New discovery hints at still further treasures hidden at famous shipwreck

The ship bound for Rome sunk in 1BC and was first discovered off the coast of Greece in 1900. And yet the Antikythera shipwreck is still providing new discoveries.

The Guardian reports an expedition to the site last month turned up a silver tankard, a human bone, and much more. Perhaps most exciting: the arm of a bronze statue and evidence that the remains of at least seven bronze statues are still buried there.

Previous bronze statues found at the Antikythera shipwreck were dated to the 4th century BC. Bronze statues from that time period are extremely rare, with only about 50 known in the world, according to Gizmodo.

National Geographic reports that based on the positioning of the fingers, the newly discovered arm may belong to a statue modeled on a philosopher. Recovering the rest of the statue—and the others at the site—won’t be easy.

The Antikythera shipwreck is 180 feet underwater on a slope and has been buried by boulders from a succession of earthquakes starting in the 4th century AD.

It will take a lot of time and money to move the boulders, recover the statues, and reconstruct them. Also discovered in last month’s expedition was a mysterious bronze disc that the dive team originally thought could be a missing component of the famous Antikythera Mechanism.

The mechanism, often called an “ancient computer,” could predict eclipses and the movements of various heavenly bodies and was discovered at the site. However, X-rays of the disc show it’s engraved with a bull and was likely a piece of decoration for a statue or the ship itself.

The next expedition to the Antikythera shipwreck is scheduled for spring 2018. (An odd item was found at the site in 2016.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: Famous Shipwreck May Still Hold Priceless Treasures

Mars once had a lake 10 times larger than the Great Lakes

Scientists have known for some time that Mars once had lots and lots of water — in fact, some of it is still there — but exactly where it existed on the planet has been pretty difficult to figure out thanks to billions of years of surface erosion. Now, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has discovered one place on the red planet that held a whole bunch of the life-giving liquid: an incredibly massive lake that, during its peak, held ten times the amount of water of all the Great Lakes, combined.

It’s an incredible discovery, and one that could help inform future exploration of Mars in the hopes of finding evidence that life once existed there. The idea that Mars was one a life-giving planet much like our own is one that has tantalized scientists for a long, long time, and if they ever hope to prove it, they now have a promising lead on where to start looking.

But even if Mars never hosted living organisms, its colossal lake could still help inform researchers painting the picture of life’s origins here on Earth. “Even if we never find evidence that there’s been life on Mars, this site can tell us about the type of environment where life may have begun on Earth,” Paul Niles of NASA’s Johnson Space Center explains. “Volcanic activity combined with standing water provided conditions that were likely similar to conditions that existed on Earth at about the same time — when early life was evolving here.”

The lake was discovered thanks to the detection of huge mineral deposits hiding underneath the surface. It is believed that those minerals were the byproduct of volcanic underwater vents, much like those that exist deep in Earth’s oceans. On our planet, those hydrothermal vents actually host life, but it’s unclear whether the same was true for ancient Mars.

At the moment, the idea of a massive Martian lake with hydrothermal features is incredibly exciting, but we’re still a long way from actually finding anything suggesting the existence of life there. There are no current plans to actually investigate the site, dig, or study the area beyond what is already being done, but that could change.

Cancer in elephant is being treated with unprecedented approach

An Asian elephant in the El Paso Zoo in Texas has undergone two successful rounds of electrochemotherapy.

The elephant, 50-year-old Juno, underwent her second successful treatment Friday. She was diagnosed with a malignant mass in her right mammary gland in January; she underwent her first electrochemotherapy treatment in March.

“The El Paso Zoo is on the cutting edge in terms of the cancer treatment they are providing Juno,” Dr. Jospeh Impellizeri, of Veterinary Oncology Services, said in a statement. “This type of treatment on large, exotic animals isn’t getting done anywhere else—not even Europe. It’s incredible.”

The treatment was performed by Impellizeri, along with two veterinarians from the El Paso Zoo and the zoo’s staff.

According to the zoo, this is only the second recorded case of a cancerous mass in an elephant.

“The make up of elephants is that they’re able to sequester those tumors and they don’t metastasize all over their body. But we did want to treat this cancer simply because it was uncomfortable for her,” said El Paso Zoo Director Steve Marshall.

THE WORLD OF ANIMALS

The electrochemotherapy treatment uses a chemotherapy drug that’s infused into the tumor before an electric pulse draws the chemotherapy directly into the cancer cells. Juno was put under anesthesia for an hour and a half for the treatment but is now alert and walking, according to the zoo.

The tumor is very big and the zoo said the electrochemotherapy allows for multiple treatments, unlike invasive surgery.

