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Bizzare & Odd

New Research on the Theory that Octopuses are Aliens

The controversial theory that mysterious and biologically complex octopus is so unique that it had to come from another planet just got a scientific paper backing it.

“Thus the possibility that cryopreserved Squid and/or Octopus eggs, arrived in icy bolides several hundred million years ago should not be discounted as that would be a parsimonious cosmic explanation for the Octopus’ sudden emergence on Earth circa 270 million years ago.”

OK, “should not be discounted” is not exactly a bet-your-life savings-on-it endorsement, but it’s still a big deal. In a paper entitled “Cause of Cambrian Explosion – Terrestrial or Cosmic?” published in the Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology journal, 33 scientists researching the cause of the Cambrian Explosion – the mysterious point in Earth’s history when single-cell organisms were suddenly overshadowed by complex animals – linked the panspermia or cosmic cause to the equally mysterious and sudden appearance of octopuses.

“The transformative genes leading from the consensus ancestral Nautilus to the common Cuttlefish to Squid to the common are not easily to be found in any pre-existing life form – it is plausible then to suggest they seem to be borrowed from a far distant “future” in terms of terrestrial evolution, or more realistically from the cosmos at large. One plausible explanation, in our view, is that the new genes are likely new extraterrestrial imports to Earth – most plausibly as an already coherent group of functioning genes within (say) cryopreserved and matrix protected fertilized Octopus eggs.”

“Cryopreserved and matrix protected” sounds like a Superman origin story with creatures sent by another civilization to populate the galaxy (let’s take a moment to remember Margot Kidder, who played Lois Lane to Christopher Reeve’s movie Superman and passed away this week), but the paper leans more towards the idea that Earth received a bombardment of comets and asteroids that could have been carrying organisms that somehow managed to survive the cold, the radiation and the long trip. Only a complex species could devise a way to do this … an advanced species with a really big brain like … an octopus?

Yes, that seems to be the flying octopus in the panspermian ointment of this particular paper. It singles out octopuses as an (or possibly the only) advanced species that sent preserved eggs during the same period that it speculates asteroids and comets were involuntarily bringing other hardy cells and viruses en masse to ignite the Cambrian Explosion some 540 million years ago. “Speculates” because there’s no physical proof yet of the real cause of the Cambrian Explosion – so panspermia, climate change, evolution and others are in play.

If they’re an advanced species, do they know about this?

Octopuses are a special and highly unusual species that can edit their own RNA and slow down their evolution – a process that science can’t explain yet. It’s interesting that many scientists think the idea of intentional panspermia as their origin on Earth “should not be discounted.” Does this mean octopuses are aliens? Only an eight-legged, squishy Jor-El knows for sure.

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Bizzare & Odd

I Visited a Local UFO Hotspot During the Annual Gathering of Tinfoil Hat Enthusiasts

UFO enthusiasts have been gathering in this Wisconsin town for 30 years to share their experiences and catch a glimpse of something strange in the sky.


UFOs photographed in the town of Dundee, WI

There are three small communities that claim to be the UFO capital of Wisconsin, but the most compelling is the unincorporated town of Dundee about 20 minutes from Cult of Weird headquarters.

10,000 years ago, the last glaciers tore through the area, leaving behind a devastated landscape that is now the picturesque Kettle Moraine State Forest. When the glaciers receded, they left behind a 250-foot pile of sediment called Dundee Mountain. It’s not an actual mountain, but it is the highest point in the area.

And locals will tell you there’s something suspicious going on there.

Strange lights and unidentified objects witnessed in the sky over Dundee Mountain and nearby Long Lake have left residents puzzled for decades. So much so, in fact, that in 1988 tavern owner Bill Benson and some friends decided to host a gathering for those who had experienced something in the area.

Bill’s bar, Benson’s Hide-a-Way, is the self proclaimed UFO headquarters of the area. It sits on the north shore of Long Lake, providing a clear view of Dundee Mountain’s peak to the south. The bar is a kitschy backwoods nightmare, and that’s why it’s amazing. The walls are covered in images of little green men. A model of a UFO hangs behind the counter. A small grey figure with large black eyes floats in a jar of cloudy liquid. It is said to be from Area 51.

