Spotted lanternfly goo is surprisingly tasty

What’s the weirdest factor you realized this week? Properly, no matter it’s, we promise you’ll have an excellent weirder reply in the event you hearken to PopSci’s hit podcastThe Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week hits AppleAnchor, and in all places else you hearken to podcasts every-other Wednesday morning. It’s your new favourite supply for the strangest science-adjacent details, figures, and Wikipedia spirals the editors of Common Science can muster. When you just like the tales on this submit, we assure you’ll love the present.

FACT: Bees could make a particular sort of honey utilizing noticed lanternfly poop 

By Rachel Feltman

Even in the event you love slurping down a cup of scorching tea simply filled with the stuff, you may probably not know what honey is. Bees usually make this candy goop out of nectar from flowers, however any super-sugary liquid will do in a pinch. In 2012, for instance, some French bees got into a candy factory’s waste vats and produced blue and inexperienced honey from the sticky syrup. 

And generally, if we’re very fortunate, bees will make honey utilizing the waste emissions of different bugs—together with the invasive noticed lanternfly. 

The noticed lanternfly, which is a heartbreakingly lovely and completely ecologically devastating little leaf-hopper native to China, was first seen in Pennsylvania in September of 2014. They feed on dozens of species of vegetation, together with meals crops, and may trigger plenty of injury. Along with all of the nibbling, additionally they secrete a sticky waste—mainly poop or pee—referred to as honeydew, which tends to draw molds that kill the affected vegetation. Removed from being choosy eaters, bees have been recognized to sup on this candy stuff and produce honey from it (the ensuing product can also be, confusingly, called honeydew). 

FACT: Tremendous-heated falcon poop will help clarify the origins of rocks and life on Earth.

By Lauren Leffer

In 2016 on Mt. Rasvumchorr in Russia, researchers found naturally occurring deposits of a substance often known as Tinnunculite. The compound is a pale, carbon-based mineral that is available in a wide range of colours. It’s additionally the byproduct of birds pooping close to burning coal. When falcon feces reacts with scorching gasses, it turns from biodegradable to solid-as-a-rock. And this comparatively latest entry to the official list of minerals can also be a wild instance of how minerals and life co-evolved on Earth.

If you consider evolution, possibly you consider pure choice, Galapagos finches, Darwin, or DNA. However based on mineralogist Robert Hazen, rocks evolve too. Hazen’s speculation of “mineral evolution” posits that we now have as many residing issues on earth as we do, partially, due to the presence of minerals. And, that we now have so many alternative minerals due to residing issues.

For an instance that goes past guano, there’s “The Nice Oxygenation Occasion.” Earlier than there was life, our environment had no oxygen in it. Oxygen molecules are key to an entire suite of chemical reactions, and with out it, not a lot was taking place within the mineral document. However immediately, microscopic organisms referred to as cyanobacteria emerged, multiplied, photosynthesized, and produced sufficient oxygen gasoline to create hundreds of latest minerals. There are tons and many methods (huge and small) that residing issues and rocks are altering one another’s environments and figuring out one another’s future. In Hazen’s personal phrases, “we have to perceive minerals to offer us the story of our planet.”

FACT: A health care provider tried to remedy gluten intolerance with ONLY bananas

By Sara Chodosh

Avid listeners of the present may keep in mind that I’ve celiac illness, which relying on who you’re speaking to is both a legit motive to not eat gluten or “only a fad.” I do know quite a bit concerning the illness each by having it and thru writing about it for PopSci, however even I didn’t find out about this week’s reality till actually just lately.
Banana infants are usually not, regardless of what Google says, tiny frozen bananas lined in chocolate (although they appear scrumptious). They’re infants and babies who had been fed a eating regimen chock filled with bananas in an effort to remedy them of celiac. Did it work? No. You don’t need to hearken to the episode to determine that out. However is it a wild story anyway? Completely.

In August, Atlas Obscura reported that Philadelphia beekeepers had harvested the sticky results of this bee-and-lanternfly collab. Try their story for extra on the unintentional discovery of an intriguing new sort of honey, and hearken to this week’s episode of Weirdest Factor to be taught extra about how bees can go on misadventures that result in poisonous, spicy, and even hallucinogenic honey. 

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Season 5 of The Weirdest Factor I Realized This Week was recorded utilizing the Shure MV7 podcast package. The package features a Manfrotto PIXI mini tripod, so every little thing it is advisable to get recording right away is included—that’s super-helpful in the event you’re a creator who’s shopping for their first mic arrange. Test it out at www.shure.com/popsci.

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