Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Last Minutes of the Dinosaurs


Excavation Sites in Patagonia – Hundreds of Fossil Fragments

At the excavation sites in Patagonia, hundreds of fossil fragments seemed to be scattered, revealing the mass graves of duck-billed dinosaurs. The discovery is a part of year’s long research wherein researchers had set out to excavate and study fossil remains from the base of South American to the northern tip of Antarctica. This would enable scientists to understand better the varying conditions since the continents started to form millions of years back.

According to Scientific American, the researchers have disclosed over four miles of hadrosaur bone comprising of parts of the rib, femur, cage and vertebrae. These dinosaurs are said to be duck-billed herbivores and seem to be the southernmost dinosaurs that are found in South America. Marcelo Leppe, a paleobotanist as well as chief scientist at the Chilean Antarctic Institute – Inach, informed Scientific American that, `something big happened here.

There were thousands of animals whose bones are partially burned, perhaps they were victims of a paleo-wildfire and it is somewhat strange’. The sites throughout Patagonia inclusive of El Puesto, Las Chinas as well as Gerro Guido together with part of the Dorotea and Cerro Fortalexa formations in the vicinity of the border of Argentina had been excavated by the researchers.

Discoveries Support Earlier Theories

Together with the hadrosaur fossils, titanosaurid sauropods were also discovered at the site, which is the largest dinosaurs in Chile, along with the marine reptiles and the fragments of plants. Scientific Americans explained that these provided an insight of the continents between 72 and 66 million years back, the times just before the Chicxulub meteorite struck. Researchers now state that the time period had been active with new species and competition.

Accounts of this type were said to be a missing factor and now can be helpful in explaining the events at the end of the Cretaceous era. So far, the discoveries of the team tend to support the earlier theories on the era’s changing climate. It is presumed that this period faced severe drop in sea level around 25 meters over a million years.

In Patagonia and Antarctica’s James Ross Basin as well as the South Shetland Islands, the researchers had discovered evidence which supported the decline sea levels together with three cooling events 73 million, 70 million and 68 million years ago.

Financed by National Commission for Scientific & Technology Research

The international team of researchers, over the period of many years, had only three weeks of every summer to excavate sites in the mountain area of Patagonia. In the archaeological site in Chile, the researchers had also discovered the oldest fossil leaves of the Nothofagus tree together with other forest features that had also been located in the Antarctica.

All these discoveries have been helpful in supporting the theories of a land bridge connecting the two continents. The team is financed mainly by the National Commission for Scientific and Technology Research of Chile comprises of experts in paleomagnetism, plants, pollen, geology, dinosaurs together with marine reptiles.

 The research is said to continue for many years and is already working on biostratigraphy, paleodiversity, past climate utilising plant fossils and isotopic analysis of strontium carbon and oxygen. It will also look at microglendonites – hydrated crystals formed in marine environment besides other investigation that will take place at the research centres in the five countries and very soon in U.K.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Robot Finds 'Monster' Remains in Loch Ness

Loch Ness

Remains of Monster Loch Ness Found

The remains of a monster in Loch Ness have been found by scientist, though it was not the one they had been searching. The 30 foot long model is presumed to have got there when it was disposed off. The model used in 1970 film, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, directed by Billy Wilder, had been discovered by an underwater robot which had been carrying out what had been described as `the most in depth survey of Loch Ness ever’.

When the filming was completed, the team had taken parts off the model, including its humps which were removed and it sank to the bottom of the lake to get rid of it. A retired fisherman, earlier this year stated that he had discovered a new crevice large enough to fit the legendary monster.

The leader of the Loch Ness Project, Adrian Shine, informed that the robot which was called Munin could approach areas of interest and image them at `extremely high resolution. It used sonar imaging to map vast areas to a depth of 1,500m. He informed Sky News that Loch Ness is 230m deep but that there had been claims that it was deeper and had a `special trench’.

Survey Conducted by Munin

He added that the torpedo-like robot had searched the area but `sadly the trench is not there. So the Nessie’s lair of a few weeks ago does not exist’.A spokesman for Visit Scotland, supporting the project stated that operation Ground truth had discovered a recognisable creature and though it has the shape of Nessie, it is not the remains of the monster that has mystified the world for 80 years but a star of the silver screen’. The discovery somewhat reflected the plot of the original film, starring Christopher Lee, comprising of a monster which turned out to be a hidden naval submarine.

