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Xenophilia.com is a 20+ year collection of hand-picked true strange news items, discoveries and events. This site is currently undergoing a content review, check back for more.

Iguana-shaped rock discovered on Mars

Mars Curiosity Rover has captured the image of a rock that somewhat resembles an iguana. The iguana doppleganger was first spotted by the website UFO Sightings Daily who found the photograph on NASA’s archives of dozens of images of the barren landscape surrounding the Curiosity Rover, Fox News reported. The reptile-shaped rock is not the… Read More »

New material holds big energy hope

A new material that can store large amounts of energy with very little energy loss has been developed by researchers at the Australian National University. The material has practical applications in renewable energy storage, electric cars and defence and space technologies. “Dielectric materials are used to make fundamental electrical components called capacitors, which store energy,”… Read More »

Detected radio bursts evidence of “exotic phenomena”

The detection of four short bursts of radio waves, possibly arising from explosions billions of light years away, could be powerful tools to study our Universe, according to research published in Science. In 2006, a similar so called “Lorimer burst” was detected with the CSIRO Parkes radio telescope and its authenticity was debated with widespread… Read More »

Trust your memory? Maybe you shouldn’t

You probably feel pretty attached to your memories — they’re yours, after all. They define who you are and where you came from, your accomplishments and failures, your likes and dislikes. Your memories help you separate friends from enemies. They remind you not to eat too much ice cream or drink cheap tequila because you… Read More »

Health kick ‘reverses cell ageing’

Going on a health kick reverses ageing at the cellular level, researchers say. The University of California team says it has found the first evidence a strict regime of exercise, diet and meditation can have such an effect. But experts say although the study in Lancet Oncology is intriguing, it is too early to draw… Read More »

Math explains history: Simulation accurately captures the evolution of ancient complex societies

The question of how human societies evolve from small groups to the huge, anonymous and complex societies of today has been answered mathematically, accurately matching the historical record on the emergence of complex states in the ancient world. Intense warfare is the evolutionary driver of large complex societies, according to new research from a trans-disciplinary… Read More »

Man can play back four symphonies in his head… At once!

Bob Milne is one of the best ragtime piano players in the world, but his talents go further than that – right into the land of amazing. Bob’s brain works a little differently to the rest of us, as he can compartmentalise various functions, which allows him to play complex piano pieces while carrying on… Read More »

Blue Diamond ‘Worth Tens Of Millions’ Discovered

A massive diamond with a possible price tag of more than £36m has been discovered at a mine in South Africa. The 29.6 carat blue diamond, described as being “exceptional”, was dug up at the Cullinan mine near Pretoria – owned by Petra Diamonds. Chief executive Johan Dippenaar said: “The stones in the last year… Read More »

Unusual mechanism of DNA synthesis could explain genetic mutations

… When chromosomes experience double-strand breaks due to oxidation, ionizing radiation, replication errors and certain metabolic products, cells utilize their genetically similar chromosomes to patch the gaps via a mechanism that involves both ends of the broken molecules. To repair a broken chromosome that lost one end, a unique configuration of the DNA replication machinery… Read More »

Japanese government seeks approval to dump Fukushima groundwater into sea

The government on Monday sought approval of a nationwide fisheries federation to dump groundwater at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex into the sea on condition that the water’s contamination level is far below the legal limit. During talks with the head of the National Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations, industry ministry officials explained that… Read More »

Scientists Create First Lab-grown Limb

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have taken the first step toward developing artificial, lab-grown limbs, building a rat forelimb with functioning vascular and muscular tissue. This experimental approach could be applied to the limbs of primates – creating replacement limbs suitable for transplantation, a challenge because of the composite nature of limbs. “Limbs contain… Read More »

107-year-old man shot and killed by Arkansas police

  An elderly Arkansas man allegedly shot at a SWAT team responding to a call about a disturbance, and was killed in the confrontation. TODAY’s Thomas Roberts reports. A 107-year-old Arkansas man was shot and killed by SWAT officers after allegedly provoking a shootout on Saturday night, according to police. The Pine Bluff Police Department… Read More »

Research renaissance offers new ways out of depression

As Susan sits chatting to a nurse in a London clinic, a light tapping sound by her head signals that parts of her brain are being zapped by thousands of tiny electro-magnetic pulses from a machine plugged into the wall. The 50 year-old doctor is among growing ranks of people with so-called treatment-resistant depression, and… Read More »

Every Streetlight in NYC to go LED

When many people think of New York City, beyond the crowds their image of the city is the lights. Soon, the lit-up skyline will be much whiter because all 250,000 street lights are being switched to LEDs in the biggest retrofit project in the nation. The switch-over is part of PlaNYC, the city’s climate change… Read More »

Physicist Disentangles “Schrodinger’s Cat” Debate

In an article published August 8 byPhysical Review A, a journal of the American Physical Society, Hobson argues that the phenomenon known as “nonlocality” is key to understanding the measurement problem illustrated by “Schrodinger’s cat.” In 1935, Nobel Laureate Erwin Schrodinger used the example of a cat in a closed box to illustrate the central… Read More »

UCI researchers fabricate new camouflage coating from squid protein

What can the U.S. military learn from a common squid? A lot about how to hide from enemies, according to researchers at UC Irvine’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering. As detailed in a study published online in Advanced Materials, they have created a biomimetic infrared camouflage coating inspired by Loliginidae, also known as pencil squids… Read More »

