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Mysterious Events

  • ‘The Elegant Skull’ Appears in the Eruption of Mexico's Popocatepetl Volcano

    ‘The Elegant Skull’, the face of Mexico’s ‘Day of the Dead’ festival, appeared in a volcanic ash cloud during an eruption weeks before the annual festivities.

    A photograph of the cloud shared on social media soon had netizens likening its shape to the character – also known as The Catrina Skull – and saw the sighting as a reminder of the festival held on November 1 and 2 every year.

    The picture of the Popocatepetl volcano eruption, located between the central Mexican states of Puebla, Morelos and Mexico, was taken on Wednesday.

    Authorities from Puebla issued a warning on Wednesday morning notifying citizens the volcano was showing moderate activity, however, what made headlines was the viral picture of the cloud of ash it was producing.

    People have interpreted it to be in the shape the ‘La Calavera Catrina’ (The Catrina Skull, also known as The Elegant Skull) which is the unofficial face of the ‘Day of the Dead’ festival.

    The pictures shows a large ash cloud spewing out of the volcano with some saying it is in the form of a skull, cloaked in more ash that surrounds it.

    Netizens commented on the picture because they considered it had a striking resemblance to the Catrina Skull – pointing out the jaw, the eyes and even the hat, all formed by the cloud of ash. 

    They took the image to symbolise the approaching Day of the Dead which is celebrated in different countries across Central and South America, but is especially popular in Mexico.

    Family and friends gather to remember and pray for deceased loved ones, sometimes decorating their graves in hopes of helping them on their spiritual journeys.

    It is believed that the children’s spirits visit their loved ones on the 1st November, which is All Saints Day, and the adults visit the following day on All Souls Day.

    The Catrina Skull was created by Mexican cartoonist Jose Guadalupe Posada as a satirical view of Mexicans who tried to adopt European traditions during the pre-revolution era in the early 20th century. 

    The hat the skull is seen wearing was a typical European style worn at the time. 

    Posada created the original zinc etching some time between 1910 and 1913, and the original leaflet it was distributed in described someone who was ashamed of her indigenous origins, instead choosing to imitate French style, and wearing makeup to make her skin look whiter. 

    While Posada originally introduced the character, its popularity – as well as her name – derived from artist Diego Rivera in his 1947 completed mural Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central (Dream of a Sunday afternoon along Central Alameda), located in Mexico City.

    The Elegant Skull has become Mexico’s referential image of death, and reflects the country’s somewhat humours view of it. The country pays homage to death with expressions of offerings, songs, respect and humour.

    This year, several points in the nation’s capital have cancelled the festival due to a high number of COVID-19 cases.

    The areas include the Xochimilco borough, the San Andres Mixquic community in the southeast of the city and the vast archaeological complex of Teotihuacan to the northeast.

    Just a day ago an evil fce was spotted in Hurriane Delta, just before making landfall in the US:

    People have been told to avoid staying near Popocatepetl which has seen an accumulation of volcanic gas and ash in the area. 

    The National Centre for Disaster Prevention reported it has registered 104 exhalations and 483 minutes of tremors. 

  • Birds Fall From the Sky in the Thousands Across Europe

    Birds literally fall dead from the sky across Europe, and nobody knows why.

    Thousands of dead swallows and swifts in Greece

    Scientists believe high winds over the last three days have killed or gravely injured thousands of swallows and swifts, migrating from Africa to Europe.

    The carcasses have been found in the streets of Athens, on apartment balconies in the capital, on Aegean islands and around a lake close to the seaport of Nauplia in the Peloponnese. Here a video of the living birds:

    The situation has been described as a major disaster.

    High wind, really? [Guardian]

    Hundreds of dead herons in Turkey

    The dead birds were found near the village of Köprışık.

    Residents and officials are scared as nobody really knows what’s behind the massive die-off.

    Pesticides? Poisoning? Bird flu? Samples are being analysed right now. [ajanimo]

    200 dead ducks in Denmark

    About 200 dead ducks have been found along the beaches on Læsø, Denmark and everybody is wondering if they died of bird flu. This is completely unheard of on the island.

    Four of the dead ducks have been tested for avian influenza, but all tested negative.

    So what’s behind this new mass die-off in Denmark? [TV2 Nord]

    1000 dead birds in the streets of Rome

    On February 5, 2020, hundreds of dead birds covered parts of Viale del Policlinico.

    Again, according to officials, the birds died when a tree collapsed due to strong winds across the capital city. [Bufale]

    So there is a clear increase in birds mysteriously dying and falling from the sky. But nobody really can’t tell the cause of these massive mass die-offs.

  • Lake Suddenly Turns Red in Paraguay Baffling Residents

    A small lake located between Loma Plata and Filadelfia, Paraguay, turned RED, surprising local residents.

    According to experts, the color change is due to a natural phenomenon.