The model had been found on the loch bed during a pioneering survey of the huge stretch of water, which some expected would find the real creature. However the survey seemed to disappoint them It revealed that the `Nessie trench’ which some believed, existed at the northern basin of the loch and could be hiding the monster, which does not really exist. The survey is said to be conducted by Munin, capable of swimming around and exploring areas of the bed which have never been explored before.

A Sense of Mystery Around What Lies Beneath Loch Ness

The survey which is the first of its kind in Scotland is being done over two weeks by Kongsberg Maritime and supported by Visit Scotland and the LochNess Project.In the past, Loch Ness had been difficult to survey owing to its depth and steeply sloping side walls.

It is said that Munin can map massive areas to depth of 4,921ft and has been utilised to search for downed aircraft and sunken vessels in the past. Adrian Shine had commented that `since Munin can dive and navigate itself safely at great depth, it can approach features of interest and image them at tremendously high resolution. He further added that they have already excellent images of the difficult side wall topography and are looking forward to discover artefacts symbolic of the human history of the area.

Malcolm Roughead chief executive of VisitScotland has stated that they are excited to see the findings from this in-depth survey by Kongsberg, but no matter how state-of-the-art the equipment may be and what it could reveal, there would always be a sense of mystery around what may lie beneath Loch Ness.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Death of Mary Reeser


Reported Event of Mary Reeser

Reported events of spontaneous human combustion wherein a person tends to burst into flames with no obvious cause, dates back to the late 15th century. One of the most recent incidents which have been mentioned more often is that of Mary Reeser. A 67 year old, Reeser, a resident of St. Petersburg, Florida had spent the evening of July 1, 1951, in a most amazing way, receiving visits from her son as well as her neighbour.

At that point of time, Mary Reeser had been wearing a rayon nightgown, bedroom slippers and a robe and when they had left her, everything in the apartment seemed to be normal. The next morning, a telegram courier had arrived and receiving no answer to his knock at the door had summoned the same neighbour who had visited her earlier.

They had found the doorknob hot to the touch and they sought help from the nearby construction workers and according to other source, policemen for help in getting into the apartment. When they got into the apartment, they observed that the apartment was unusually warm inspite of the fact that some of the windows seemed to be open.

No Indication of Break-in/Burglary

In a corner of the room they noticed a pile of ashes, which were the burnt remains of a chair and lamp together with an electric clock with a melted plug that had stopped at 4.20 a.m. Other than the burnt remnants in this area, the apartment seemed to be completely undisturbed. On close inspection, in the ashes, they found a left foot of the women still wearing a slipper, while other sources stay that it was a shrunken human skull. It was all that was left of Mary Reeser.

There was no indication of a break-in or burglary or any kind of outside influence in the apartment and the authorities were confused, seeking the help of consultants. According to the experts, this seems to be no ordinary fire. They had estimated that a fire of 3,000 degrees burning for many hours would be required in order to consume a human being thoroughly. With the fire of such intensity, burning for that long, gave rise to queries as to why the rest of the apartment if not the complete building had not burned down.

Cause – Neglected Cigarette

St. Petersburg police sought the help of the F.B.I., but they could not shed any light on the incident. The F.B.I. had informed that there was no spontaneous human combustion nor was her death caused by lightning or chemicals. Wilton Krogman, physical anthropologist and a consultant on the case wrote that he found it hard to believe that a human body once ignited will literally consume itself, burn itself out as does a candle wick….never had he seen a body so completely consumed by heat.

This is contrary to normal experience and regards it as the most amazing thing ever seen and as he reviews it,he feels a vague fear. Possible explanations have come up ranging from ball lightning to explosives and after careful examination which went nowhere; the police eventually and lamely put the cause as a `neglected cigarette’.Just what could have occurred on that fateful night at St Petersburg seems to be a mystery which tends to remain unsolved.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

History Mystery: Black Hole Tragedy of India


Black Hole Tragedy – An Event of Indian History

The Black Hole that depicts the dark Tragedy is an event side of Indian History. Siraj ud-daulah, the Nawab of Bengal then had captured Fort William and Calcutta, on June 20, 1756, in which laid the main power of the British East India Company. After the fall of the fort, the British together with the Anglo-Indian prisoners of war had been pushed in small and stuffy dungeon at Fort William which is referred as the Black Hole of Calcutta.

 It was reported that around 146 people had been imprisoned. It was claimed by the British that the dungeon had a possible dimension of 24 x 18 feet which was not adequately spacious to accommodate so many of them who had been forcibly shoved into the congested place.

According to the British records, the next morning about 123 of the prisoners had succumbed to their contrary conditions which was mainly owing to suffocation, crushing and unbearable heat. One of the survivors, John Zephaniah Holwell had provided this statistical information, though some state that the total number of captives was not over 69 and Indian troops had taken the surviving defenders prisoner.

