Archive for July 6th, 2007

Vampire anatomy research kit

Via Alex CF in the comments:

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Here is a link to the eBay auction.

The research kit, suitable I’m sure for field investigations, includes:

The partial skull fragment of a Homo wampyrus, housed within a glass display dome
optical aparatus. multi armed magnifying lense device, with extendable mirror and vice armatuer for examination of blood and bone fragments
Foetal homo wampyrus. studying the spread of the vampiric strain
blood samples taken from 7 newly infected humans
slide comparison of human and vampiric blood
test tubes -
tissue sample
silver nitrate and its properties
spare tube
glass specimen jars – garlic, various roots/samples

And more.

Here is a link to the item on his blog.

Here is a link to his site, The Art of Alex CF, macabre oddities both drawn and fabricated.

Saturn’s ‘tiny moon’ resembles sponge

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From The Scotsman:

MEASURING a mere 165 miles in diameter, Hyperion is easily one of the smallest of the 34 moons known to be circling Saturn, the second-biggest planet in the solar system.

But stunning images of the tiny moon have revealed that Hyperion is also one of the most bizarre looking natural satellites in outer space.

Detailed images, taken when the US-European space probe Cassini came within 310 miles of the icy moon that orbits Saturn every 21.3 days, show that Hyperion looks amazingly like a giant sponge.

Scientists have revealed that its strange appearance is down to the fact that it is speckled with fresh craters up to six miles wide.

They believe that the surface of the oddly shaped moon is also highly porous, enhancing the preservation of the craters in remarkably good condition. Dr Peter Thomas and his colleagues at Cornell University in New York have published their detailed analysis of the Cassini pictures in the latest edition of the journal Nature.

You can also find more on Hyperion on Multimedia Science. PhysOrg details the satellite Cassini’s discovery of hydrocarbons on Hyperion, so the sponge-looking planet also has soaked up some moisture.

…Cassini spacecraft has revealed for the first time surface details of Saturn’s moon Hyperion, including cup-like craters filled with hydrocarbons that may indicate more widespread presence in our solar system of basic chemicals necessary for life.

Rare crystals grow in ancient corpses

It does not get more morbid or beautiful than this. From the Xinhua (China) news service:

JING’AN — Chinese archaeologists exploring a 2,500-year-old tomb in east China’s Jiangxi province that contained 47 coffins in a remarkable state of preservation were stunned to discover several pieces of green crystal lodged in the bones of the skeletons in the coffins.

One of the diamond-shaped crystals was 8.5 centimeters long.

The coffins also contained bronze, gold, silk, porcelain and jade items and even body tissue.

Archaeologists said the crystals appeared to have “grown” in the bones. They pointed out that the coffins were made from halved nanmu, a rare and extremely durable wood, and covered in white plaster and a layer of loess.

The fact that the coffins were fire-heated to make them waterproof and airtight may be a factor in the creation of the crystals. Classically, crystals are formed when rocks are heated and then cool slowly over time.

Archaeologists said there were no previous records of green-colored crystals being found in tombs and said they would help scientists understand changes to the human body in different conditions.

snip

The main coffin, weighing more than a ton, was opened at about 10 a.m. Monday. Archaeologists found a round, exquisitely-made piece of gold foil as well as a jade pendant in the shape of a dragon. Experts believe the two treasured decorative items could be symbols of the dead person’s social status or political power.

In another coffin, archaeologists found a beautifully-preserved skeleton lying on its right side.

“The coffins were tightly sealed and there was very little oxygen in there for bacteria to reproduce. This may explain why most of the skeletons are intact,” said Zhu.

The discovery will provide valuable clues to the study of social customs, funeral rites and lifestyles in the area 2,500 years ago, experts said.

No pictures, unfortunately. Meanwhile, how long do you think it’ll be until the people of Earth discover to our misfortune that the crystals are the remnants of Lovecraftian species that grafted itself onto the human hosts and that is why such elaborate steps were taken with the 47 coffins? I’m not saying that the planet is doomed by this discovery, I’m just saying if it does happen, remember you read about it here first.

 
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