    A few weeks ago, the director of Wildlife of the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development (Mades), Nora Neris, commissioned a technical team to analyse samples of water that mysteriously turned RED overnight, baffling local residents

    The water reservoir is situated on a farm located about nine kilometers south of this district of the department of Boquerón in the city of Loma Plata.

    Neighboring small lakes (within a radius of approximately 500 meters) did not change colors and had excellent values ​​regarding the ecological balance.

    In the below video, Rosa Morel, director of the Environment Laboratory of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, explains the cause of the red water in the reservoir:

    Officials believe the phenomenon is natural and due to the current drought and lack of oxygen in the water which pushes the blooming of red algae, thus changing the color of the water to BLOOD. What do you think is the cause?

  • Lonar Crater Lake Turns Red Overnight, India

    The colour of water in Maharashtra’s Lonar lake, formed after a meteorite hit the Earth some 50,000 years ago, has changed to red.

    And now scientists are investigating why this 78-hectare-large lake, situated in the world’s largest basaltic impact crater, has changed color overnight.

    The 77.69 hectare lake area is part of the Lonar sanctuary that totals 3.66sqkm. It is famous as the world’s largest basaltic impact crater. Two other similar ones are in Dhala and Ramgarh in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan respectively but both are relatively unknown.

    Of late, the bright pink color has not only surprised locals, but also nature enthusiasts and scientists.

    Experts say this is not the first time that the crater lake’s water turned pink, but this time the color is so bright.

    Officials attribute the sudden change in color to the high salinity and presence of algae in the water body:

    There are algae in the water body. The salinity and algae can be responsible for this change.”

    There is no oxygen below one meter of the lake’s water surface. There is an example of a lake in Iran, where water becomes reddish due to an increase in salinity.

    The level of water in the Lonar lake is currently low in comparison to the few past years and there is no rain to pour fresh water in it.

    The low level of water may lead to increased salinity and change in the behaviour of algae because of atmospheric changes…this may be the reason for colour change. This is not the first time that the colour of water has changed.”

    In case of a natural phenomenon, there are fungi which generally give a greenish colour to water most of the times. This (the current colour change) seems to be a biological change in the Lonar crater.”

    The Lonar Lake Formation

    The Lonar Impact Crater Lake lies within the only known extraterrestrial impact crater found within the great Deccan Traps, a huge basaltic formation in India.

    Lonar Lake was created by the impact of either a comet or of an asteroid, which impacted from the east, at an angle of 35 to 40 degrees, 52,000 – 570,000 years ago.

    The Smithsonian Institution, the United States Geological Survey, Geological Survey of India, the University of Sagar and the Physical Research Laboratory have conducted extensive studies of the site.A 2019 study, conducted by IIT Bombay found that the minerals, in the lake soil, are very similar to the minerals found in moon rocks brought back during the Apollo Program.

  • Magnetic Anomaly Appears Above Giant Clouds

    This is a very strange-looking cloud formation over a huge cumulonimbus cloud.

    Mysterious cloud formation appears over Ashville, Alabam on August 9, 2020. Picture:Facebook J. Smith / J. Spann

    The images were shot off of I-59 and the large cloud with its three small dancing twisters atop was coming through Ashville, Alabama.

    James Spann stated: “For those asking, I do not have a good explanation. Seems like some kind of pileus cap trying to form, but I have not seen look them like this before.

  • Mosquitoe tornadoes form in Kamchatka

    There are so many mosquitoes right now in Ust-Kamchatsk, Kamchatka, Russia, that they build columns in the sky, ressembling damaging tornadoes.

    A resident of Kamchatka posted a video showing hordes of mosquitoes building columns in the sky over the village of Ust-Kamchatsk in Kamchatska, Russia.

    And he added: “See how they move smoothly. It’s like aliens, like in a horror movie. Exactly.

    The video is indeed really impressive and shows thousands of mosquitoes uniting in giant ‘insect tornadoes’ and spinning across the sky, shocking skywatchers.

    Although recurrent, the strange phenomenon is stronger than usual. All windows, houses and cars were covered with mosquitoes. And some residents didn’t move from their homes for at least three days.

    Moreover, the invasion normaly lasts 2-3 days. But this year, the phenomenon has lasted for more than 10 days. It’s a real invasion! A plague!

    But, these are actually male mosquitoes. The good news is that they don’t bite. The bad news is that they are millions and kind of annoying for driving your bike or car. Imagine those insects flying during almost two weeks into your nose, ears and mouth.

  • Mysterious Chinese seed packets showing up across the U.S.

    • At least 27 states have reported finding mysterious shipments of seeds from China. 
    • The USDA on Tuesday warned people against planting the potentially invasive or harmful specimens. 
    • A scientist told The New York Times that in addition to invasive species, the seeds could contain pathogens or insects. 

    Dozens of US states have reported mysterious seeds showing up in packages from China and are warning citizens not to plant them because they could be an invasive species.