Woman Says She Could See, Smell God

A woman who said she saw, heard, spoke with and even smelled God during a near-death experience in 2009 recounted her experiences on an episode of Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” on Tuesday. Crystal McVea, an Oklahoma native, said she spent time in heaven when she went into full respiratory arrest after a medical procedure… Read More »

Hopping out glowing green bunnies for science

There’s a long history of scientists creating glowing animals, ranging from fish to mice to cats. Now, a team of scientists from the University of Hawaii and two universities in Turkey have genetically engineered some adorable, fuzzy, glowing baby bunnies. Out of a herd of eight baby bunnies, two glow under blacklight. The glowing is… Read More »

Meditation Improves Brain Function

There is mounting evidence from researchers at leading research institutions about the benefits of meditation for brain health and function. One of the latest series of studies, from researchers at Harvard, was explained at length in the Washington Post. The short story – meditation improves brain function and grows the brain in important ways. Sara… Read More »

Whitby councillor claims to have fathered alien child

A LABOUR politician has defended his beliefs in extra-terrestrial life – after claiming to have fathered a child with an alien. Married father-of-three Simon Parkes, who represents Stakesby on Whitby Town Council, said his wife had rowed with him after revealing he had a child called Zarka with an alien he refers to as the… Read More »

Bible of Hung Kuen Kung Fu Published

It’s the staple of almost every kung fu action film ever made: the hero is targeted for revenge after teaching the deadly and closely guarded secrets of the martial art to outsiders and, even worse, foreigners. But ask Lam Chun-fai Sifu — the 73-year-old practitioner of the 300-year-old kung fu style known as Hung Kuen… Read More »

Winnipeg deep freeze as cold as uninhabited planet

In terms of astonishing weather facts, it doesn’t get much more impressive than being as cold as a distant planet for a day.The Manitoba Museum is reporting Winnipeg’s temperatures on Tuesday were actually as cold as the surface of Mars. According to the Curiosity Rover, Mars reached a maximum temperature of -29 C on Tuesday,… Read More »

British IKEA selling solar panels for free energy after 7 years

Swedish flatpack pioneers IKEA are providing eco-friendly British shoppers with their own solar panels. As well as their Billy bookcases, tea light candles and meatballs with lingonberry,IKEA customers can now get add the energy-boosting panels to their shopping trolley. The Skandinavian superstore rolled out the solar panels in their Southampton store yesterday and will sell… Read More »

Kentucky Police Set Up ‘Eating While Driving’ Checkpoints

… Kentucky State Police will be on the lookout for people who eat while they drive as part of Operation RAID, which will include checkpoints targeting “distracted drivers,” despite the fact that eating while driving is not banned in Kentucky. Operation R.A.I.D. (Remove Aggressive, Impaired and Distracted drivers from Kentucky Roadways), which starts this month,… Read More »

Video: 13-year-old builds working nuclear fusion reactor

  Not many 13-year-olds would describe themselves as an “amateur nuclear scientist.” That’s precisely what Jamie Edwards calls himself. When most kids his age are off playing video games, Edwards stays late after school to work on a control panel for a nuclear fusion reactor. He just reached his goal of becoming the youngest “fusioneer”… Read More »

Google reportedly acquires AI company DeepMind for $400M

Secretive London-based company specializes in combining machine learning to build general-purpose learning algorithms. Google is expanding its ambitions in artificial intelligence with the $400 million acquisition of AI company DeepMind, according to a report Recode. DeepMind’s Web site describes the London-based company as “cutting edge,” specializing in combing “the best techniques from machine learning and… Read More »

Man faces charges in ‘alien invasion’ school threat

A Trenton man is facing charges of false public alarm after he allegedly tried to call in an alien invasion to the county’s special services school district twice in nine days, police said. Darren Morris, 31, has no obvious connection to the school for disabled and troubled youths and was not a student there, Capt.… Read More »

The $1 billion mission to reach the Earth’s mantle

Humans have reached the moon and are planning to return samples from Mars, but when it comes to exploring the land deep beneath our feet, we have only scratched the surface of our planet. This may be about to change with a $1 billion mission to drill 6 km (3.7 miles) beneath the seafloor to… Read More »

JK Rowling to pen Harry Potter spin-off film

JK Rowling is to make her screenwriting debut in a new Harry Potter-themed film series, Warner Bros has announced.The first film of the series will be titled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Warner Bros said the film series was part of an “expanded creative partnership” with the best-selling author. Warner Bros will also… Read More »

Moon mission to look for “hopping” water and “electrified” dust

NASA’s latest moon mission, LADEE, will spend three months studying the moon’s water cycle and atmosphere – two things most of us thought the moon didn’t have. If all goes as planned, at 11:27 p.m. tonight, NASA will launch LADEE – the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, pronounced “laddy” – from its Wallops Island… Read More »

Research team confirms existence of Higgs boson elementary particle

An experiment conducted by an international research team has confirmed the existence of Higgs boson, which is widely believed to grant mass to substances in the universe, establishing the standard theory of the elementary particle. The team, comprising researchers from the University of Tokyo, the High-Energy Accelerator Research Organization and overseas research institutes, will announce… Read More »