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.
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.