GORGEOUS, MAJESTIC WHITE GIRAFFES SPOTTED, CAPTURED ON VIDEO FOR FIRST TIME EVER

“We broke the tumor down into four quadrants and treated each quadrant with the electrochemotherapy,” Impellizeri said in March after the first treatment. “This is an extremely large tumor, the largest I’ve ever treated, but if you break it down into quadrants, you can treat it like four or five smaller tumors.”

Treating the tumor and giving an accurate prognosis is a challenge for the zoo. There is no record of a malignant mammary gland tumor in all of veterinary literature, and cancer of any kind is extremely rare in elephants, according to the zoo.  As a result, the zoo can’t predict how the cancer will progress and using ultrasounds and x-rays to determine if the cancer is spreading isn’t possible because of Juno’s size. However, the zoo expects Juno to survive.

“It does not take on the characteristics of a tumor that’s going to spread throughout her body, but it was growing in size,” said Marshall.

Juno’s treatment was featured on Nat Geo Wild’s show Animal ER in August.

Gorgeous, majestic white giraffes spotted, captured on video for first time ever

A pair of rare white giraffes were spotted in Kenya and captured on film for the first time ever.

The giraffes, a mother and its child, have white skin due to a condition known as lueucism. The condition prevents pigmentation in skin cells and causes skin to turn white and pale.

The giraffes were filmed walking around the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservacy in Kenya’s Garissa county. Several times during the video, the mother giraffe appears to recognize she is being filmed and looks directly at the camera.

PHOTOS: EXTREMELY RARE ‘PALE TIGER’ PHOTOGRAPHED FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER

In a blog post, Hirola Conservancy said this was the first time the white giraffes had been spotted by a number of its community rangers. The post also noted that the giraffes were first reported by a local villager.

“The mother kept pacing back and forth a few yards in front of us while signalling the baby giraffe to hide behind the bushes,” the post read.

White giraffes have been spotted twice before. In January 2016, the first report of a white giraffe came from Tarangire National park, Tanzania. The second time was in March of 2016 in Ishaqbini conservancy, Garissa county, Kenya.

This is the first time the creatures are believed to have ever been captured on video.

Giant, dinosaur-eating crocodile discovered in Texas

A giant, 20-foot long crocodile from the Cretaceous Period has been discovered in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas.

Dubbed the Deltasuchus motherali, the ancient beast was discovered by a local teenager, Austin Motheral. Motheral worked with paleontoligists from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, who spent a decade excavating the bones.

The creature existed approximately 95 million years ago, at the same time as Tyrannosaurus Rex. During that era, modern-day Texas was largely covered by a shallow sea. In addition to T. rex, the area was home to other dinosaurs, turtles, crocodiles, mammals and fish.

DINOSAURS’ MISSING LINK FOUND

UT paleontologist Stephanie Drumheller-Horton said, based off the fossils and bite marks, the animal ate whatever it wanted. However, there is much to be learned from this era.

“We simply don’t have that many North American fossils from the middle of the Cretaceous, the last period of the age of dinosaurs, and the eastern half of the continent is particularly poorly understood,” Drumheller-Horton said in a press release. “Fossils from the Arlington Archosaur Site are helping fill in this gap, and Deltasuchus is only the first of several new species to be reported from the locality.”

CAR-SIZED ‘LOCH NESS MONSTER’ WAS RUNT OF THE LITTER

“Prior to this discovery, the only identified crocodyliforms from the Woodbine Formation had been the longirostrine taxa Terminonaris and Woodbinesuchus,” according to a research journal, detailing the findings.

The research has been published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

‘Harvey the Hurricane Hawk’ released back into the wild

Harvey the Hurricane Hawk is back in the skies over North Texas.

The bird became famous after taking refuge in a Houston man’s taxi during Hurricane Harvey refusing to leave. She was featured in a series of YouTube videos and became an instant viral sensation.

The taxi driver took care of Harvey until she could be turned over to the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition.

The Houston-based animal care facility then took Harvey to the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center in Lucas for rehabilitation.

“Cooper hawks eat songbirds and other types of birds,” said Jess Glotzbach of the Raptor Center. “And with all the flooding down [in Houston], the food source wasn’t like what they wanted it to be. So they said, ‘Let’s release it in Dallas, where we know everything is fine.'”

Harvey was released Wednesday afternoon in the parking lot of Oak Point Amphitheater in Plano.

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How NASA is tracking Tropical Storm Harvey

NASA is using a host of technology to track Tropical Storm Harvey, which made landfall again Wednesday.

The government agency is harnessing satellites and other platforms, including aircraft and even the International Space Station to provide continuous updates and new data on the storm.

