Each week we uncover the most interesting and informative articles from around the world, here are 10 of the coolest stories in science this week.
A spiky, tank-like dinosaur discovered in a Canadian mine is so well-preserved, it looks as if the fossilized creature were frozen in time for 110 million years.
When the dinosaur died, Alberta was as warm as South Carolina is today, and sat on the coast of a shallow inland seaway that stretched from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean. It's unclear if the dinosaur drowned in the seaway or died on land and then got swept out to sea, Brown said. Either way, the carcass would have undergone a phenomenon called "bloat and float" as the body decomposed and filled with gases. [Read more about the spiky tank.]
If a celestial memorial seems fitting for a deceased loved one, you may consider sending their ashes into the heavens aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Here's how the mission will work: Once a person signs up for the memorial, they will receive a capsule, into which they will scoop a portion of the cremated remains, according to Elysium Space. Once Elysium receives the capsule in the mail, they will transfer it to a compartment within one of the spacecraft's modules. [Read more about the strange cargo.]
Millions of Americans say they engage in extreme binge drinking — or downing at least eight to 10 drinks containing alcohol on a single occasion — and the behavior appears to be on the rise in the U.S., according to a new report.
The researchers analyzed information from more than 36,000 Americans ages 18 and older who completed a survey about their alcohol consumption in 2012 to 2013. The researchers asked the participants to report the maximum number of alcoholic drinks they consumed on a single day in the past year. [Read more about the dangerous new pastime.]
Inside a 5-million-year-old sinkhole in Tennessee, at a spot dubbed Gray Fossil Site, scientists have unearthed the fossilized remains of an ancient "winged serpent" among hundreds of other snake bones.
The wing-shaped projections on the vertebrae's sides were likely where back muscles attached to the spine, according to the researchers. [Read more about the strange fossil.]
In the year 1 million, Earth's continents will look roughly the same as they do now and the sun will still shine as it does today. But humans could be so radically different that people today wouldn't even recognize them, according to a new series from National Geographic.
A look at what life was like 1 million years in the past provides an idea: At that time, modern humans didn't exist yet, and the most technologically advanced things on the planet were fire and the hand axe. (Picture trying to explain an office job to Homo Erectus, whose day was spent hunting and gathering wild foods.) [Read more about the future of humanity.]
Uninhabited yet Trashy
A tiny, uninhabited piece of land in the South Pacific Ocean, called Henderson Island, is considered one of the most remote islands in the world. But now, researchers say it has earned a much more worrisome new title: the world's most polluted island.
With as many as 671 pieces of debris per square meter (about 62 pieces per square foot), Henderson Island has the densest plastic pollution ever recorded anywhere on Earth, the researchers said. [Read more about the remote pollution.]
The "pale blue dot" has been twinkling like a brilliant diamond in satellite images, and scientists may have finally solved the mystery of why.
A powerful camera aboard the DSCOVR satellite has been taking pictures every hour since 2015 from its spot between the sun and the Earth. While skimming through these hourly images, Alexander Marshak, DSCOVR deputy project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, first noticed these sparkling lights over the oceans. [Read more about the strange sights.]
Clean Air and Energy
A small innovation could have a big impact on air pollution. In Belgium, researchers have engineered a device that uses sunlight to purify polluted air and produce hydrogen gas that can be stored and used for power.
Now, two teams have merged their expertise to create this newest device, which could purify fouled air and produce energy at the same time. [Read more about the double-duty device.]
Actor Charlie Sheen's disclosure that he is HIV positive appears to have had a striking effect on sales of home HIV testing kits, a new study suggests.
In fact, the researchers estimated that sales of home HIV testing kits were nearly eight times greater around the time of Sheen's announcement, compared with sales around the time of World AIDS Day (December 1), one of the most high-profile HIV awareness campaigns. [Read more about the uptick in sales.]
Swarms of Clay
An international team of researchers attached thousands of diminutive clay caterpillars to plants in 31 sites across six continents, from the Arctic Circle to Australia. The faux caterpillars were designed to tempt insect-eating predators in a study of global feeding patterns.
An international team of researchers attached thousands of diminutive clay caterpillars to plants in 31 sites across six continents, from the Arctic Circle to Australia. The faux caterpillars were designed to tempt insect-eating predators in a study of global feeding patterns. [Read more about the strange science.]