Space station detectors spot the source of weird ‘blue jet’ lightning

blue jet illustration

Scientists have finally gotten a clear view of the spark that sets off an exotic type of lightning called a blue jet. Blue jets zip upward from thunderclouds into the stratosphere, reaching altitudes up to about 50 kilometers in less than a second. Whereas ordinary lightning excites a medley of gases in the lower atmosphere […]

10 weird, but essential, additions to any survival kit

Stowing some everyday items in your kit could save your life. (Apaha Spi / Unsplash/) This story was originally featured on Field & Stream. If you fire up your favorite search engine and hunt for a list of survival kit components, you’ll find that most of them repeat the same things over and over. Knife, […]

Hasselblad’s new $6,400 camera is weird and wonderful

I thought I would be cute and shoot the product shots for this review on film. Then, I promptly ruined the roll of film, so here’s a stock shot. Sorry. (Hasselblad/) Shooting photos with an old-school Hasselblad film camera is a truly wonderful analog experience. They typically employ a waist-level finder, which means you look […]

Southern Hemisphere’s first known feathered dinosaur had weird rods

The fossil of a chicken-sized, meat eater from Brazil that had a mane of fluffy filaments and a pair of stiff, ribbon-like streamers emerging from both shoulders is the first dinosaur with feathers ever discovered in the Southern Hemisphere. Named Ubirajara jubatus, the plucky predator lived 110 million years ago and probably used its unusual […]

This weird Cretaceous amphibian has the oldest-recorded ballistic tongue

A color-coded CT scan of the albanerpetontid specimen gives us hints at what this ancient creature looked like and how it’s sling-shot tongue works. (Edward Stanley/Florida Museum of Natural History/VGStudioMax3.4/) What has scales, claws, and looks like a lizard? Well, strangely enough, it seems one group of strange ancient amphibians did. While these animals, albanerpetontids […]

Earliest example of a rapid-fire tongue found in ‘weird and wonderful’ extinct amphibians — ScienceDaily

Fossils of bizarre, armored amphibians known as albanerpetontids provide the oldest evidence of a slingshot-style tongue, a new Science study shows. Despite having lizardlike claws, scales and tails, albanerpetontids — mercifully called “albies” for short — were amphibians, not reptiles. Their lineage was distinct from today’s frogs, salamanders and caecilians and dates back at least […]