NASA has used items such as the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) on the agency’s Aqua satellite to capture clouds over Dallas. Data from NOAA’s GOES-East satellite has been harnessed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland to capture the storm’s center of circulation with thunderstorms that are located in the center of Harvey, according to Phys.org. These thunderstorms have stretched as far east as Louisiana.

TROPICAL STORM HARVEY: IS TWITTER BECOMING THE NEW 911?

“NASA focuses on developing new research capabilities that can be used by our partners in the operational and response communities,” said Dalia Kirschbaum, Research Physical Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in a statement. “While we continue to innovate in the type of information from satellites, models, and airborne platforms, the main focus is to ensure that the partners that are responding operationally to this event have the information in the format that they need to make effective decisions on emergency response.”

Kirschbaum added that NASA is continuing to make sure “that the data pipeline is as effective and useful as possible.”

NASA has also used its Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument aboard the Aqua satellite to detail the flood threat from Harvey.

According to the data provided by AIRS, NASA was able to see the coldest cloud top temperatures and thunderstorms over the southern Texas coast, while also spotting an “area of intense precipitation” over southeast Louisiana.

As of Tuesday night, the storm had dumped nearly 52 inches of rain on the state of Texas, setting the preliminary record for a tropical storm, according to data from the National Weather Service.

The storm has done significant amounts of damage, with more expected to come. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, approximately 30,000 have applied for mass care and medical care and 195,000 have applied for federal assistance.

The U.S. Coast Guard is also using heat maps to find trapped people, as well as taking surplus 911 calls, at the rate of 1,000 calls per hour.

Fox News’ Catherine Herridge contributed to this story.

Wreckage of lost World War II bomber discovered in the North Sea

Engineers working on a sub-sea power link have found what is believed to be the wreckage of a World War II Royal Air Force bomber off the coast of Norway.

The engineers were conducting surveys of the seabed as part of the North Sea Link project to build a power cable between the U.K. and Norway when they found the plane wreckage. The discovery off the Norwegian city of Stavanger may help solve a decades-old mystery.

Experts consulted by the North Sea Link program identified the wreck as an RAF Short Stirling heavy bomber, which played a key role in delivering supplies from Britain to Norwegian resistance fighters during the war.

STUNNING PICTURES REVEAL THE WRECK OF US WORLD WAR II-ERA SUB

The Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) brought in World War II aviation enthusiast Bengt Stangvik to study the find. In a statement released by North Sea Link partner National Grid, Stangvik explained that several Short Stirlings disappeared without a trace on missions to Norway during the winter of 1944 to 1945. “Based on the location of this wreck, it is probable that it was on a mission to drop supplies to the resistance forces in western Norway,” he said.

Stangvik noted that, of 30 British aircraft that went missing on missions to the Norwegian resistance, 19 were Short Stirlings. The discovery off Stavanger is likely to be one of six Short Stirlings that are still unaccounted for, he said.

The Short Stirling was the RAF’s first four-engine heavy bomber during World War II, according to Stangvik, who said that the planes encountered problems flying above 15,000 feet when fully loaded. With other RAF bombers able to fly higher, German Luftwaffe nightfighters concentrated their efforts on the Short Stirlings during attacks.

SUNKEN SHIP MAY CONTAIN $130 MILLION OF NAZI GOLD

A spokesman for National Grid in the U.K., which is working with Norwegian electricity company Statnett to build the North Sea Link, told Fox News that engineers have made a careful record of the wreckage site. “We have noted where the wreckage is,” he said, adding that the cable route will bypass the remains. “We will go around it to ensure that the wreck is not disturbed.”

National Grid contacted the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre within the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence to notify them of the find.

In the statement, JCCC team member Sue Raftree acknowledged the potential discovery, but could not confirm it definitively. “Discoveries at sea are relatively rare due to their very location. A number of aircraft are known to have been lost in the North Sea during the course of the Second World War but we need positive evidence before we can confirm,” she said. “We would class this aircraft as a war grave. It is protected under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 which covers crashed military aircraft in both UK territorial and international waters.”

MINNESOTA WOMAN REUNITED WITH FATHER’S WWII HELMET FOUND ON DUTCH BATTLEFIELD

Nigel Williams, North Sea Link project director for National Grid, explained that sonar equipment is used to scan the sea bed at depths between 328 feet and 1969 feet. Any objects or structures detected are marked as “target points” and investigated using a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) or a ‘drop cam,’ he added.

“When images of what appeared to be an aircraft wheel came through, you can imagine our surprise. It was only when experts investigated the images in more detail that we learnt there was a strong possibility it could be a British aircraft that served during World War Two,” Williams said, in the statement. “Sadly, it appears the pilot and the crew of this particular aircraft were never able to complete their mission.”

