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Strange news archive: July-August 2007

giant spider web in lake Tawakoni State Park, Texas
Texan spiders spin 'monster web'
(Aug 31, 2007)

An enormous spider web has been found at Lake Tawakoni State Park, Texas. It is not the work of one giant spider – rather, millions of small ones have been spinning away and now it is twice the size of a football field. Park rangers are not sure why the spiders have joined forces – they describe it as a rare occurrence.

Read more. Source: BBC

gem said to be world's largest diamond next to a mobile phone
'Massive' gem dug up in S Africa
(Aug 29, 2007)

A small South African mining company has claimed to have discovered the world's biggest-ever diamond. A shareholder in the unnamed mine told the BBC the stone had been unearthed at their operation in the north-west province on Monday afternoon. He said the giant gem was about 7,000 carats – which would be twice the size of the Cullinan Diamond, centre-piece of the British crown jewels.

Read more. Source: BBC

out-of-body experience
Out-of-body experience recreated
(Aug 23, 2007)

Experts have found a way to trigger an out-of-body experience in volunteers. The experiments, described in the Science journal, offer a scientific explanation for a phenomenon experienced by one in 10 people. Two teams used virtual reality goggles to con the brain into thinking the body was located elsewhere. The visual illusion plus the feel of their real bodies being touched made volunteers sense that they had moved outside of their physical bodies.

Read more. Source: BBC

Fisherman catches 'living fossil'
(Aug 2, 2007)

An extremely rare "living fossil" caught by a fisherman in Indonesia is being examined by scientists. The 1.3m-long (4.3ft), 50kg (110lb) coelacanth is only the second ever to have been captured in Asia and has been described as a "significant find". An autopsy and genetic tests are now being carried out to determine more about the specimen.

Read more. Source: BBC

Oscar the cat
US cat 'predicts patient deaths'
(Jul 26, 2007)

A US cat that is reportedly able to sense when a nursing home's residents are about to die is baffling doctors. Oscar has a habit of curling up next to patients at the home in Providence, Rhode Island, in their final hours. According to the author of a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the two-year-old cat has been observed to be correct in 25 cases so far.

Read more. Source: BBC

Saucers in the sky
(Jul 4, 2007)

It's 60 years since the term flying saucer was coined and the most celebrated "extraterrestrial" episode – Roswell. Alien believers are dismissed as cranks, but even the earthly explanations of objects in the sky are fascinating. Sixty years ago Kenneth Arnold saw something which changed his own life, the life of millions of others and impacted on popular culture like a shockwave.

Read more. Source: BBC

Pleistocene Park
Siberian window on the Ice Age
(Jul 2, 2007)

A Russian biologist has been trying to recreate a fully fledged Ice Age eco-system in a remote corner of Siberia, complete, if possible, with woolly mammoths. From the plane, the landscape was green – thousands of kilometres of seemingly empty tundra, forest and scrubland, punctuated by oxbow lakes, meanders and intricate waterways. But from the small boat driven by Sergei Zimov along the Kolyma River, everything was blue.

Read more. Source: BBC


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