A Russian man found a strange piece of machinery from Vladivostok, the administrative capital of the Primorsky Krai area. The object resembled a piece of tooth wheel and was embedded in a piece of coal he was using to light a fire. Although discarded pieces of old machines are not uncommon in Russia, the man became curious and showed his find to some scientists. Testing revealed that the toothed object was almost pure aluminum and almost certainly artificially made.
Also, it was 300 million years old. This raised some interesting questions, as aluminum of this purity and shape can’t form naturally and humans didn’t figure out how to make it until 1825. Curiously, the object also resembles parts that are used in microscopes and other delicate technical devices.
Although conspiracy theorists have been quick to declare the find a part of an alien spaceship, the scientists researching it are not willing to jump to conclusions and wish to run further tests in order to learn more about the mysterious artifact.
The record for strongest cosmic magnet belongs to neutron star SGR 0418+5729, observed by the European Space Agency in 2009. Scientists devised a new technique for processing X-ray emissions that allowed them observe the magnetic field under the star’s surface. The ESA themselves described it as a “magnetic monster.”
Magnetars are pretty small, around 20 kilometers (12 mi) wide. Size-wise, you’d be able to fit one quite easily on the Moon. But it’d probably be best if you didn’t: Even from that distance, the magnetic field would be strong enough to stop a locomotive on Earth. Luckily, this one is 6,500 light years away.
As the largest religion in the world, Christianity’s version of heaven is pretty well known. Attributes like an absence of sadness, war, or sin are common knowledge, as are the pearly gates, but there are quite a few obscure elements which separate Christian heaven from other depictions. For starters, the ultimate heaven isn’t a place yet; the Bible says that a new Earth, where heaven will be, won’t be created until after Armageddon. Until then, the dead are just sort of waiting in an intermediate heaven, feeling no passage of time.
The book of Revelation says that there will be a great city, unparalleled in beauty, with walls made of precious jewels and streets made of gold. God is said to dwell among the humans who make it to heaven, where they worship him for eternity. There is a lot of debate over whether or not those in heaven remember their lives, and the Bible is a little ambiguous on the subject, but Jesus’s promise to see his disciples there has been taken as meaning they do.
Many cultures recognize white magic as the good, healing sort of magic, while black magic is the darker sort. In voodoo, there is no distinction between white and black. Instead, when an evil spirit is conjured or bribed by an evil person to do something bad, it’s called red magic. The color of the spirit is red, and when a practitioner allows an evil loa to take possession of them, their eyes turn red, showing that evil is present.
Sometimes a benevolent spirit can turn evil by the wishes that are imposed on it. This is in complete contradiction to the actual teachings of voodoo, which center around the good and the charitable. Part of the role of a female practitioner (a Queen) and a male practitioner (a Doctor) is to stop red magic before it happens.
At first glance, it seems that a religion that revolves around spiritual possession, potions, and the worship of ancestors would have little to do with Christianity. However, there are strong parallels; in the case of Louisiana and Haitian voodoo, many Christian traditions, beliefs, and figures have been incorporated into this flexible religion. The spirits are central to the practice of voodoo, and many of the central figures have Christian counterparts.
Aida Wedo is a virginal figure of Mary, while Legba, the guardian gatekeeper, is a mirror image of St. Peter. In voodoo, important spirits that believers connect with are called the loa (or lwa); in some locations, these loa and their families can be called by the names of the Catholic saints they represent. In West African voodoo, there is a very Christian belief that there is one supreme god ruling all.
The Berberoka were a dangerous race of fairies that lived in swamps and rivers of the Philippines and preyed primarily on the fishermen who frequented these bodies of water. They caught their victims with a simple yet effective trap—the Berberoka ingested all the water in a specific area which made all the fish visible. This naturally attracted the attention of the unsuspecting fishermen, who would rush off to that area. As soon as their victims reached the spot, the Berberoka spewed out the ingested water and capsized their boats. They then dragged the hapless fishermen underwater where they ate them in unceremonious fashion.
The way Scottish tales describe these fairies, you’d think they were talking about monsters instead. However, that’s exactly what the Fachan were. These creatures appeared so monstrously hideous that the mere sight of them could allegedly stop a man’s heart. The Fachan were covered head-to-toe in fur and possessed singular body parts—one eye, hand, leg, etc.—which were placed center-line across their bodies.
Unlike other fairies, the Fachan could not fly and so resented those who could. Prone to violence and highly territorial, they also always carried a spiked club or chain that they used against people who dared to trespass into their lands. This is definitely not a fairy character you could show to your kids at night.