clouds and emission from the extensive interstellar gas in this nebula-rich complex, are too faint and much harder to record. In the featured mosaic of broadband telescopic images, additional image data acquired with a narrow hydrogen alpha filter was used to bring out the pervasive tendrils of energized atomic hydrogen gas like in the arc of the giant Barnard’s Loop.