Science Frontiers
The Unusual & Unexplained

Strange Science * Bizarre Biophysics * Anomalous astronomy
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About Science Frontiers

Science Frontiers is the bimonthly newsletter providing digests of reports that describe scientific anomalies; that is, those observations and facts that challenge prevailing scientific paradigms. Over 2000 Science Frontiers digests have been published since 1976.

These 2,000+ digests represent only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The Sourcebook Project, which publishes Science Frontiers, also publishes the Catalog of Anomalies, which delves far more deeply into anomalistics and now extends to sixteen volumes, and covers dozens of disciplines.

Over 14,000 volumes of science journals, including all issues of Nature and Science have been examined for reports on anomalies. In this context, the newsletter Science Frontiers is the appetizer and the Catalog of Anomalies is the main course.


Subscriptions to the Science Frontiers newsletter are no longer available.

Compilations of back issues can be found in Science Frontiers: The Book, and original and more detailed reports in the The Sourcebook Project series of books.

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Please note that the publisher has now closed, and can not be contacted.


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... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 135: MAY-JUN 2001 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Oil Deposits And Rotary Phenomena Sometimes obscure and unlikely correlations lead to new insights. In this context, we are obliged to mention a most improbable connection proposed by chemical engineer S. Mori in a paper presented at the Spring 2000 meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Mori suspects that oil and gas deposits are linked to the origin of tornados! In his paper, Mori said that positively charged oil deposits underground establish polarity with negatively charged oxygen ions at the surface. When a thunderstorm passes over the oil field, he thinks this subsurface polarity links up the with electric polarity established between clouds and ground, creating the vacuum that spawns the tornado. Over the years, Mori said he's built a data base of about 8,000 tornado hits in the United States for comparison with the location of known oil and gas deposits. He said that studies in Kansas, Pennsylvania and Texas found a high correlation. (Lore, David; "Underground Oil One Twist in Tornado Theory," Charleston Dispatch, June 8, 2000. Cr. J. Dotson.) Comments. There have been numerous reports of electrical and burning phenomena associated with tornados. See GWT1 & GWT2 in Tornados, Dark Days. The oil-sodden lands of the Persian Gulf can be correlated with another sort of rotary phenomena: the strange phosphorescent wheels of light that have been seen many times swirling in the shallow waters of the Gulf. See GLW ...
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... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 42: Nov-Dec 1985 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Remarkable Distribution Of Hydrothermal Vent Animals Hydrothermal vents support a bizarre array of large clams, mussels, worms and other curious species. These biological communities are unique in that they are supported not by solar energy but rather the earth's thermal energy. What verges on the anomalous is the appearance in both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans of very similar vent communities, with similar or identical species. How did these continent-separated communities originate ? In the words of the author of the present article, "The cooccurrence of a clam, a mussel, and a vestimentiferan worm at widely separated sites in the Pacific and Atlantic represents either an unusual distribution from a single lineage or, even more remarkably, cases of parallel evolution. " (Grassle, J. Frederick; "Hydrothermal Vent Animals: Distribution and Biology, " Science, 229:713, 1985.) From Science Frontiers #42, NOV-DEC 1985 . 1985-2000 William R. Corliss ...
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... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 42: Nov-Dec 1985 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects A Different Way Of Looking At The Solar System The current scientific consensus has the sun and its planets forming during the same process of accretion/condensation. In this view, the inner terrestrial planets differ from the outer giant planets only because their volatile elements were driven off by the sun's heat. This scenario has many problems, as recorded in our catalog volume The Moon and the Planets. G.H .A . Cole thinks that astronomers might have more success in explaining the origin of the solar system if they considered it a system of five large bodies of star stuff (light elements), each surrounded by its own retinue of high density satellites (the sun's four satellites would be the inner planets). In effect, then, we would have a quintuple star system in which only one member (the sun) collected enough star stuff to make it to incandescence. The four, large, outer planets would be merely failed stars. The advantages of this change of perspective are threefold: (1 ) All five central bodies are now compositionally similar as a class, (2 ) In each of the five systems, the angular momentum of the central body is greater than that of its satellites, whereas in the unitary solar system the angular momentum of the nine planets is much greater than that of the sun -- an embarrassing anomaly. (3 ) A final "bonus" appears when ...
