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Scientists Discover Tiny Shark That Glows In The Dark



Scientists recently discovered a new species of shark present in the Gulf of Mexico. While explorers are constantly coming across new and unknown species in the animal and plant kingdoms, what makes this find especially interesting is that this shark secretes a bioluminescent fluid in order to attract its prey. Bioluminescent is a scientific term for glow in the dark.

The shark is known by its scientific name Mollisquama mississippiensis or American Pocket Shark. It was first observed in the gulf in 2010 while scientists observed sperm whales feeding and was published in a Tulane University study in the animal taxonomy journal.

Mark Grace of the National Marine Fisheries Service Mississippi Laboratories of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported he noticed the shark’s special ability during an examination of the collected specimen in 2013 for a NOAA survey. The small shark, a subspecies of the ketefin shark measuring just five and a half inches, releases clouds of glowing colors from strange pouches near its gills.


An American Pocket Shark. (Photo Credit: ABC News)

Grace also noted that the only known specimen like it so far was captured in the eastern Pacific Ocean in 1979 and is kept in the Zoological Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, although both are different species from separate oceans.

A Rare Find

Henry Bart, director of the Tulane Biodiversity Research Institute, has said that this one of a kind discovery proves just how little we know about the biodiversity in the Gulf of Mexico. Grace claims both known species of bioluminescent sharks are “exceedingly rare”. Marked differences include fewer vertebrae as well as photophores (a light-producing organ in fish and other animals) covering large portions of the pocket shark’s body. However, both species have two small holes which produce a luminous fluid, one on either side of the gills.

As reported by Live Science, other bioluminescent, or glow-in-the-dark, sharks include Scyliorhinus rotifer, a chain catshark, and the swell shark, which is said to twinkle. The new species of shark from the Gulf of Mexico will join the ranks of the other one hundred eighty species of light emitting fish reported by Wired magazine. As stated in the article, scientists believe some species use biofluorescence to communicate with one and other while remaining hidden from predators.

The light emitted by bioluminescent fish is unable to be seen by the naked eye. Scientists are able to capture images of glowing fish by using a special type of photography using blue lights and cameras with yellow filters which block the blue light and capture the glow.

Other Amazing Discoveries

Other amazing discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico include a giant squid spotted and recorded on video by the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration recently. The giant cephalopod was seen about one hundred miles southeast off the coast of New Orleans, Louisiana. In 2014 BOEM, The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, along with NOAA, released a two-volume report listing and showing images of one hundred seven new species discovered along the ocean floor in the Gulf of Mexico including twenty-four undescribed species which do not fit into any genera.

What wonders lie in the vast depths of the world’s seas is perhaps as mysterious as what we have yet to discover in the vastness of deep space. As exploration and imaging technology advances, we are sure to uncover mysteries and learn of new worlds with new life.

JP is a social media and marketing specialist. He has a cum laude BA in Psychology from Kean University. He is an activist within the sociopolitical spectrum and a proponent for radical reform. He loves to write and produce Hip Hop and EDM. He is also a Deadhead.



Nasa says an asteroid is flying towards Earth in one of the closest encounters ever recorded




According to NASA, an asteroid is speeding towards our planet and is said to be one of the closest passes it will make.

It is expected to fly past us without incident, coming closer to Earth than many celestial bodies’ orbits.

The asteroid will reach its closest point at 12:27am UK time on Friday or 7:27pm Eastern time on Thursday.

The object’s size is estimated to be approximately 3.5 meters by 8.5 meters.

On the 21st of January, an amateur astronomer, Gennadiy Borisov, discovered comet 2l/Borisov, a peculiar item believed to have descended from deeper space.

After other astronomers verified this object’s presence within a few days and made numerous observations, scientists were able to identify its path through the cosmos.

NASA’s Scout system, which identifies potential collision risks, analyzed the asteroid after it was detected and predicted it would miss us, just barely.

“Despite the limited observations, Scout was able to make an accurate forecast,” the agency said.

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Scientists Capture Two Murder Hornet Queens Alive And Destroy First Known Nest



Earlier this week, scientists destroyed the first “murder hornet” nest in the US, but two queens managed to escape. “Murder hornets” are an invasive species to the United States that has been making headlines this year. The real name for this insect is the “Asian giant hornet” but it has earned the nickname “murder hornet” because they are actually capable of killing a human being, and they are also a major threat to honeybee populations, which are already dangerously low.

