The weird world of quantum mechanics is going for a swim. A team of Chinese researchers has, for the first time, transmitted quantum entangled particles of light through water – the first step in using lasers to send underwater messages that are impossible to intercept. “People have talked about the idea of underwater quantum communication before, but I’m not aware of anyone who has done an experiment like this,” says Thomas Jennewein at the University of Waterloo in Canada. “An obvious application would be a submarine which wants to remain submerged but communicate in a secure fashion.”
At top of a pyramid built thousands of years ago in Lima, Peru, archaeologists found the remains of 16 Chinese laborers who died here around the late 19th century. Eleven of the bodies were wrapped in simple cloth shrouds; the remaining five were laid to rest in wooden coffins and wore blue-green jackets, Reuters reports. During Europe’s “Age of Exploration,” small numbers of people from Asia came to this part of the world on ships that stopped in Macau and other Asian cities. But the largest migration of Chinese people to Peru began in the late 1840s, with the decline of slave labor. In the 1900s, over 100,000 indentured laborers came to Peru from China.
The Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua is a frightening place. The active volcano sports a crater the size of the Empire State Building that houses a lake full of molten lava. A GE science expedition literally dove into Masaya to install sensors and collect data to learn more about conditions in the volcano. Ride along with these bold researchers through GE’s fascinating digital volcano website, which plays out like an interactive documentary.
A Native American appears to stare at a smartphone in a mural of colonial America that dates to 1937 sparking theories it could be proof of time travel. This baffling painting, Mr. Pynchon and the Settling of Springfield, shows a man in the foreground holding 21st century technology – yet it depicts a scene from the 17th century. The intriguing figure, wearing feathers in his hair and loincloth, is holding a mystery object just like modern people hold their smartphones… 7 decades before their invention. Mr. Pynchon was a fur trader born in 1590 responsible for founding Springfield, Massachusetts.
The ocean is a noisy place. Beyond the typical noises like crashing waves there is the increasing presence of ships to makes things even louder. Above the water this might not seem like a big deal, but below the waves, noise from oceanliners and large container ships can travel for miles and upset creatures like whales and dolphins that depend on their own noises to communicate and survive. New research from Oregon State University suggests that blue whales are learning to adapt by changing the frequency of their songs. Essentially, they’re starting to communicate on a different audio band. The researchers believe the whales are doing this deliberately to avoid interference from human sounds.
Just south of Awendaw, South Carolina, in the Francis Marion National Forest, is an example of a type of architectural artifact that still baffles archaeologists. For every explanation someone offers up, there are many more that refute it. Here’s the story: 5,000 years ago, there lived a people by the sea who, in various locations along America’s southeastern seaboard, piled up millions upon millions of clam and oyster shells in either a circle or U-shaped formation measuring, in some cases, more than 200 feet (61 meters) across and 10 to 12 feet (three to 3.5 meters) high. Piling up shells in a mound was common throughout ancient times. Such remains are called middens and are quite abundant. Basically, they are garbage dumps. People would feast on clams, mussels or oysters and throw the shells on a pile; nothing special there. But from the Sewee Shell Ring in South Carolina, and running down around the tip of Florida, the people didn’t just make mounds of shells—they shaped these mounds very carefully into doughnut shapes. The question is, why? Theories abound, and parts of all these theories may be true, but something seems to be missing. For one thing, why are the rings found only at seashore sites? Inland middens from the same time period abound. But those are not piled in such careful circles…