Ancient Egyptian Statue Mysteriously Spins On Its Own

Ancient Egyptian Statue Mysteriously Spins On Its OwnThe museum officials were stumped. A statue is supposed to stand still, not rotate all by itself. But this one at the Manchester Museum seemed to have done just that. Turned around 180 degrees — revealing an inscription on its back asking for beer.

‘Prayer for the deceased’

Statuette no. 9325 doesn’t appear to go by any proper name. It’s a prefabricated figure — an off-the-shelf product — that was placed into a small tomb around 1800 B.C. A private collector in Britain donated it to the museum in 1933. The inscription on the back, requesting a sacrifice of beer, bread and animals, was a standard prayer for the deceased.


‘Only moved during the day’

For decades, the figurine stood perfectly still — until museum workers moved its case a few feet from its original position. In February, curator Campbell Price noticed something curious was afoot. The statue seemed to have slightly turned. When he looked next, it was facing another direction. A day later, another. The turns were subtle. But at the end of each day, you could tell the statue was angled differently.

In April, museum officials installed a time-lapse camera that snapped an image of the statue every minute of every day for a week. When they ran the images in fast motion, they came across a surprising revelation: the statue only moved during the day, when visitors were walking past. It seemed, Price wrote, that vibrations caused by foot traffic in room was the culprit.

Do you find this statue movement mysterious or not? What other factors could have contributed to this occurrence?

Source: Ben Brumfield | CNN

Image: Peta Pixel

Western Black Rhino Officially Extinct

Western Black Rhino Officially ExtinctAfrica’s western black rhino is now officially extinct according the latest review of animals and plants by the world’s largest conservation network.

‘Making its last stand’

The subspecies of the black rhino — which is classified as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species — was last seen in western Africa in 2006. The IUCN warns that other rhinos could follow saying Africa’s northern white rhino is “teetering on the brink of extinction” while Asia’s Javan rhino is “making its last stand” due to continued poaching and lack of conservation.

“In the case of the western black rhino and the northern white rhino the situation could have had very different results if the suggested conservation measures had been implemented,” Simon Stuart, chair of the IUCN species survival commission said in a statement.


‘Near threatened’

Many plants are also under threat, say the IUCN. Populations of Chinese fir, a conifer which was once widespread throughout China and Vietnam, is being threatened by the expansion of intensive agriculture according to the IUCN.

In the oceans, the IUCN reports that five out of eight tuna species are now “threatened” or “near threatened,” while 26 recently-discovered amphibians have been added to the Red List including the “blessed poison frog” (classified as vulnerable) while the “summers’ poison frog” is endangered.

Do you think these “near threatened” species can still be saved? Is urbanization to blame for this?

Source: Matthew Knight, CNN

Image: Mother Nature Network