Light Friday: Do Bad Backs and Sunburns Mean We Are Aliens?

Plus:
Your Cologne May Attract (Animal) Predators
The Most Confusing Dinosaur Ever
How to Open Cans Without a Can Opener
A Dose of Pun 


Do you have a bad back or sunburn easily? One U.S. ecologist argues that humans suffer from these maladies because we were transported to earth by aliens — and our bodies never fully adapted to earth.

American ecologist Dr. Ellis Silver highlights his case from a scientific point of view in a new book, claiming that mankind evolved in a world with lower gravity, therefore making us more susceptible to back problems. It also notes that humans have skin that is easily harmed by sunlight and even other defects not seen in other species on earth.

“Mankind is supposedly the most highly developed species on the planet, yet is surprisingly unsuited and ill-equipped for Earth’s environment: harmed by sunlight, a strong dislike for naturally occurring foods, ridiculously high rates of chronic disease, and more,” he explained to Yahoo.

He suggests that our homo erectus ancestors mated with another species, possibly “Alpha Centauri,” the closest star system to our solar system, 4.37 light years away from the sun, which is why we can’t handle sun exposure at long lengths of time.

Think about it: Those who believe such an extreme theory believe we are extraterrestrials on our own planet.

Your Cologne May Attract (Animal) Predators

Calvin Klein launched Obsession for Men fragrance in 1986 with a print ad featuring three female nudes. Little did he know that Obsession would more likely attract jungle cats than naked fashion models.

Field biologists studying camera-shy animals in the wild have found that Obsession for Men works quite well as a scent to lure such creatures to camera traps, according to The Thoughtful Animal blog maintained by Scientific American magazine.

When an animal passes in front of a camera trap, an infrared sensor triggers the shutter and a photo is taken. The traps are also used to make short videos. They help researchers gather photographic evidence of rare species and rare behavior.

A Bronx Zoo researcher apparently experimented with various scents and discovered that jaguars are attracted to the Calvin Kline cologne, according to Miguel Ordeñana, a biologist with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. Ordeñana has used the fragrance with camera traps while studying mountain lions in Southern California and jaguars in Nicaragua.

Researchers speculate that wild animals are attracted to Obsession because it contains civetone and a vanilla extract. Civetone is derived from the scent glands of civets, nocturnal cat-like creatures native to the Asian and African tropics. It’s one of the world’s oldest ingredients for fragrances, though synthetic versions are often used by manufacturers today.

“What we think is that the civetone resembles some sort of territorial marking to the jaguar, and so it responds by rubbing its own scent on it,” Ordeñana told The Thoughtful Animal.

The vanilla possibly arouses the animal’s curiosity, he said.

The lesson to everyone outside the scientific community: it’s probably a good idea to avoid a spritz of cologne before visiting a wild animal park or going on a safari.

The Most Confusing Dinosaur Ever

Following the unearthing of the huge predator King of Gore and a carnivorous platypus, it would seem paleontologists have run out of crazy to discover. However, it now appears that we have found the remains of apart-camel, part-sloth, part-ostrich dinosaur… kind of.

Canadian paleontologist Dr. Philip J. Currie, University of Alberta professor and research associate, dug up the amalgam beast in Mongolia’s Gobi desert. The Deinocheirus was a big customer, with 2.4 m arms, 20 cm claws, and an overall length of 11 to 12 m. Currie can determine all of this from the pair of arms dug up in Asia even though the skull, hands, and feet were stolen by poachers.

He proposes the — deep breath — ornithomimosaur was a cousin of T. rex, but used its length and long claws to climb trees or dig up plants, much like a sloth. The spine of the creature also had a large hump or sail like a camel (purpose unknown) while the nimble, ostrich-like frame must have helped the creature find rocks to eat. Yes, we said rocks to eat. The two Mongolian specimens were found with more 1,000 stomach stones, called gastroliths, which aid herbivores in digestion.

How to Open Cans Without a Can Opener

Picture this: The zombie apocalypse has struck. You and your crew of survivors, starving and desperate, stumble upon a treasure trove of canned goods — tuna, creamed corn, Progresso soups, even cat food for Mittens, your trusty cat who has stuck with you the whole way (just don’t rub her behind her ears, she hates that).

There’s only one thing missing. A stinking can opener! You’re doomed… all is lost… I’m sorry, Mittens.

At least, that would be most people. But you read today’s Light Friday, and we showed you this video from Crazy Russian Hacker. Turns out, all you need to open those cans is some concrete and a little elbow grease. You’re welcome! (H/T Gizmodo)

Finally, A Dose of Pun

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