Some magic and supernatural fairy tales may be 6000 years old

A new study, which treats these fables like an evolving species, finds that some fairy tales may have originated as long as 6000 years ago. To conduct the study, Jamshid Tehrani, an anthropologist at Durham University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues scanned a repository of more than 2000 distinct tales from different Indo-European cultures.

The discovery of a pitch-black planet darker than hot asphalt

Hubble observes pitch black planet — an alien world as black as fresh asphalt, orbiting a star like our Sun. Astronomers have discovered that the well-studied exoplanet WASP-12b reflects almost no light, making it appear essentially pitch black. This discovery sheds new light on the atmospheric composition of the planet. Author Taylor Bell: “The measured

Is Gravity the Result of Random Quantum Fluctuations?

If the theory that “Gravity is the result of random quantum fluctuations,” quantum mechanics might be more fundamental to the structure of the universe than gravity itself. Scientists have been trying to reconcile the differences between the two since the days of Einstein. They have toiled over the confusing contradictions between the macroscopic realm (governed by

Genetics is revealing Neanderthals’ lost history

Modern humans (at left) and Neanderthals (right) were strikingly different in many respects. Yet a new genetic analysis suggests that Neanderthals may have had an out-of-Africa migratory experience not unlike our own. How many Neanderthals were there?  The archaeological record suggested that very roughly 150,000 individuals spanned Europe and Asia, living in small groups of

Spectacular Images From Mars as NASA’s Curiosity Rover Climbs A Mysterious Outcrop

NASA’s Curiosity rover has been making a steady climb towards a strange Martian ridge that’s captivated scientists since before the mission even started. Known as Vera Ridge after the pioneering astrophysicist Vera Rubin, the durable outcrop could shed new light on the environment and potential habitability of ancient Mars. The Curiosity rover’s explorations have already shown

Disappearance of right whales a mystery for scientists

Scientists are at a loss to explain one of the biggest mysteries surrounding the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale — why the animals are disappearing from their usual breeding grounds off the southeastern United States. Usually, right whales spend the winter in their breeding grounds off Florida and Georgia. Before 2011, more than 200 right whales were