Here at Strange Sounds we love science stories from around the world and some of those can get a little weird. There’s a lot of important news out there that definitely deserves your attention. This isn’t that. Here are some of the weirdest, head-scratchingest science stories that somehow got buried in the sea of rational stories, this week.
It’s raining viruses! Literally. Billions of them.
That’s what scientists found after analyzing, for the first time, these viruses swirling around in our atmosphere, some traveling thousands of miles before plopping onto the planet’s surface (or a human head). Viruses ride the particles that circulate during vast dust storms such as this one, which emerged from the Sahara Desert to extend over the Atlantic Ocean on March 29, 2017. via Value Walk
Woodpeckers aren’t immune to all that pecking, it turns out. When looking at woodpeckers’ brains, scientists found accumulation of the so-called tau protein, which is linked to trauma and brain damage in humans. Makes sense — when the little bird hammers at a tree, it experiences forces up to 1,400 times that of Earth’s gravity (1,400 G’s). That’s a lot! Humans can withstand about 8 G’s before blacking out. via Plos
It looks so fake!
This Tesla sure looks fake. “It looks so ridiculous and impossible,” Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, told reporters after the Falcon Heavy rocket launched the car into space this week. On a side note, Elon Musk told reporters that, “If you look closely on the dashboard, there’s a tiny roadster with a tiny spaceman.” Why did images of the Roadster look so fake? In space, there’s barely anything to bend or block light. And so, images look amazingly sharp … totally fake. via Live Science
Biomedical startup CEO injected himself with an untested herpes treatment, live on stage, and he streamed the entire thing online. Aaron Traywick said his self-experimentation was an attempt to increase scientific transparency and move science forward. But biomedical experts don’t buy it. via Gizmodo
A 31-year-old Kentucky man developed a life-threatening infection and nearly lost his hand after cracking his knuckles. What gives? Turns out, his frequent knuckle-cracking may have opened a scab on his hand, letting bacteria, like the flesh-eating kind that contracted, get into the wound. via Daily Mail
Drone dive-bomb passenger plane
Recently, a drone videoed itself dive-bombing a passenger jet over McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. It’s unclear from the video just how close the drone came to the jet. But, drone pilots immediately condemned the risky “behavior.” via Youtube
This starfish has up to 50 eyes, each on the tip of one of its arms. The starfish often bends its arms, allowing its eye (the red spot) to see more or less straight upward. That’s what scientists recently found. And while it’s vision may be a tad blurry, they can see with those eyes, in the inky depths of the deep sea. Proceedings of Royal Society