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6-min read

YearEnder2018: 'Can Cow Urine Cure Cancer?' to 'Did Aliens Already Visit Us?' The Bizarre Science Stories Of 2018

2018 has been a wild year in science.

Raka Mukherjee | News18.com@RakaMukherjeee

Updated:December 21, 2018, 11:38 AM IST
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YearEnder2018: 'Can Cow Urine Cure Cancer?' to 'Did Aliens Already Visit Us?' The Bizarre Science Stories Of 2018
2018 has been a wild year in science.
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2018 has been a long year. It saw celebrity weddings, clashes in sports and some really weird memes on the Internet.

It has also seen some really strange science events unfold. News18 lists some of the weird, uncanny and also fun ones.

1. Can Cow Urine Really Cure Cancer? An Oncologist told us the answer.

Venkatraman Radhakrishnan, Associate Professor Medical and Pediatric Oncology answered a Quora post in January this year, “Does Gau Mutra cure- or at least prevent cancer?”

Radhakrishnan had responded stating, “No, cow urine does not prevent or cure cancers. There is no scientific evidence available to prove this. My fellow oncologists and I are yet to see a patient who exclusively consumed cow urine to be cured of cancer.

This revelation came shortly after an article stated how biotechnology scientists at Junagadh Agriculture University in Gujarat claimed to have succeeded in their first attempt to kill cancer cells using cow urine.

2. Nasa's InSight took a selfie on mars, and it mirrored every Instagram post ever.

'InSight' which is short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is a Mars lander designed to give the red planet its first thorough checkup, and study its interior structure.

InSight, which landed on the Martian surface on November 26, took a picture of the surface first. Just like most tourists do when they go to a new place.

The selfie also seems like if it was something you saw while scrolling on Instagram, it wouldn't be out of place. Take a look.

3. Spy ship or space junk? Harvard researchers said how 'Oumuamua,' may have been an alien probe.

ʻOumuamua' which means "a messenger that reaches out from the distant past" in Hawaiian, is the first- ever 'interstellar object' detected to be passing through the Solar System. It is formally designated 1I/2017 U1, and was discovered by Robert Weryk, using the Pan-STARRS telescope at Haleakala Observatory, Hawaii, on 19 October 2017, 40 days after it passed from its closest point to the Sun.

When 'Oumuamua' was discovered, it showed no signs of a comet tail despite its close approach to the Sun, but has since undergone non-gravitational acceleration, potentially consistent with a push from solar radiation pressure. Oumuamua's system of origin and the amount of time it has spent traveling amongst the stars are also unknown.

4. Octopuses got super-cuddly when scientists drugged them on MDMA.

In an experiment, scientists gave Octopuses MDMA, known more commonly to us as 'molly' or 'ecstasy.' Humans usually react to this by becoming more social - including feeling euphoria and empathy.

Scientist Gül Dölen, who is an assistant professor of neuroscience at John Hopkins, and octopus expert Eric Edsinger tested how octopuses would react to the effect of MDMA. In the experiment, the scientists put an octopus in a bath containing ecstasy, after which it was moved to a chamber which it had three rooms to pick from: a central room, a room containing a male octopus and another one containing a toy.

Before the MDMA, the octopuses avoided the male octopus in the room. But after being drugged, they spent more time with it, and touched it in what seemed to be an exploratory, rather an aggressive manner.

5. Dracula Ants are what your nightmare are made out of - and they're real.

Their name derives from their unusual feeding habits, which are a type of symbiotic cannibalism. As adult ants are unable to process solid food, they feed prey to their larvae and then chew holes in their larvae and drink their blood. Scientists call this arrangement a “social stomach”. We call it creepy as hell.

2018 also brought the horrifying revelation that ants can build bridges with their own bodies.

6. A new creature was discovered - and was appropriately labeled 'Headless Chicken Sea Monster.'

A creature from the depths emerged and took the Internet by storm. Referred to as the 'headless chicken monster', the video of a strange organism in the sea went viral.

The video is the first ever taken of the creature being captured by a camera in the Southern Ocean. The creature appears to be large and red with no apparent head - therefore, being named as 'headless chicken.'

This 'headless chicken' is actually a deep-sea cucumber, also known by its scientific name of Enypniasties Eximia. First found in the Gulf of Mexico in 2017, it was only recently filmed in the Southern Ocean by Australian fisheries. A video posted by these researchers, which subsequently went viral shows this strange creature.

7. World's first AI anchor debuts - promises to give you company 24 Hours a Day, 365 Days a Year.

Xinhua, China’s state news agency, informed the Chinese public, and the world at large, of its very own breaking news: it now fields AI anchors, who will “tirelessly” cover all the news all the time, from every corner of the world's most populous country.

Xinhua, China’s state news agency, informed the Chinese public, and the world at large, of its very own breaking news: it now fields AI anchors, who will “tirelessly” cover all the news all the time, from every corner of the world's most populous country.

Robots can also ripen your fruits for you now.

8. Antarctica's largest Ice-Shelf sings an eerie song.

While hollow caves and the ocean is known to produce music akin to that of song, in recently turned out that ice shelves, even the largest ice-shelf in all of Antarctica, is also capable of producing 'music.'

The Ross Ice Shelf is Antarctica’s largest ice shelf - and if you ever happen to be here, the chances are, you cannot hear yourself over the howling wind. But if you listen closer, you can probably hear something else - the eerie song of the ice shelf.

Also, why is it a perfect square?

9. Healthy baby mice were made from two female mice!

Following a strain of reproduction called 'parthenogenesis,' scientists in China took an egg from one mouse and a special type of cell - a haploid embryonic stem cell - from another.

However, simply combining these two cells wasn't enough. The process required gene-editing, where the scientists deleted three sets of genetic instructions to make them compatible.

And the result? Healthy mice babies from two mice mothers.

10. 'Aliens May Have Visited Us, We Just Didn't Notice' - NASA Scientist.

Internet theories aside, a NASA scientist, explained in a paper how 'aliens may have already visited us, and we may have just missed it.'

In a paper titled, “New Assumptions to Guide SETI Research,” Silvano P. Colombano, of NASA’s Intelligent Systems Division argued how extraterrestrials may look different than what assume they would look like and may be able to travel huge distances — and so we may have never realized when they have paid us a visit.

He bases his theory on the fact that perhaps human technology isn't advanced as we think it is - so some of the theories we have of extra-terrestrials based on them, could be wrong.

Honorary mentions: Elon Musk sharing his thought on how earth should be re-named to 'Water.' 'Earthlings' had quite a laugh at it.

This amazing quote which really dispelled whatever notions we had of the world : 'There are infinite universes, and alternate universes' - Kanye West, to President Trump at the Oval office.

And so 2019 may bring forth new discoveries yet.

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