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Earth’s Magnetic North Pole May Have Just Officially Shifted

Earth’s magnetic north pole has been drifting so much in recent years that scientific estimates are no longer accurate for navigation, prompting the National Centers for Environmental Information to publish updated information nearly a year early.

It may sound apocalyptic, but generally speaking, the shift is no cause for alarm. Over the last 780,000 years, fossil records indicate that the poles have moved and switched a number of times, with no recognizable harm to living organisms. In fact, recent geological records even indicate that our magnetic field is weakening, a phenomenon that may or may not lead to geomagnetic pole reversal: the north and south poles could flip.

But even if this was the case, it doesn’t mean sudden volcanic outbursts or swarms of earthquake clusters. Life would continue as it is although changes to the magnetic field could have repercussions for smartphones, consumer electronics, and navigation technology.

The magnetic north pole’s movement over the past five decades. National Centers for Environmental Information

Federal organizations like NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration use something called the World Magnetic Model for navigational purposes as well as surveying and mapping, satellite tracking, and air traffic management. Because the magnetic north pole moves about 55 kilometers (34 miles) each year, governing agencies release updates to the model every five years. The most recent update wasn’t due until the end of this year, but unplanned variations in the Arctic region have spurred authorities to push for a new update sooner than planned.

“The declination has changed just over 2.5 degrees over the past 22 years since Denver opened,” Heath Montgomery, former Denver International Airport spokesperson, said in a statement after the last update.

Magnetic declination – the angle between the magnetic north and true north – changes over time. Since 1831, the magnetic north pole in northern Canada has been moving across the Arctic toward Russia.

“The slowly moving plates act as a kind of tape recorder leaving information about the strength and direction of past magnetic fields. By sampling these rocks and using radiometric dating techniques, it has been possible to reconstruct the history of the Earth’s magnetic field for roughly the last 160 million years,” wrote the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in a blog post. “If one ‘plays the tape backwards,’ the record shows Earth’s magnetic field strengthening, weakening, and often changing polarity.”

Source www.iflscience.com

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Couple Gets Kidnapped And Tortured By Cannibals

While a British and American couple were traversing through Papua, New Guinea they were beaten and captured by wild cannibals. The pair were lucky to escape with their lives, according to ‘The Telegraph’. Both of them were later taken to a hospital located in Port Moresby.

It is no secret that for quite some time, some areas of New Guinea have been plagued with this ancient practice. One known tribe in particular, are still eating people. The Korowai tribe, is one of the last known tribes in the world to have been cannibals. There may be a few others still out there as well. A creepy thought no doubt.

Human cannibalism is a very old practice. It is a repulsive thought that anyone could eat another human being. But it has happened, people have actually eaten the internal organs of others before among their flesh.

The actual expression of cannibalism has become part of zoology. The reason for this is become of the practice. When one individual of a species actually consumes all or part of the same species as food, they are a cannibal.

This practice has never been accepted mainstream throughout history. It was forbidden and likely those doing this were tracked down and killed themselves. It makes one wonder, how many different incidents were quietly swept under the rug and forgotten about in the past.

Couple Gets Kidnapped And Tortured By Cannibals

Both Matthew Iovane and his girlfriend Michelle Clemens were quite lucky, they could have been killed by these wandering mad men. They were both forced to strip naked and were cut up and beaten by these savages. The then 31-year-old, starred on Channel 4’s Shipwrecked. According to ‘The Sun’ the couple were savagely beaten up with machetes when they attempted to flee the jungle.

Their day started out as a getaway adventure, yet turned out not what they expected it to be. Iovane and his American girlfriend were enjoying an adventure type holiday together before all of this happened.

Iovane went on to say, “They both had machetes with huge blades and one had a long wooden spear with a crude arrowhead and they were grunting. I thought we were being robbed so we put down our bags and tried to calm them, saying they could take everything when they started pushing and threatening us.”

“They took our belongings, I was naked in the most remote jungle on Earth with no shoes and Michelle was bleeding buckets beside me in her underwear. But nothing mattered except getting away, so we ran.”

When questioned further about the incident, the pair explained that they were both stripped naked, bound with vines and blindfolded before being subjected to a horrifying ‘torture game’.

After fleeing, the naked couple left all their belongings behind including an iPhone. Apparently, the tribesmen recognised it and even tried using the device.

The couple were later spotted by a man, who helped them get to safety where they were later treated for their injuries.

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Scientists Discover an Edible Mushroom that Eats Plastic, Could Potentially ‘Clean’ Landfills

Whether we like it or not, our society has become completely reliant on plastic. From food preservation to water transportation, computer technology to healthcare and medicine, plastic can be found in nearly every facet of the human experience.

But as we well know, plastic is a double-edged sword, with massive amounts of plastic waste not only piling up in landfills, but floating in the most remote depths of our oceans and water supplies. And despite our knowledge of plastic’s harmful effects on the environment, we’ve become so reliant on plastic that there seems to be no end in sight. In fact, plastic production is growing on a yearly basis – and posing a potentially mortal threat to us all.

However, a newly-discovered type of mushroom could not only play a crucial role in slashing plastic pollution, but could have myriad other uses in addressing the environmental crises the planet faces.

Discovered in 2012 by Yale University students, Pestalotiopsis microspora is a rare species of mushroom from the Amazon rainforest that’s capable of subsisting on a diet of pure plastic, or more accurately, the main ingredient in plastic – polyurethane – before converting the human-made ingredient into purely organic matter.

