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.
Slowing Ocean Currents?
Freak floods drown buildings, bone-chilling air flash-freezes pedestrians and ice encases the Statue of Liberty. It sounds like a disaster movie, and well, it is: In 2004's "The Day After Tomorrow," the collapse of an ocean current in the North Atlantic sends the world into a whirlwind climate doomsday. [Read more about the climate change.]
Your brain is a magician. And now, for its next trick, it will make a field of pastel colors disappear before your very eyes!
You should notice something peculiar happen: As you gaze at a single spot, all the colors around it slowly fade to white. [Read more about the illusion.]
A sliver of bone the size of a Cheeto may radically revise our view of when and how humans left Africa.
Until now, many scientists thought that early humans left Africa about 60,000 years ago and then hugged the coastline, living off marine resources, said study senior researcher Michael Petraglia, an archaeologist at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany. [Read more about the bone.]
Call it the recycled doomsday: A new prediction for the end of the world sets the apocalypse date as Monday, April 23, based on a mishmash of old numerology, re-readings of the biblical Book of Revelation and rehashed conspiracy theories about a rogue "Planet X." [Read more about the prediction.]
Munching on Monkeys
Chimpanzees are primarily plant eaters, though they enthusiastically eat animals when they can catch them, and monkeys are an especially desirable treat. But once the snack is in hand — and with so many delicious body parts to choose from — which do the predatory primates eat first? [Read more about the snack.]
Lotteries, accidents and rolls of dice — the world around us is full of unpredictable events. Yet generating a truly random series of numbers for encryption has remained a surprisingly difficult task.
Computers everywhere use random numbers as keys to lock or unlock encrypted information. Many processes for producing these keys — such as the random number generator that's probably on your computer right now — use an algorithm that spits out a seemingly arbitrary string of numbers. [Read more about the generator.]
A young male sperm whale washed up dead on the southeastern coast of Spain in February, and now scientists know what killed the animal. [Read more about tragedy.]
Biting into the "hottest pepper in the world" sounds painful enough. But for one man, the daring feat resulted in excruciating headaches, known as "thunderclap" headaches, according to a new report of his case.
The headaches were so painful that the man went to the emergency room. Doctors performed several tests for neurological conditions, which came back negative. [Read more about the pain.]
A viral story that's making the rounds online claims Buzz Aldrin, the famous astronaut who traveled with Neil Armstrong to the moon aboard Apollo 11, somehow proved via a lie-detector test to have seen a UFO in outer space. Let's be very clear here: This is flat-out wrong. [Read more about story.]
Odd Condition and Resolution
A mysterious vomiting condition tied to marijuana use has an even stranger antidote: hot showers.
But what causes this condition, and why would hot showers relieve people's symptoms? [Read more about solution.]