On Wednesday, Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) officials were able to cut down and remove the entire tree that once held the first known murder hornet nest, and this is where they found the two queens. Incredibly the scientists managed to capture the queens in vials, according to CBS News.

They also captured 13 other live hornets for observation and research.


In a statement on Friday, WSDA announced the finding, describing the process that scientists went through to take apart the tree.

Over the next several days, WSDA entomologists will continue to analyze the nest and its contents. They will record data such as the number and caste of adult specimens, the number and size of the nest cells, overall nest size, weight and length of collected specimens, and more. All of the data will be made publicly available when it is complete and will be posted to the WSDA’s Asian giant hornet webpage at


Murder Hornets were discovered in the US after an entire hive of honey bees was destroyed back in November and the bees were found decapitated. A short time after, two Asian giant hornets were found just a few miles north near Blaine, near the U.S.-Canadian border. After that incident, scientists and residents were on the lookout for the species.

Anyone who finds a murder hornet nest is urged to contact their local health authorities instead of attempting to damage the nest themselves. In previous cases, people have attempted to destroy murder hornet nests, only to find out that they were actually regular bee nests.

Doug Yanega, senior museum scientist for the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside told the LA Times that these insects aren’t as threatening as they appear to be, and reminded reporters that the “murder hornets” have not created an armageddon in Asia yet, and they have been there hundreds of years, but they do represent a danger to other insects as an invasive species.

The Asian giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia, is the world’s largest hornet species. They have large yellow-orange heads, prominent eyes and are between 1.5 to 2 inches long. The Asian giant hornet is often confused with the yellow-legged hornet (Vespa velutina), also known as the Asian hornet, an invasive species of major concern across Europe, including the UK. In some Japanese mountain villages, the nests are excavated and the larvae are considered a delicacy when fried.

Washington residents are still asked to report Asian giant hornet sightings (with a photo if possible) online, via email at [email protected], or by calling 1-800-443-6684.

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Scientists Find Evidence Of Water On The Moon



Scientists with NASA have recently announced that they have found significant evidence showing that water exists on the moon. Their research has also indicated that this water could be possible for humans to tap into, if a base of some sort were to be built on the moon.

For most of recent history, scientists believed that the moon was likely dry because it does not have an atmosphere to insulate it from the sun’s rays. However, many researcher’s attitudes on the subject changed in the 1990s when a spacecraft found evidence of ice in the craters at the moon’s poles. Then in 2009, imaging spectrometers onboard India’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft recorded signatures consistent with water in light reflecting off the moon’s surface, according to the Guardian.

While this gave scientists hope that there was water on the moon, it was impossible for them to tell if it was water for sure, because the readings could have actually been hydroxyl molecules, and not actual H2O.

However, a team at Nasa’s ASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, led by Casey Honniball has been able to prove that the signature is in fact H2O. They confirmed this finding by measuring the wavelengths of sunlight reflecting off the moon’s surface. The data was collected by the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (Sofia), a modified Boeing 747 carrying a 2.7-meter reflecting telescope.

However, researchers still have many questions about the water sources on the moon. They do not know how abundant water is there, which is essential to find out if they hope to use it. Scientists hope that they will learn more through Nasa’s Artemis mission, which will be sending astronauts to the moon by 2024. British scientists are also developing a robotic drill to take samples of lunar soil from depths of up to a meter, as part of a Russian mission scheduled for 2025.

Paul Hayne, of the University of Colorado in Boulder, is one of many researchers trying to learn more about the moon.

“With billions of potential water reservoirs scattered over the polar regions, the focus should be shifted away from the handful of well-known large craters and towards the multitude of potential landing sites our study reveals,” Prof Hayne said.

Earlier in October, eight countries including the UK signed the Artemis Accords, which is a set of international agreements drawn up by the US government that lays out a plan for future exploration of the moon and exploitation of its resources. Russia and China have still not signed onto the agreement, and they may not be able to depending on sanctions and trade agreements.

Christopher Newman, professor of space law and policy at Northumbria University, in Newcastle, says that the agreement hopes to ensure that activities between earth nations on the moon will be peaceful.

“The accords pull together the existing norms of behaviour that we’ve established, such as recognition that exploration of the moon should be for peaceful purposes, that there should be transparency in operations, and data sharing, and so on,” Newman said.

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