Are their secret chambers hidden in the boy king's tomb?


Science Over the Edge

A Roundup of Strange Science for the Month

March 2017

In the News:

Hidden Chambers in Tut's Tomb? - This summer a team of Italian researchers will try to determine if King Tut's tomb really does have secret hidden chambers. Radar scans carried out in 2015 by Hirokatsu Watanabu suggested there were, but another scan by National Geographical Society found no evidence of that. The Italian team will use ground-penetrating radar, instruments based on electric resistance tomography and magnetic induction, to scan depths of up to 32 feet. If there are hidden rooms it may vindicate a theory of Nicholas Reeves, a British Egyptologist at the University of Arizona. Reeves believes there is a hidden chamber in King Tut's tomb that contain the remains, and grave goods, of Queen Nefertiti, wife of the "heretic" monotheistic pharaoh Akhenaten, Tutankhamun's father. When Tut died unexpectedly at an early age, Reeves believes he was buried in Queen Nefertiti's already existing tomb.

Empty Dead Sea Scroll Cave Found - Archaeologists found a cave that appears to may have held more dead sea scrolls, but was looted in modern times. All that is left in the cave now is a blank scroll along with of jars, cloth and a leather strap thought to be used to bind, wrap and hold the scrolls. "The important discovery of another scroll cave attests to the fact that a lot of work remains to be done in the Judean Desert, and finds of huge importance are still waiting to be discovered," Israel Hasson, director-general of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Between 1947 and 1956, the scrolls were discovered in 11 caves located near the West Bank in Israel. A search for more caves was recently spurred by the activity of looters in the Judean desert site. The missing scrolls were probably sold on the illegal antiquities market.

Hidden Chambers in Tut's Tomb? - A new study suggests that designing wind turbines based on insect wings could boost the power they collect by up to 35 percent. In the study scientists built 3 turbines: One with rigid blades liked those normally used on wind farms, another with extremely flexible blades, and a third designed to mimic the motion of insect wings. They found that the extremely flexible version produced less power that the rigid one, but that the version that was flexible like an insect wing out produced the rigid one by a considerable amount. What's more the insect wing version produced more power over a wider range of wind speeds. The study's authors concluded by using the insect type blade on wind turbines wind farms not only could more power be produced, but the farms could be sited in more places that had wider variations of wind speeds.

Ancient Nessie-Like Sea Monster Gave Live Birth - Scientists were surprised to learn that the 245-million-year-old Dinocephalosaurus, a marine reptile with a long neck that looked a little like the legendary Nessie of Loch Ness, birthed live offspring rather than laid eggs. Researchers from Hefei University of Technology in China discovered that in the fossil remains of one of the creatures found in China's Luoping Biota National Geopark, there was the remains of a fetus. The fetus was too advanced to have been inside an egg. Researchers also eliminated the possibility of the animal being digested as prey based on the position in the body. "The neck-forward position of the embryonic skeleton suggests that the included skeleton was not ingested prey, but was an embryo," the researchers wrote. It was also curled up into a fetal position. "This is the first-ever evidence of live birth in an animal group previously thought to lay eggs exclusively," said the study's lead researcher, Jun Liu, an associate professor of paleontology.

Monster Fossil Worm Found - A newly-discovered marine worm Websteroprion armstrongi was over a meter in length (39 inches) and lived 400-million-years-ago in what is now Canada. The fossils of the creatures were found at Moose River Basin in Ontario, Canada, in the 1990's, but not closely examined until researchers came across him in the fossil collection of Royal Ontario Museum. It was his large jaws that attracted attention. At approximately one to two centimeters in length it translates to "the largest known fossil eunicidan annelid and represents a unique case of ancient polychaete gigantism," wrote the scientists in their study. "On the specimens we also have corals, so we know that it would have lived in a warm shallow sea," study co-author Luke Parry from the University of Bristol's School of Earth Sciences explained. "Although we don't have direct evidence for diet in this animal as we only have the [fossilized remains of its] jaws, when living jawed worms get this big they live as opportunistic, ambush predators. It's likely that it would have fed on other reasonably big animals, as living bobbit worms hunt fish and squids and octopuses." The team named the creature for Derek K. Armstrong, who found the specimen, and also for American death metal bassist Alex Webster, who the researchers admire.


Science Quote of the Month - "Progress is made by trial and failure; the failures are generally a hundred times more numerous than the successes ; yet they are usually left unchronicled."- William Ramsay


What's New at the Museum:

The Taj Mahal: A Monument to a Lost Love- In the heart of India lies a magnificent tomb that combines the best of Persian and Islamic architecture and stands as a final gift by a grieving husband to a beloved wife. - Full Story

Mysterious Picture of the Month - What is this this?

Ask the Curator:

Unknown Museum: I was watching a special on The Discovery Channel a year ago about an actual museum that I would desperately like to go to, but I can't seem to find any info on it! I don't know the name of it, but I know it has strange, morbid exhibits of human oddities, and things of that nature. For some reason I thought it was in Philadelphia, but their tourism board had no listing for it.

You are thinking of the Mutter Museum which is part of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. The Mutter houses over 20,000 objects including 900 anatomical and pathological specimens and 10,000 medical instruments. The exhibits are sometimes grotesque, but always fascinating. Currently the Mutter is featuring a special exhibition on conjoined twins. You can visit the Mutter on the web at . If you can't get there in person you may want to order one of their extremely popular calendars which feature the work of photographic artists that have recorded some of the museum's collection of oddities and their gruesome beauty.

Have a question? Click here to send it to us.

In History:

Solo Around the World Flight - On March 3rd, 2005, The GlobalFlyer, a single-engine, single-use experimental jet plane landed at Salina Municipal Airport in Kansas. Pilot Steve Fossett had just completed the first solo around-the-world, nonstop, without refueling, flight. The trip had taken 67 hours and was also the fastest round the world no refueling, flight. The GlobalFlyer's fuel comprised 86 percent of its weight at take-off.


In the Sky:

First Day of Spring - March 20th this year is the first day of spring (vernal equinox) in the Northern Hemisphere and the length of the day and night will be almost equal. Technically the spring equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator - the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth's equator - from south to north. It will do the reverse in the fall for the autumn equinox.



Russian UFO Incident in CIA Files - Buried in unclassified CIA files is a report that the Russian military attacked a UFO, causing it to crash. The alien survivors of the incident then turned the Soviet soldiers to stone. The report was translated from an article in the Ukrainian newspaper Ternopil vechirniy. According to the story, the incident occurred in Siberia and started when a soldier launched a surface-to-air missile at a UFO. There is no date for the event, though the translation was made in 1993. The aliens were described as "five short humanoids with large heads and large black eyes." A CIA note on the odd report, however, suggests that it may not have originated in Russia but with Canadian Weekly World News, which was known for publishing hoax journalism.


Zeep and Meep are on a well deserved vacation. In their place we feature highlights from their past adventures.

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Copyright Lee Krystek 2017. All Rights Reserved.


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