The First Rainbow-Like Effect On A Planet Outside Our Solar System, A 130,000-Year-Old “Stingray” Sand Sculpture May Be World’s Oldest Animal Art, And Much More This Week

This week astronomers have spotted evidence of the rare rainbow-like effect known as a glory on another planet,  a prehistoric sand sculpture of a stingray might be the world’s oldest animal art, and a series of ancient engravings found on volcanic boulders in southern Peru might represent music that was performed during shamanic rituals involving hallucinogenic plants 2,000 years ago. Finally, we ask what’s the longest a bird can fly without flapping its wings?

Subscribe to the IFLScience newsletter for all the biggest science news delivered straight to your inbox every Wednesday and Saturday. 

We May Have Just Seen The First Rainbow-Like Glory On A World Outside Our Solar System

Astronomers have spotted evidence of the rainbow-like meteorological phenomenon known as glory on another planet. If this were Mars or Jupiter it would be remarkable enough, but the planet in question is WASP-76b, which is millions of times further away than either of them, outside the Solar System. Read the full story here

A 130,000-Year-Old “Stingray Sand Sculpture” May Be World’s Oldest Animal Art

At first glance, this might just look like strangely symmetrical rock. However, researchers have recently taken a deeper look at the object and speculate that it may be a prehistoric sand sculpture of a stingray. If that’s true, it would make the relic the oldest known artwork of another animal. Read the full story here

This 2,000-Year-Old Peruvian Rock Art May Depict Psychedelic Music

A series of ancient engravings found on volcanic boulders in southern Peru might represent music performed during shamanic rituals involving hallucinogenic plants 2,000 years ago. Consisting of what appears to be dancing human figures surrounded by zigzagging lines and other geometric forms, the enigmatic art eludes concrete interpretation, although a new analysis suggests that these abstract shapes may depict the songs that transported participants to other dimensions during their psychedelic trips. Read the full story here

World’s Largest Ever Digital Camera Is Completed

The Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) Camera is now complete. It will soon travel to the Vera C. Rubin Observatory where it will provide an incredible new eye on the southern sky and help us better answer fundamental questions about the nature of dark matter and dark energy. Read the full story here

 Yes, This Adorable Toad Really Has Heart-Shaped Pupils

The yellow-bellied toad is sure to win the hearts of even the most hesitant of anuran appreciators, being an adorable little amphibian with heart-shaped pupils. Exactly what the pupil shape means in terms of the toad’s vision isn’t known for certain, but the staggering diversity of anuran pupil shape has taught us that previously held associations of pupil shape with lifestyle might not apply to amphibians. Read the full story here

TWIS is published weekly on our Linkedin page, join us there for even more content.

Feature of the week:

What’s The Longest A Bird Can Fly Without Flapping Its Wings?

Birds might not be able to get a driving license (boo), but as it happens, some of them have found another way to get about while doing minimal exercise: soaring. At one point or another, they do have to flap their wings – but which one can go the longest without doing so? Read the full story here

More content:

Have you seen our e-magazine, CURIOUS? Issue 21 April 2024 is out now. Check it out for exclusive interviews, book excerpts, long reads, and more.

PLUS, the entire season 3 of IFLScience’s The Big Questions Podcast is available now.

Leave a Comment