WORKERS UNCOVER FORGOTTEN WWII MILITARY AIR RAID SHELTER

The 447-mile North Sea Link, which is expected to become operational in 2021, will enable the U.K. and Norway to trade electricity.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Total solar eclipse 2017: Get ready for the big event

The clock is ticking for the eagerly anticipated ‘Great American’ eclipse that will make its way across the U.S. Monday. This is what to expect.

The eclipse, which is the first to the cross the entire country coast-to-coast in almost 100 years, is expected to take about an hour and 40 minutes to makes its journey across the U.S. The total solar eclipse will start near Lincoln City, Oregon at 1:15 p.m. EDT, and totality will end at 2:48 p.m. EDT near Charleston, S.C.

Totality will last for about two-and-a-half minutes as the moon casts its shadow on the Earth, cutting roughly 70-mile path from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic.

TOP FIVE WORST SUPERSTITIONS ABOUT SOLAR ECLIPSES

Mostly clear skies beckoned along much of the route, according to the National Weather Service.

Excitement is mounting ahead of the historic event. Oregon, for example, has already experienced traffic issues as eclipse viewers flood to parts of the state. Almost 1 million people are expected to visit the state to see the eclipse, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.

TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE DANGERS: WILL I GO BLIND IF I STARE AT THE SUN?

Elsewhere in the U.S., both inside and outside the zone of totality, people are preparing for the rare event.

Seton Hall University Assistant Professor of Physics Jose Lopez will be attending a campus viewing party.

“I’ll be outside in the middle of the campus with my daughter, students, colleagues, and many members of our University and local community using Solar Telescopes and authentic eclipse glasses,” he explained, via email. “We’ll of course only experience a partial solar eclipse in the NY/NJ metro area, but it’s the first such event over the Continental US since 1918. Not too many folks left that experienced that last solar eclipse 99 years ago. So, like many folks I’m looking forward to this special cosmic event!”

The eclipse, however, poses potential dangers. Experts are warning eclipse watchers about the risks to vision posed by the rare event, and have highlighted the importance of effective eye protection.

WHAT CAUSES A TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE?

NASA has also issued a solar eclipse safety warning. “The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as ‘eclipse glasses’ or hand-held solar viewers,” it said, in its solar eclipse safety guidelines. “Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the Sun.”

Nonetheless, doctors are bracing for a spike in E.R. visits related to the event.

Scientists across the country are also preparing to study the eclipse. A team of NASA-funded scientists, for example, will be chasing the solar eclipseacross America in a pair of retrofitted WB-57F jets. Scientists will use twin telescopes mounted on the noses of the research planes to ­­­­­capture crystal–clear images of the Sun’s corona, or its outer atmosphere.

AMERICA PREPARES FOR THE SOLAR ECLIPSE

Other projects include an effort to figure out the Sun’s exact size, and research into how the eclipse changes atmospheric conditions.

Seton Hall Professor Lopez told Fox News that science has also given us extensive knowledge of when and there eclipses will happen. “Through the gained knowledge of physics, in particular the sub-field of Newtonian or classical mechanics, we’re capable of making very accurate calculations of the exact times when solar eclipses will happen and the terrestrial locations of where total solar eclipses will occur,” he said. “It impresses me immensely that [the] Universe has a repeating and cyclical nature that we’ve figured out.”

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Walruses show up early in Alaska as ice recedes

Sign of the times? Several hundred Pacific walruses began amassing on an island off Alaska’s northwest coast in the first week of August in what wildlife officials say is the earliest date yet for their annual “haulout.” The culprit appears to be shrinking Arctic ice.

Walruses tend to head ashore two weeks after warm temperatures cause sea ice to recede too far north for them in the Chukchi Sea. This year, it happened earlier than ever.

Walruses typically use sea ice for protection and as a home base, particularly for juveniles, while adults dive to the ocean floor for food. But “when that ice retreats to the deeper water, they can’t do that,” Fish and Wildlife rep Andrea Medeiros tells Alaska Public Media.

For the past several years, a barrier island near Point Lay has served as an alternative home base. Last year, thousands of walruses had arrived there by Oct. 7.

This year, however, the haulout was observed beginning on Aug. 3—a full two weeks ahead of the next earliest date observed back in 2011, reports Alaska Dispatch News.

Medeiros tells the AP that last week some 2,000 walruses were observed on the island, where they’re expected to stay until the fall. Hoping to head north to observe the animals? Officials would rather you not.

Not only is it illegal to disturb them, the walruses are known to stampede to the water in response to plane and boat activity in the area, which spells bad news for juvenile walruses.

This article originally appeared on Newser: Walruses Show Up Early in Alaska as Ice Recedes