Giant string-like creature composed of "millions of interconnected clones" found off the coast of Australia

I'm currently re-discovering Jeff Van Der Meer's Area X / Southern Reach Trilogy via Audible, because I thought a familiar Weird Sci-Fi story about an invisible lifeform that kind of ambiently inhabits the world around us, changing things in imperceptible ways until it's too late, would be a relaxing respite from the chaotic news of COVID-19.

That may have been a bad decision. I'm even more terrified now. Then I learned about this in Newsweek:

A team aboard the RV Falkor—the flagship research vessel of the Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI)—spotted the organism, a type of siphonophore known as Apolemia, using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in a deep-sea environment known as the Ningaloo Canyons.

[…]

Resembling a long piece of string, siphonophores—a group of creatures related to jellyfish and corals—may look like one organism, but they are actually made up of many thousands of individual, specialized clones that come together to form a single entity.

With the help of lasers mounted onto their ROV—known as SuBastian—the Falkor scientists estimated that this siphonophore's outer ring measured 49 feet in diameter, suggesting that this section alone is 154 foot in length, or about as tall as an 11-story building.

As I've now learned, these things are in fact "colonial organisms," rather than individual beings. Read the rest

Meet the "werewolf mouse" who hunts scorpions and deadly centipedes and howls at the moon

Have you ever heard of the Grasshopper mouse? It lives in the deserts of North America, lives on a meat diet, and hunts scorpions. Unlike other animals, it is immune to scorpion venom and actually turns it into a pain killer. Oh, and this little rodent bad ass also howls at the moon, giving it the nickname of werewolf mouse.

Image: Video screengrab Read the rest

Is this a Midicorn or a Unichord?

Andrew Huang created a MIDI unicorn: a short musical piece that appears as a unicorn when represented in linear musical notation. You can download the MIDI file itself. Read the rest