Weird science facts, May 11 — May 17

Still going strong on the #weirdscifacts!  Here are the past week’s selections that appeared on Twitter.

424. May 11: The bombardier beetle: sprays boiling acid at any predators that attack it! 

425. May 12: Anophthalmus hitleri — a blind cave beetle that was named in honor of Adolf Hitler! The beetle was discovered and named by a scientist in honor of Hitler’s election as Chancellor of Germany, long before his infamy.

426. May 13: Soviet Dr. I.I. Ivanov’s bizarre attempts c. 1926 to breed a human-ape hybrid

427. May 14: The basilisk lizard, aka the “Jesus lizard”, can walk on water!  A video of the lizard in action can be viewed here.

428. May 15: “Blue Peacock“, the 1950s nuclear landmine project that planned to use live chickens to keep warm.  This sounds quite absurd, but it was probably considered a very simple and practical solution.  As opposed to more high-tech or complicated methods that could be difficult to implement or fail in the field, here they could just throw a few chickens in a box and run for it!

429. May 16: Character in Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle” based on “indifferent” scientist Irving Langmuir.  Vonnegut’s brother worked with Langmuir; Kurt had the impression that Langmuir was a scientist who was indifferent to the implications or consequences of his research.

430. May 17: 1938 execution/experiment of John Deering, in which his heartbeat was monitored during firing squad.  Deering, a perpetrator of multiple murders, agreed to have his heart monitored during his execution as a scientific experiment, thought to be the first of its kind.

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4 Responses to Weird science facts, May 11 — May 17

  1. Kees says:

    The links to “Anophthalmus hitleri’ and ‘breed a human-ape hybrid’ are broken. I could make them work by deleting O_o

  2. Namnezia says:

    1. Cookie looks like my dog.

    2. Looks like the kittens are making a mess outta your carpet.

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