Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Today from science —

A few headlines caught my eye today, including this one:

World’s largest deep-sea octopus nursery

How cool is that? 

Octopuses. Hundreds of them. Huddled on a rocky outcrop at the base of an underwater mountain.

“We went down the eastern flank of this small hill, and that’s when—boom—we just started seeing pockets of dozens here, dozens there, dozens everywhere,” says Chad King, chief scientist on the Exploration VesselNautilus.

All in all, King estimates that more than 1,000 octopuses known as Muusoctopus robustus were nestled among the rocks, most of which appeared to be inverted, or turned inside out. For this species, that inside-out pose is common among females that are brooding, or protecting their growing young. In some cases, the submersible’s camera could even spot tiny embryos cradled within their mothers’ arms.

Not to be picky when we’re talking about something as neat as a giant nursery of octopuses, but tell, me, did a particular sentence in the above paragraph make you blink? Here it is:

 …more than 1,000 octopuses known as Muusoctopus robustus were nestled among the rocks, most of which appeared to be inverted, or turned inside out.

The author, Jason Bittel, needs to decide whether it’s the octopuses or the rocks which are turned inside out. I actually laughed out loud. Quietly, but out loud.

Moving on:

The incredible seasons of Triton

Again, very cool headline.

frost continues to travel northward from the southern polar cap of Triton. The frost, which is generated by the sun heating and sublimating volatile material before it travels northward, has been observed since the turn of the century. However, the new findings help shed light on how Triton’s frost budget varies over the world’s full season, which lasts 84 years.

So, the cold season lasts 84 years, I guess? Or the full year lasts 84 years? Oh, Google says Neptune’s year is 165 years, so 84 years is just one season. Pretty snazzy to think about.

Closer to home:

Chocolate has a new origin story

New archaeological evidence suggests humans were cultivating and consuming cacao—the crop from which chocolate is produced—as long as 5,300 years ago, which is 1,500 years earlier than previously thought. What’s more, cacao was initially domesticated in the equatorial regions of South America, and not Central America.

Very sensible of the people living 5,300 years ago, that’s what I say.

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