The new Leitrim Sweathouse Project is discovering and restoring extreme grass-covered igloo-shaped stone saunas built from the early 1600s to the early 1900s and used by residents of remote Leitrim County to treat illnesses. They won’t find leprechauns in them because everyone knows you don’t sweat the small stuff.
A study of the large cylindrical tomb of first-century Roman noblewoman Caecilia Metella found that the quality of the concrete of her tomb exceeded that of her male contemporaries’ monuments because its concrete was mixed with volcanic aggregate that caused unusual chemical interactions with rain and groundwater with that preserved it for over 2,000 years. Her tomb may have been better but she probably still only made 60 Denarii while the noblemen got 100.
Researchers at the University of Georgia found that captive western gorillas are able to recognize familiar human voices based on their relationship with the person, and responded negatively when they heard the voices of people they’d had negative interactions with. How will zoo employees react when thy find out their annual review is partly based on input from gorillas?
Bird fans are upset after New Zealand’s annual bird of the year competition included the long-tailed bat (pekapeka-tou-roa) on the list in an attempt to raise their profile as a critically endangered species. They’re incensed and it just gets worse if you say they’ve gone batty.
A new study on the brains of five Russian cosmonauts who spent months on the International Space Station found all five had elevated levels of biomarkers indicating brain cell damage in blood tests taken after their return, indicating that long-term space travel can cause brain damage. Sorry, Jeff Bezos – this is not the cause of your erratic behavior.
After a year of studying video of a massive, mysterious sea creature swimming around the shipwreck of the passenger ship Pella recorded by the crew of the OceanX OceanXplorer research vessel during an expedition in the Red Sea in late 2020, zoologist and squid expert Mike Vecchione determined it was not a small “giant squid” but a rare giant purpleback flying squid. Disappointing for giant squid fans, but it sounds like we have a new name for the band.
After baffling people across New Hampshire who heard a mysterious boom on Sunday, the American Meteor Society has determined it was caused by a bolide, possibly from either the Draconids or the Orionids meteor showers. Time for a new meme: they’re not saying it’s not aliens, but it’s not aliens.
Termites are bad for your wooden home, but giant snails are worse for stucco houses – Florida officials spent $24 million and ten years of effort to eradicate giant African land snails (Lissachatina fulica) that eat the stucco on Florida homes … the second time it’s had to get rid of them. Now they have to constantly remind Floridians that people who live in stucco houses shouldn’t throw giant snails.
After thinking they were cheap replicas and using them for years as garden ornaments, the owner in Clare, Suffolk, found out they were real 5,000-year-old sphinxes and sold them at an auction for almost $270,000. It was a thrill for the auction house experts who are more used to say, “No, that’s just a rock.”