Early humans probably walked in a different way

In a recent research at the University of Liverpool in the UK publishes in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Karl Bates and a team of researchers have analysed how a footprint is associated with the way an animal or early human walked.

Until now the depth of the footprint was directly connected to the pressure of the body which created it. However, the study shows that the correlation of the foot pressure and footprint depth is more complicated than what was initially thought. Using sophisticated computer algorithms and models as well as live data from people walking, they have correlated foot print depths with pressure, showing that different parts of the foot create different size indentations.

The results indicated that previous ideas on early human gait have to be rethought.

You can read more here.

Alien material found on the Moon

As we know, the Moon is fool of craters made by meteorites hitting it throughout the millennia and that is because of the lack of atmosphere on the Moon; there is literally no protection from external objects, making it an ideal place for ‘landing’ from meteors.

After re-examining material taken from the craters as well as modelling meteor impacts on the moon, scientists have discovered minerals called spinels that are common in asteroids. These mineral stones are alien to the moon in that they are pieces of ancient broken planets from the early formation of our solar system. Initially the scientists believed that those rare minerals were formed in the mantle of moon. However, they now believe the minerals to be alien because they were discovered inside the craters and not anywhere else on the surface of the moon.

This also suggests that from the early times of Earth’s creation fragments of earth may have also been caught on the lunar surface, meaning that in the future we may find pieces of the first days of our Earth hidden somewhere in one of the craters of the Moon.

Scientists have spotted distant Jupiter sized planet that has water

At the top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii, a team of scientists led by Quinn Konopacky (University of Toronto), have detected a planet the size of Jupiter that indicates that it contains water and carbon monoxide.

The team managed to come to such a detailed research using the advanced Keck II telescope fitted with the Ohio State Infrared Imager/Spectrometer ( OSIRIS). The atmosphere of the planet shows evidence of water vapour and a high ratio of carbon to oxygen. According to the scientists, those conditions existed on Earth millions of years ago, which shows that the planet formation is in progress.

The planet orbits around a star called HR 8799 at a distance of approximately 130 light years from Earth and is one of four planets that orbits around this star.

You can read more here.

White Dwarf Stars May Be Best Chance for Discovering Extra-terrestrial Life

A new study titled, “Detecting Bio-Markers In Habitable-Zone Earths Transiting White Dwarfs”, published by the Royal Astronomical Society, has concluded that dying White Dwarf systems could host planets with life and they might be able to detect it within the next decade.

When a star dies, it ejects its outer layers, leaving behind a hot core called a white dwarf, which is typically about the size of Earth. It slowly cools and fades over time, but it can retain heat long enough to warm a nearby world for billions of years.

White dwarfs help in the search for extra-terrestrial life by first finding the planets that exist in the habitable zone of white dwarfs. This can be achieved by observing lights from a star and checking to see if it dims at regular intervals – a phenomenon that suggests the starlight is being blocked by an orbiting planet.

Once a planet is discovered orbiting around a white dwarf, the next stage is to determine if it can sustain life. For tell-tale signs of life, astronomers are particularly interested in finding oxygen. According to the study, oxygen could be detected in the atmosphere of a white dwarf’s planet much more easily than for an Earth-like planet orbiting a Sun-like star. They found that both oxygen and water vapor would be detectable with only a few hours of total observation time.

You can read more here.

The Mysterious Gardens of Babylon may not have been in Babylon at All!

According to new research, the legendary Gardens of Babylon , famous for being one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, may not have been in Babylon at all, but rather 340 miles north of that location in Nineveh, on the Tigris River, Iraq.

The fabled gardens were attributed to the Neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II, who ruled between 605 and 562 BC. He is reported to have constructed the gardens to please his homesick wife Amytis of Media, who longed for the plants of her homeland. The gardens were said to have been destroyed by several earthquakes after the 2nd century BC. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon are documented by ancient Greek and Roman writers, however, no definitive archaeological evidence concerning their whereabouts has yet been found

Stephanie Dalley, an Oxford University Assyriologist, whose book ‘The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon’ will be published later this Summer, has claimed that early references to the gardens were translated incorrectly, leading to the belief that they were located in Babylon. Dalley also states that Nebuchadrezzar never mentions gardens, despite many extant inscriptions boasting of his accomplishments in Babylon.

Dalley believes that the gardens were attributed to Sennacherib, an Assyrian king who ruled from 704-681 BC and who made Nineveh his capital. Sennacherib is said to have created a massive system of waterworks and left a number of inscriptions boasting of his irrigation and garden-building abilities. “The inscriptions of Sennacherib in particular refer proudly to his great network of canals, and often describe them in the context of luxurious gardens and parks,” says Jason Ur, an anthropological archeologist at Harvard University.

Unfortunately, the likelihood of proving Dalley’s theory remains remote considering that its proposed location, next to Mosul, is an area of continuing violence between the Sunni minority and the Shiite-led government of Iraq, rendering archaeological work impossible.

Archaeological Find Suggests Ancient Israel’s Capital Was Burned

An archaeological dig has uncovered what appears to be evidence that Shiloh, the ancient capital of Israel that was once the site where the Tabernacle and Ark of the Covenant could be found, was destroyed, at least in part, by fire.

Excavators working in Tel Shiloh, the site of the ancient city, have uncovered the remains of a broken clay pitcher which was found lying in a layer of reddish ash, Tazpit News Agency reports. The finding leads them to believe the city was burned after 369 years of being the nation’s religious center. The pitcher is suspected to be from around 1050 B.C. – the time the events described in the biblical book of 1 Samuel would have likely occurred.

Read full article here.

Chimps have superhuman skills

At the laboratory of Tetsuro Matsuzawa in Boston tests have been conducted on chimpanzees concluding in surprise that they could perform mental tasks that even for the best humans they would have been very difficult or even impossible. However the chimpanzee named Ayumu could very easily conduct those tasks.

It was shown that they have incredible short term photographic memory. Matsuzawa suggests that this serves chimpanzees in the wild to be able to make fast decisions, since it is a matter of life or death.

So the question is if we are indeed ancestors of chimpanzees how is it possible for us not to have those abilities, since natural selection is supposed to give the best features to the next generation? Unless we are not direct descendants of the chimpanzees but rather a different ‘version’. Food for thought…

You can read more here.

300-Million Mechanical Part Found in Russian Coal

The Earth was so young 300 million years ago, the first land animals had yet to evolve into dinosaurs, most scientists believe.

If that’s the case, how do you explain the discovery in Russia of a piece of a gear shift — a common machine part — embedded into a hunk of 300-million-year-old coal. Has this artifact been correctly identified? And if so, who could have made this thing? And for what purpose?

Read full article here.