Weird Science: Hairless Chimps, Cute Critters, & Dead Dudes


This week, things in the virtual world were a little wilder than usual. First, we had the misfortune of coming across this horrifying image of a hairless chimpanzee in the Mysore Zoo in India. It made us laugh really hard. Then, we started to wonder if our laughter was a little inappropriate given the obviously unfortunate circumstances of the chimp. This made us laugh harder, but in a kind of nervous, adolescent way. Now we’re confused.

Just as we had started to work through some of our feelings about the chimpanzee, we received an email with a link to this truly bizarre blog. While the small animals featured on JustALittleGuy are easier on the eyes, they raised some questions; who, for example, is the cheeky blogger that collects these obscure critters? Did that little monkey really embrace that pigeon? Are those possums in the box dangerous?

We were ready to move away from the natural world for awhile and focus on celebrity gossip, when we found this crazy story about an all-female species of Amazonian ants that reproduce by cloning. We also learned that Dr. Jack Horner of Montana State University plans to biochemically engineer eggs to create some monstrous dinosaur/chicken hybrid with teeth and forearms. Seriously, it was in the New York Times.

We thought things couldn’t get stranger, until we found this story about a Russian man who recently had a small fir tree removed from his lung. At least it wasn’t cancer. This outcome was almost as touching as the one we found in an article about deceased osteologist Gordon S. “Grover” Krantz. After seven years in a dusty Smithsonian basement his dying wish has been honored: the museum has reconstructed the doctor’s bones along with his dog Clyde and displayed them in the museum.

Bewildered, we wanted to turn to science for some explanations. But, to our disappointment, we found a list of thirteen questions that science cannot answer. Ugh. We might have to go home and take a nap.