And not only can Pestalotiopsis microspora live off of our plastic waste, it can also live without oxygen-meaning that the rare breed of mushroom would make an ideal agent for landfill clean-up, literally from the bottom-up.

While the idea sounds fantastic, some scientists have expressed hope that the plastic-consuming fungi can form the basis of the community waste treatment centers of the future – replacing our current practice of dumping our trash into centralized, massive landfills with small, mushroom-centered community composting centers or even home recycling kits, according to Epoch Times.

And as it turns out, Pestalotiopsis microspora isn’t alone in the world of plastic-eating mushrooms – and some of its plastic-consuming kin are even perfectly safe for us humans to consume.

In a study led by Katharina Unger for Utrecht University in the Netherlands, oyster mushrooms and other types of mushrooms were placed in agar cups with plastic waste and held in a climate-controlled dome-shaped environment. After about a month, the roots of the mushroom consumed and transformed the plastic into an edible biomass – or food – that was completely free of any toxicity from the polyurethane.

Not only was the finished product completely free of plastic, but they also had an appealing taste, according to Unger, who described them as “sweet with the smell of anise or licorice.”

Yes, that’s right: for the very first time in history, plastic trash could be a part of our food chain – in a deliberate and surprisingly healthy way. Indeed, such a discovery – if refined – could be a part of a novel solution to food scarcity in a world brimming-over with plastic waste yet scarce on food for hundreds of millions of people.

“Our research partner [Utrecht University] expects that the digestion will go much quicker once processes are fully researched and optimized,” Unger told Dezeen magazine, adding that her team “imagined it as being used with a community or small farm setting.”

The benefits of plastic-eating mushrooms seem limitless. At the State of the World’s Fungi 2018 event in Kew Gardens, London, fungi that process polyurethane were also found to be suitable as “mushroom bricks,” or a durable and sustainable building material that could be suitable for building homes.

The management and elimination of plastic waste is among the greatest challenges we face in saving our environment. But if the natural rate of decomposition can be reduced from 400 years to a mere few months, then these fungi could soon be taking over the world.

Elias Marat
The Mind Unleashed

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Previously Unknown Human Relative Found On Philippine Island

Thirteen fossil bones and teeth excavated in a cave in the Philippines represent an enigmatic previously unknown human species, probably small in stature and possessing an unexpected mix of archaic and modern traits.

The discovery of remains of at least three individuals from this species, named Homo luzonensis, in Callao Cave on the northern part of the island of Luzon marked the second time in the 21st century that a bygone member of the human family has been found on southeast Asian islands.

The researchers were unable to extract DNA but did determine that one of the individuals lived 67,000 years ago and the other 50,000 years ago.

Previously Unknown Human Relative Found On Philippine Island

Reconstruction of female Homo floresiensis (Image Source)

Another ‘Hobbit’?

In 2003, fossils of another island-dwelling species – Homo floresiensis, dubbed the “Hobbit” due to its diminutive size – were unearthed in a cave on the Indonesian island of Flores, some 1,800 miles (3,000 km) from the Luzon site. There is no indication the two species interacted or were closely related.

Homo luzonensis was a contemporary not only of the Hobbit but of our own species, Homo sapiens, which emerged in Africa roughly 300,000 years ago.

The scientists said they could not rule out the possibility that the arrival of our species in the region contributed to the demise of Homo luzonensis. The Hobbit also disappeared about 50,000 years ago at the same time Homo sapiens was spreading through the region.

 More clues to human origins

The Luzon and Flores discoveries demonstrate that the story of human evolution is more complicated than previously understood, with Asia offering up surprises, potentially with more to come, the researchers said.

The researchers were circumspect in describing the physical appearance and lifestyle of Homo luzonensis, known only from a sparse assemblage of hand and foot bones, and teeth from two adults and one juvenile, with no skull fossils. Based on tooth size in particular, it appears it might have been much smaller than Homo sapiens, but it is unclear whether it was as little as the Hobbit, which was roughly 3-1/2 feet (1 meter) tall.

“We have to stay cautious about it, especially because people will immediately have Homo floresiensis in mind as a ‘model’ for the physical appearance of Homo luzonensis, which was certainly not the case,” said paleoanthropologist Florent Détroit of the Musée de l’Homme-Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris.

“We can only speculate but it might be only in the range of a pygmy Homo sapiens,” added archaeologist Armand Mijares, leader of the Callao Archaeological Project.

The research was published in the journal Nature.

Based on animal bones with butchering marks found at the site, it appears these people ate meat and may have used stone tools, Détroit said.

The fossils from the seven-chamber cave, situated in the foothills of Luzon’s northern Sierra Madre mountains, boasted a combination of anatomical features setting it apart from other human species.

Some characteristics were similar to Homo sapiens as well as the Hobbit. Other traits were so archaic that they resembled Australopithecus, an earlier member of the human evolutionary lineage that died out roughly 2 million years ago, as well as the ancient human species Homo habilis and Homo erectus.

“For years – and until less than 20 years ago – human evolution in Asia was seen as very simple, with Homo erectus going out of Africa, settling in east and southeast Asia, and then nothing happened until the arrival of Homo sapiens at around 40,000 to 50,000 years ago and its ‘conquest’ of every region on Earth,” Détroit said.

“With the discoveries made on the field – fossils – and in the lab, for instance genetics, we now know that it was a much more complex evolutionary history, with several distinct species contemporaneous with Homo sapiens, interbreeding events, extinctions, et cetera,” Détroit added. “Homo sapiens was definitely not alone on Earth.”

source:Nature /DailySabah

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