Hi, I’m a brain parasite
This creature wants to live in your brain. Rat lungworm infections are rare in the U.S. but they still occur, and have become more common in places like Hawaii, which has had nine reported infections in the last three months. It’s also been spotted in California, the Gulf Coast, and Oklahoma. For details, Popsci reports here. But in short, wash your hands after playing with snails and slugs.
The Earth at night, new and improved
NASA and NOAA teamed up to make a new tool that takes pictures of the Earth at night in unprecedented detail. It’s called the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), and it’s sensitive enough to detect a lone highway lamp in the middle of the Mohave Desert. The images can help us better understand how human communities are spreading, or see where there’s illegal oil drilling happening under the shroud of night.
Do you live in landslide country?
Gravity, it seems, still can’t be beat, and it often shows itself in the form of landslides. NASA scientists keep track of global landslide susceptibility. Steep slopes, rainfall, deforestation, and faults are crucial factors. The oranges and yellows show areas that are at a higher to severe risk for collapse.
Natural History Museum of London/Mark Witton
A bloodthristy dino cousin
This carnivorous lizard lived before dinos ever stalked the land. The Teleocrater rhadinus fascinates paleontologists because it provides researchers with an idea of what dinosaurs’ distant cousins looked like – which is similar to a crocodile.
This volcano may be a penguin killer
Researchers journeyed to remote Ardley Island (off of Antarctica) to study lake sediments, and they accidentally came upon a bounty of Gentoo penguin bones. Studying the volcanic ash preserved in the sediments around the penguin remains, the researchers determined that when nearby Deception Island—which is actually a partially submerged volcano—blew, it likely wiped out a significant number of Gentoo Penguins. Unfortunately for the Gentoo Penguins, the volcano is still active.
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