7 Chilling Mysteries Still Unsolved by Scientists | Summary and Q&A

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January 27, 2019
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7 Chilling Mysteries Still Unsolved by Scientists

TL;DR

Scientists are still trying to solve various mysteries, such as ball lightning, skyquakes, fast radio bursts, star jelly, forest rings, Hessdalen lights, and desert varnish.

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Key Insights

  • πŸ”¨ Sometimes, even with scientific tools, certain phenomena remain unexplained due to their rarity or complexity.
  • πŸ’¬ Ball lightning and skyquakes are natural occurrences witnessed by people for centuries, but the exact mechanisms behind them are still unclear.
  • πŸ“» Fast radio bursts are powerful radio signals originating from outside our galaxy, possibly from tortured objects like neutron stars.
  • πŸͺΌ Star jelly has various origins, including frogspawn, fungi, bacteria, or chemicals, and further investigation is needed to identify its source properly.
  • πŸ˜‹ Forest rings with stunted tree growth may result from excess methane or underground metal deposits, possibly involving bacterial activity.
  • πŸ™‚ The Hessdalen lights in Norway could be attributed to Coulomb crystals, geology, or atmospheric dust and radon interactions.
  • ℹ️ Desert varnish found on rocks in arid regions presents a mystery regarding its source, potentially involving microbial activity or a shadow biosphere of unknown life forms.

Questions & Answers

Q: What causes ball lightning?

Scientists propose theories involving vaporized silicon and stimulated emission, but more research is needed to understand this phenomenon fully. Lightning striking during a thunderstorm may vaporize silicon in the soil, creating electrically charged silicon dust clumps that glow like lightning.

Q: What are skyquakes, and where do they come from?

Skyquakes are loud booming sounds coming from the sky. Possible explanations include supersonic flight, meteor sonic booms, methane bubbles, or shallow earthquakes. More research is needed to determine the exact causes in each case.

Q: What are fast radio bursts (FRBs), and where do they come from?

FRBs are high-energy pulses detected from space. The origin of most FRBs remains unknown. Neutron stars interacting with black holes or supernovae are possible explanations for repeated FRBs, but further studies are necessary to confirm this.

Q: What is star jelly, and where does it come from?

Star jelly is a gooey substance found after meteor showers. It can have various origins, including frogspawn, fungi, bacteria, or chemical substances. Determining the source of star jelly requires careful sampling and analysis.

Q: What causes forest rings, and why do some trees have stunted growth?

Forest rings are circular patterns of stunted tree growth, potentially caused by excess methane or underground metal deposits. Bacteria may play a role in these processes. Further research is needed to understand the exact mechanisms behind forest rings fully.

Q: What are the Hessdalen lights, and how do they form?

The Hessdalen lights are large floating lights observed in Norway. Possible explanations include Coulomb crystals in plasma, atmospheric dust and radon interactions, or unique geology leading to ball lightning. More research is necessary to determine the exact cause.

Q: What is desert varnish, and where does it come from?

Desert varnish is a dark substance covering rocks in arid conditions. Its origin is uncertain, but microbial activity or a shadow biosphere of undiscovered life forms are possible explanations. Further studies are needed to unravel the mystery of desert varnish.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Ball lightning, glowing orbs of light resembling lightning, have been observed for centuries. Scientists propose theories involving vaporized silicon or stimulated emission, but more research is needed.

  • Skyquakes, loud booming sounds coming from the sky, have been reported worldwide. Possible explanations include supersonic flight, meteor sonic booms, methane bubbles, or sounds from shallow earthquakes.

  • Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are high-energy pulses detected in space, but their origin remains unknown. Astronomers speculate they could be caused by neutron stars interacting with black holes or supernovae.

  • Star jelly, a gooey material found on the ground or in trees after meteor showers, has various origins, including frogspawn, fungi, bacteria, or chemical substances.

  • Forest rings, circular patterns of stunted tree growth, are believed to be caused by excess methane or underground metal deposits, negatively affecting soil acidity and tree development. Bacteria may play a role in these processes.

  • The Hessdalen lights, large floating lights in Norway, have various explanations, including Coulomb crystals in plasma, atmospheric dust and radon interactions, or unique geology leading to ball lightning.

  • Desert varnish, a dark substance covering rocks in arid conditions, has mysterious origins, potentially related to microbial activity or even a shadow biosphere of unknown life forms.

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