Japan taxi drivers reporting ‘phantom fares’

Taxi drivers certainly aren’t exempt from hair-raising experiences with ghosts and other supernatural creatures.

Take, for example, the case of Balete Drive in Quezon City, where a “white lady” has been allegedly terrorizing cab drivers in the area for years.

There are several versions of the story of the “white lady,” the most popular being the version where a young woman “wearing a white flowing dress” would hail a taxi and ask the driver to take her to Balete Drive – and would vanish by the time the taxi reaches the notorious street.

Now, taxi drivers in Japan’s Miyagi prefecture…

Read more: Japan taxi drivers reporting ‘phantom fares’

Black holes can be Earth’s power stations

From hair around their edges to being able to escape them, Stephen Hawking has proposed a series of fascinating - if sometimes complex - theories about black holes.

In his latest theory, he claims that 'mini' black holes, with the same mass of a mountain, would give off X-rays and gamma rays at a rate of about 10 million megawatts.

This would be enough to power the entire world's electricity supply, but we would first need to find a black hole that small and harness its energy without it destroying us.

The comments were made in Professor Hawking's second Reith…

Read more: Black holes can be Earth’s power stations

Earth is made of two fused planets?

Astronomers are now forwarding what may be the most radical theory yet about the Earth’s formation: our mother planet may actually be two planets, fused together following a collision.

A team of researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles, investigating how the Moon formed, have concluded that it was produced after a small planet – which they call “Theia” – smashed headfirst “violently” into Earth around 4.5 billion years ago.

The radical theory comes on the heels of past proposals that “Theia” simply side-swiped Earth, blasting the Moon into orbit, and then continuing off into space.

The astronomers analyzed…

Read more: Earth is made of two fused planets?

'Cauliflower rocks' in Mars may hold clues to ancient life

For decades, astronomers have been searching for signs of life on planet Mars. However, while detecting some favorable clues – such as liquid water and traces of chemicals that abound in Earth – scientists still can’t definitely answer the big question: Is there life in Mars?

More recently, another piece of the so-called “Martian puzzle” had caught the attention of astronomers: strange “cauliflower-shaped” structures, photographed by the Spirit Rover in Mars’ Gusev Crater way back in 2008.

When analyzed by Spirit's mini-TES (Mini-Thermal Emission Spectrometer), they proved to be made of nearly pure silica (SiO2), a mineral that forms in…

Read more: 'Cauliflower rocks' in Mars may hold clues to ancient life

Zebra stripes not for camouflage?

Scientists have long thought that the black-and-white stripes that had been the trademark of zebras have a special purpose: to act as camouflage against predators.

However, a new study released by scientists from the University of Calgary in Canada recently concluded that this wasn’t the case.

“The most long-standing hypothesis for zebra striping is crypsis, or camouflaging, but until now the question has always been framed through human eyes,” said the study’s lead author, Amanda Melin, an assistant professor of biological anthropology at the University of Calgary.

“We, instead, carried out a series of calculations through which we were able…

Read more: Zebra stripes not for camouflage?

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