Author Archives: Brandon Specktor, Senior Writer

230-year-old secret code is inscribed on a rock in France. Can you decipher it?

Do you fancy yourself a puzzler? Continue reading

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Archaeologists discovered a hidden chamber in Roman emperor Nero’s underground palace

Archaeologists have discovered a hidden vault in the ruins of Roman Emperor Nero’s sprawling palace, hidden under the hills near Rome’s ancient Colosseum. Continue reading

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Scientists discovered a 2,624-year-old tree in a North Carolina swamp. Climate change could kill it.

A tree grows in North Carolina, and it has been growing there for a long, looooooong time. Continue reading

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Scientists think they’ve found the ancient neutron star crash that showered our solar system in gold

Two astronomers think they’ve pinpointed the ancient stellar collision that gave our solar system its cache of precious gold and platinum — some of it, anyway. Continue reading

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During the last lunar eclipse, a meteor smacked the Moon in the face at 38,000 Mph

On January 21, 2019, the full moon passed entirely into Earth’s shadow and, well, got smacked in the face pretty hard. Continue reading

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Alaska’s excelsior glacier is being replaced by a lake 5 times the size of Central Park

Seventy years ago, Alaska’s Excelsior Glacier stretched its cold fingers from a vast plain in the state’s southern edge nearly all the way to the North Pacific Ocean. Continue reading

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Men’s beards contain more harmful bacteria than dogs’ fur, small study suggests

A small European study has found that the average man’s beard is more replete with human-pathogenic bacteria than the dirtiest part of a dog’s fur. Continue reading

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Turbulent blobs in Earth’s core may explain sudden jerks in the magnetic field

Earth’s magnetic shield defends our planet from the scourges of solar wind and cosmic radiation, making life on our planet possible. Continue reading

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The Hubble just took a gorgeous new image of the Southern Crab Nebula’s wonky gas bubbles

Twenty years ago, the Hubble Space Telescope revealed a giant crab in the sky. Continue reading

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Ancient microbes ate each other’s corpses to survive beneath the Dead Sea

On its salty surface, the Dead Sea is famous for making giddy tourists float like beach balls. Continue reading

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Extinct ‘pig-footed bandicoot’ galloped around Australia like a wonky little horse

Scientists have discovered a new species of pig-footed bandicoot — an extinct Australian marsupial that looks like a kangaroo, an opossum and a deer got a bit too friendly at the local watering hole — and it’s about as strange as you’d hope. Continue reading

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Astronomers find fossils of early universe stuffed in Milky Way’s bulge

Astronomers peered into the dusky bulge of the Milky Way and found some of the oldest known stars in the universe. Continue reading

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These two cosmic ‘chimneys’ could be fueling the galaxy-sized bubbles looming over the Milky Way

The supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy is a bit like the hearth at the center of a cozy pub. Continue reading

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Newly discovered ‘starry dwarf frog’ wears a galaxy on its back, hides in dead leaves

On a lonely plateau in India’s Western Ghat mountains , an ancient family of frogs has quietly hidden among the fallen leaves for millions of years, evading human detection. Continue reading

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Lost cave of ‘Jaguar God’ rediscovered below Mayan Ruins — and it’s full of treasure

Shimmying through a maze of dark tunnels below the Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, archaeologists have rediscovered a long-sealed cave brimming with lost treasure. Continue reading

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Opium-addicted parrots are terrorizing poppy farms in India

Poppy farmers in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India have reportedly run into some trouble while cultivating this season’s crops. Continue reading

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A pair of gargantuan space bubbles might be spitting cosmic rays at Earth

Astronomers have discovered a distant galaxy that’s giddily blowing bubbles like a toddler with a glass of chocolate milk. Continue reading

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210-million-year-old ‘dragon’ ate bones (and its own teeth) for breakfast

Smok wawelski, a T. rex -like apex predator that roamed what is now Europe about 210 million years ago, used to chew up its prey, bones and all. Continue reading

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Stunning new map of the Milky Way shows 800 million stars, galaxies and near-earth asteroids

At first, it looks like a planet: dark, snow-speckled and slashed down the center by a deep red scar. Continue reading

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Earth’s mysterious ‘deep biosphere’ Is home to millions of subterranean ‘zombie’ lifeforms

Life on Earth takes billions of shapes , but to see most of them you’ll have to dig deep below the planet’s surface. Continue reading

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