Debate Regarding Precise Toll Still Continues….

Those among the prisoners were civilians and soldiers. Three other captives together with Holwell had been sent as prisoners to Murshidabad while the rest of the survivors had been released after the interference and following victory of Robert Clive. The debates regarding the precise toll tend to continue till date and the actual figures are not known. The Black Hole of Calcutta thereafter was utilised as a warehouse and a monument of 50 feet high had been set up in memory of the dead by Holwell but by 1822, it had vanished and presently there are no traces of the black hole.

Substantial history is there behind the capture of Fort William and the event of the Black Hole of Calcutta. The British had set up Fort William in order to safeguard the trade of the British East India Company, in the city of Calcutta in the region around Bengal. Towards 1756, in an attempt to colonize Bengal and steadily the rest of India as well as to be prepared for possible battles with the French forces, the British had started strengthening the military defense of Fort William.

Affected Internal Political/Military Affairs of Bengal

By doing so, they had affected the internal political as well as the military affairs of Bengal and the ruling Nawab of Bengal – Siraj ud-Daulah was unhappy with the excessive interference and envisaged it as a probable threat to the sovereignty of Bengal. He had ordered the British to end the on-going military action. However, the British did not seem to list to him.

In an attempt to curb the violence of British, the Nawab of Bengal had stormed the fort and killed several of them. The chief officer of the battalion planned an escape and a token force had been kept in the military fort, under the control of John Zephaniah Holwell who was a military surgeon and a top East India Company civil servant. The soldiers belonging to the allied troops who were mainly Dutch, in the meanwhile had abandoned the fight and the British eventually failed to resist the attack of the Nawab.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Elephant's Foot

Elephant's Foot

The Elephant’s Foot – Solid Mass of Melted Nuclear Fuel

The Elephant’s Foot is said to be a solid mass of melted nuclear fuel which is mixed with plenty of concrete, sand together with core sealing material which the fuel had melted through and is located in a basement area beneath the original location of the core. The radiation level on the Elephant’s Foot had been measured at 10,000 roentgens per hour in 1986.

Towards the fall of 1986, the emergency crew struggling to contain the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl had made it in a steam corridor below failed reactor Number 4. In the chambers, they observed black lava which had emanated straight from the core and the most known formation was a solid flow which their radiation sensors informed them not to approach it.

 The workers dubbed the dimly lit mass as the Elephant’s Foot. As per the readings taken at that time, the still hot proportion of molten core extinguished adequate radiation to give a deadly dose in 300 seconds. Anyone who approached it would have received a deadly dose within a minute. After just 30 seconds of exposure, the person would experience fatigue and dizziness a week later and two minutes of exposure, the cells would soon tend to haemorrhage. Four minutes would result in vomiting, diarrhoea with fever and at 300 seconds one would have two days to live.

Elephant's Foot_1

The Chernobyl Disaster

The Chernobyl disaster had taken place on April 26, 1986 at 1.23 a.m. when exceedingly hot nuclear fuel rods were lowered in cooling water and an immense amount of steam developed which due to the reactors design defects produced more reactivity in the nuclear core of reactor number 4.

 The subsequent power surge caused a great explosion which detached the 1,000 ton plate covering the reactor core, emancipating radiation in the atmosphere and blocked the flow of coolant into the reactor. Seconds later, a another explosion of a greater power than the first blew the reactor building apart and send out burning graphite together with other parts of the reactor core around the plant.

This started a number of intense fires around the damaged reactor and reactor number 3 that was still functioning during the explosions. When the nuclear fires were eventually controlled, workers climbed to contain the invisible dangers of the failed Chernobyl core.

Unknown Crystalline Forms - Chernobylites

After a period of six months of investigation, researchers discovered the Elephant’s Foot and with the help of remote camera, an extremely radioactive mass was discovered in the basement of Unit 4 which was two meters wide, weighing hundreds of tons and was called the `elephant’s foot’ due to its wrinkled form.

Concrete below the reactor had been steaming hot and was crack opened by solidified lava together with remarkable unknown crystalline forms called chernobylites. Chernobylite is a techno-genic mineral, a crystalline zirconium silicate having high content of uranium as a solid solution. It is highly radioactive owing to its high uranium content and contamination by fission products.

Thereafter it was concluded that there was no more risk of explosion. The contents of the Chernobyl tomb will tend to remain radioactive at least for the next 100,000 years and all the fire fighters together with the people who had worked in building the tomb had died around a year or so after the incident.