30 years since the first gathering was held, the annual UFO Daze event seems more like an excuse to wear goofy aluminum foil hats and drink the spiked green alien punch, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something going on. Behind the bar Bill keeps a binder of photos documenting unexplained activity in the area, from blurry lights in the sky over Dundee Mountain to the bizarre 1995 occurrence when a large patch of reeds in the lake near Benson’s became flattened and interwoven so thickly that residents could walk on it without falling through into the water.

A crop circle in the lake.


Photos of UFO activity around Dundee Mountain and Long Lake

Last weekend Cult contributor J. Nathan Couch and I set out to uncover the secrets of Dundee’s UFO activity at the 30th annual UFO Daze. We didn’t succeed, exactly, but we did see a few aliens (inflatable ones tied to boats) and some pretty amazing tinfoil hats.

Read about it here: Searching for aliens at the 30th annual UFO Daze

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‘Slender Man’ movie will respect attack victim

Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 LuxAmber

Slender Man was invented on an Internet forum almost a decade ago.

The movie will not play in two counties out of respect for a girl who was almost killed by two teenagers.

The chilling incident, which occurred in 2014, saw Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser, both 12, lure one of their classmates out to a woodland park in Wisconsin before attempting to take her life.

The senseless attack was reportedly ‘dedicated’ to Slender Man – a fictitious entity invented on an Internet forum who typically appears as a very tall, thin individual with a black suit and no face.

The character has been the subject of numerous creepypasta stories over the last few years.

Now with the release of a new movie based on the Slender Man phenomenon, it has been reported that the film will not screen in Milwaukee or Waukesha counties out of respect for the victim.

“Like many people across the United States, Marcus Theaters was deeply concerned and saddened when the Slender Man phenomenon touched Southeastern Wisconsin in such a profound way, changing the lives of many families forever,” the movie theater chain said in a statement.

“After careful consideration, and out of respect for those who were impacted, we have decided not to play the upcoming Slender Man movie in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.”

“We will show the film at select other Marcus Theatres locations.”

Source: IGN.com

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Exoskeletons are About to Walk Ford’s Factory Floors

HALF MAN, HALF MACHINE. Full-blown automation may be the future of manufacturing, but we’re not there yet. While some machines have taken over the more painstaking tasks on the factory floor, humans still play a vital role in the production line. But often, it isn’t easy work. Tasks typically require being on one’s feet, and some even involve making repetitive arm motions up to 4,600 times a day or one million times a year. Ouch.

At Ford though, this might all be changing. Exoskeleton use on Ford’s factory floors could soon shift into overdrive, according to Engadget.

ENTER THE EXOSKELETONS. In November 2017, EksoVest Exoskeletons, built by Ekso Bionics, were given to workers in two Ford factories. Now ,up to 75 exoskeletons will be distributed to employees at 15 factories across the world. The exoskeletons don’t have motors, or even batteries, but provide “passive assistance” in the form of arm support from five to 15 pounds. By giving more arm support the higher a person reaches, the device takes strain off of the arm muscles. If you’re not convinced it would make a difference, hold your hand above your head for a few minutes.

WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY. This is only the beginning for exoskeletons at Ford. “Today, it’s only the passive upper-arm support skeleton that helps with overhead work,” Marty Smets, Ford’s technical expert of human systems and virtual manufacturing, told Engadget.

Taking one step at a time could lead Ford to other avenues of exoskeleton use within its factories. By establishing systems for the use now, Ford is well positioned to adapt new devices as they become available. “We wanted to focus on one exoskeleton initially, then expand from there as the space grows,” Smet said.

Time will tell, but perhaps man and machine can co-exist peacefully after all.

READ MORE: Ford thinks exoskeletons are ready for prime time in its factories [Engadget]

More about exoskeletons at Ford: Ford Pilots a New Exoskeleton to Lessen Worker Fatigue

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