    The US Department of Agriculture said Tuesday that it was investigating the unsolicited packages of seeds reported by at least 27 states and urged anyone who receives them to contact local agricultural officials.

    "Please hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from your State department of agriculture or APHIS contacts you with further instructions," the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said in a press release. "Do not plant seeds from unknown origins."

    The agency also said the packages were likely a "brushing scam," in which consumers are sent packages and a company then forges positive reviews of the products.

    But they could also quickly become an ecological disaster.

    "An invasive plant species might not sound threatening, but these small invaders could destroy Texas agriculture," Sid Miller, Texas' agriculture commissioner, said in a press release.

    And scientists agree — that's why the USDA has such strict rules on importing plants and other organic materials.

    "The reason that people are concerned is — especially if the seed is the seed of a similar crop that is grown for income and food, or food for animals — that there may be plant pathogens or insects that are harbored in the seed," Carolee Bull, a professor with Penn State's Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology program, told The New York Times.

  • Unprecedented numbers of birds are falling from the sky, New Mexico

    Over the past few weeks, various species of migratory birds are dying in “unprecedented” numbers of unknown causes. 

    And this growing number of birds in southern New Mexico that have mysteriously died have wildlife experts scratching their heads.

    It is terribly frightening,” Desmond said. “We’ve never seen anything like this. … We’re losing probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of migratory birds.

    In August, large numbers of birds were found dead at White Sands Missile Range and at the White Sands National Monument in what was thought to be an isolated incident, Desmond said. 

    After that, however, came reports of birds behaving strangely and dying in numerous locations in Doña Ana County, Jemez Pueblo, Roswell, Socorro and other locations statewide.

    The affected birds have included warblers, sparrows, swallows, blackbirds, flycatchers, and the western wood pewee.

    The biologists noted that the majority of the dying birds are insectivores, but that seed eaters were sickening and dying as well.

    A number of these species are already in trouble,” Desmond said. “They are already experiencing huge population declines and then to have a traumatic event like this is – it’s devastating.” 

    Only on Saturday, 300 bird carcasses were discovered at Knox Hall on the university of New Mexico main campus.

    The day before, residents living around also found birds behaving strangely and gathering in large groups before dying. 

    People have been reporting that the birds look sleepy … they’re just really lethargic,” Cutler said. “One thing we’re not seeing is our resident birds mixed in with these dead birds. We have resident birds that live here, some of them migrate and some of them don’t, but we’re not getting birds like roadrunners or quail or doves.” 

    On the other hand, numerous migratory species are dying rapidly and it is not immediately clear why, although the cause appears to be recent.

    Biologists said the birds had moulted, replacing their feathers in preparation for their flight south, “and you have to be healthy to do that; but somewhere after that, as they initiated their migratory route, they got in trouble.

    The biologists guessed the cause might involve the wildfires ravaging the western U.S. and dry conditions in New Mexico.

    They may have been pushed out before they were ready to migrate,” Desmond said. “They have to put on a certain amount of fat for them to be able to survive the migration. These birds migrate at night and they get up in the jet stream, and they might migrate for three nights in succession, they’ll come down and they’ll feed like crazy, put on more fat and go again.” 

    The birds will be sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Ore. for further analysis.

    Over 3 billion birds have died since 1970. Insect populations are crashing, and this is just an unprecedented mortality…”

    Update:

    A growing number of birds in southern New Mexico that have mysteriously died have wildlife experts scratching their heads.

    “It appears to be an unprecedented and a very large number,” said Martha Desmond, a professor at NMSU’s Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology. “It’s very difficult to put a finger on exactly what that number is, but I can say it would easily be in the hundreds of thousands of birds.”

    Desmond is working with a group of wildlife experts from the Bureau of Land Management, NMSU and White Sands Missile Range to get to the bottom of why they’ve been seeing a sudden uptick in deaths. They said one potential reason could be the cold snap that passed through the state last week.

    “What is odd is the fact that we’re seeing this occur beforehand and we’re seeing it occur since then,” Desmond said.

    Environmental conditions like droughts could have also played a part in the deaths.

    “It can be related to some of the drought conditions. It could also be related to the fires in the west. There may have been some damage to these birds in their lungs.  It may have pushed them out early when they weren’t ready to migrate,” Desmond said.

    Other researchers across the state are also exploring different theories because they said this phenomenon is not normal.

    “On the missile range we might in a week find, get a report of less than half a dozen birds,” said Trish Butler, a wildlife biologist at White Sands Missile Range. “This last week we’ve had a couple hundred, so that really got our attention.”

    People can help wildlife officials by reporting any groups of dead birds on the iNaturalist app.

    “If people can, we would ask that they collect the birds, use gloves or a bag to pick it up,” Desmond said. “We don’t advocate touching the birds with their hands. Bag them, double bag them and put them in the freezer.”

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