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Strange news archive: March-April 2007

real 'kryptonite'
'Kryptonite' discovered in mine
(Apr 24, 2007)

Kryptonite is no longer just the stuff of fiction feared by caped superheroes. A new mineral matching its unique chemistry – as described in the film Superman Returns – has been identified in a mine in Serbia. According to movie and comic-book storylines, kryptonite is supposed to sap Superman's powers whenever he is exposed to its large green crystals.

Read more. Source: BBC

giant gypsum crystals
Giant crystals enjoyed perfection
(Apr 12, 2007)

With lengths over 11 m, the giant gypsum crystals found in Mexico's Cueva de los Cristales are a great natural wonder. Now, a Spanish-Mexican team thinks it can explain how these marvels acquired their immense form. The scientists studied tiny pockets of fluid trapped in the crystals and conducted back-up lab experiments.

Read more. Source: BBC

Joan of Arc remains
Joan of Arc remains 'are fakes'
(Apr 9, 2007)

Bones thought to be the holy remains of 15th century French heroine Joan of Arc were in fact made from an Egyptian mummy and a cat, research has revealed. In 1867, a jar was found in a Paris pharmacy attic, along with a label claiming it held relics of Joan's body. But new forensic tests suggest that the remains date from between the third and sixth centuries BC – hundreds of years before Joan was even born.

Read more. Source: BBC

Dog-sized toad found in Australia
(Mar 27, 2007)

A giant cane toad the size of a small dog and nicknamed Toadzilla has been captured in northern Australia. Toadzilla is the biggest cane toad ever found in Australia's Northern territory and weighs just under two pounds, according to an environmental group. Environmentalists have been trying to stop the spread of the poisonous creatures across the country's tropics.

Read more. Source: BBC

France opens up its UFO files
(Mar 23, 2007)

France became the first country to open its files on UFOs on Thursday when the national space agency unveiled a website documenting more than 1600 sightings spanning five decades. The online archives, which will be updated as new cases are reported, catalogues in minute detail cases ranging from the easily dismissed to a handful that continue to perplex even hard-nosed scientists. "It is a world first," says Jacques Patenet, the aeronautical engineer who heads the office for the study of "non-identified aerospatial phenomena."

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Will Houdini be there? Remains to be seen
(Mar 23, 2007)

The family of the legendary escapologist Harry Houdini today announced plans to exhume his body in a bid to discover whether he was murdered. Houdini's great nephew George Hardeen said the family wanted to determine whether he was poisoned by spiritualists in revenge for his debunking of their claims of contact with the dead.

Read more. Source: Guardian

R2D2 mailbox
Star Wars' R2-D2 to collect post
(Mar 16, 2007)

Postboxes across the US are to be dressed up as Star Wars robot R2-D2 to celebrate 30 years since the release of the sci-fi series' first outing. Some 400 boxes will get the new look, including outside Hollywood's Grauman Chinese Theatre, one of first cinemas to screen the film in 1977. The makeover is part of a post office campaign for the announcement of a surprise stamp on 28 March.

Read more. Source: BBC

Obi-Wan Kenobi
Star Wars cloak sells for 54,000
(Mar 7, 2007)

A cloak worn by Sir Alec Guinness in Star Wars, which went missing for 30 years, has been sold for 54,000 at an auction of cinema and TV outfits. Estimates suggested the plain, brown robe, seen on the sci-fi film's Obi-Wan Kenobi character, would reach 40,000. Tom Baker's Doctor Who costume - comprising a burgundy coat, brown tweed trousers and striped scarf – fetched 24,600, 12 times the anticipated sum.

Read more. Source: BBC


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