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... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 40: Jul-Aug 1985 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Nessie photos not retouched Above, we reported the Skeptical Inquirer charge, by Razdan and Kielar, that the famous "flipper" photos taken at Loch Ness were retouched fraudently. This charge has now been answered by R.H . Rines, et al, of the Academy of Applied Science. It is true that the very convincing "flipper" photo is not one of the computer-enhanced photos provided by JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory). Rather it is a composite of the original negative and several JPL computer-enhanced negatives. Negative compositing is another kind of enhancing; and it is considered perfectly proper and ethical since new information is not added. It works because a detail that is faint in one negative may show up better in another. No fraud was involved and the innuendos in the Skeptical Inquirer (also Discover) were uncalled for. Discover has refused to publish any rebuttal. (Anonymous; "Retouching of Nessie Flipper Photo Claimed -- Denied," ISC Newsletter, 3:1 , no. 4, Winter 1984.) From Science Frontiers #40, JUL-AUG 1985 . 1985-2000 William R. Corliss ...
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... of plate interactions explains them. We suggest that large lava plateaus are indeed terrestrial maria." Alt et al go on to show that these lava plateaus seem to have initiated continental rifts and hotspot tracks where none existed before. A reasonable inference is that these plateaus are the consequence of the impacts of large meteorites. This is particularly the case with the Deccan Plateau, which is agedated as synchronous with the Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary event, with its legacy of worldwide iridium deposits and the wholesale extinction of life. The paper concludes with: "It therefore appears that random encounters with vagrant asteroidal objects play an important role in setting the course of plate tectonic events. The earth does not control its own agenda." (Alt, D., et al; "Terrestrial Maria: The Origins of Large Basalt Plateaus, Hotspot Tracks and Spreading Ridges," Journal of Geology, 96:647, 1988.) From Science Frontiers #61, JAN-FEB 1989 . 1989-2000 William R. Corliss ...
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... that confer spectral sensitivity upon the cones represent remarkable, complex chemical syntheses. Also mysterious is the apparent loss of color vision in 14 species of toothed whales and seals. (Only 14 species were examined; there may be more.) These particular whales and seals lack the blue-sensitive cones, even though they are descended from mammals with bichromatic vision (hippos and otters, respectively). This deficiency is doubly perplexing: Sensitivity to blue light is highly desirable in the ocean environment because it is blue light that penetrates seawater well. The loss occurred in two mammalian lineages not particularly closely related on the evolution charts. In other words, they were probably not random, unlucky mutations; rather, something more profound. Neo-Darwinists are quick to explain that these afflicted species may have originally frequented shallow waters where sensitivity blue light was not so important. This capability dwindled away like the power of sight in some blind cave creatures. It never returned. (Chin, Gilbert, ed.; " Color-Blindness in Whales," Science, 292:399, 2001. Hecht, Jeff; "Blind to the Big Blue," New Scientist, p. 14, April 28, 2001.) Sperm whales are usually classed with the toothed whales and presumably are blue-colorblind, but there is no sunlight of any kind in the kilometer-deep waters where they hunt giant squid. Echolocation is better than sight there. (From: Biological Anomalies: Mammals I) Comment. The articles just referenced do not state that the loss of blue-vision extended ...
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... is not restricted to this Finger Lake, for a letter from G. Kuchar describes a modern "bombardment" of "lake guns" heard at Lake Cayuga about 15 miles east of Lake Seneca. "In the early morning hours of August 8th, 1996 (maybe about 6:30 or 7:00 AM), I was awoken by what I thought were loud explosions of thunder. It was a very loud, abrupt sound, sort of like close-by thunderclaps except that they seemed somewhat distant and yet had no reverberations or rumblings. I went to the window which faced a large building across the way...The early morning appeared warm, humid, and overcast. The explosive "thunderclaps" happened again, a whole series of them, and they seemed to originate up in the air and to my right, but I could detect no flashes of light, and the blasts seemed to come at random points in the sky (which was not very visible to me because of the big building looming across the lawn). I couldn't figure out where the storm cloud was that was producing these blasts, since everything was uniformly overcast, and there was no darkness moving in or evident in my field of view. From the sound of the blasts, which were very impressive, powerful noises, I pictured in my mind's eye that huge cloud-to-ground bolts of lightning must be erupting somewhere aloft and to the right and out of sight of my position at the window. But they seemed too scattered about, and then ...
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... strong moonlight upon the surface of the water. The moon, however, was not in evidence. At 1700 GMT, rapid flashes of light were observed sweeping across the sea directly ahead of the vessel, giving the initial impression of a sudden increase of wind speed causing excessive spray. By 1715 GMT, the vessel was totally surrounded by completely random movements of light as far as the eye could see. The onset of this phenomenon was so rapid, not to say eerie, that the Master was called to the bridge to witness the event. For the next 15 minutes the sea was at a height of activity, displaying several systems of the most unusual bioluminescence. The most significant of these were what appeared to be Phosphorescent Wheels, which, although they did not seem to rotate, originated from a central hub and spread out rings in rapid succession, forming concentric circles. This was pointed out by many of those who observed them as being similar to the instance of a stone being dropped into a quiet pond and causing waves to spread out. In this case each wave crest was a band of fantastic light. Each wheel would last for a couple of minutes, continually flashing out bands of light as though a transmitter was located at its centre. Wheels could be observed in all directions. At the same time systems of moving parallel bands could be observed, again travelling in totally random directions with respect to each other and passing off into the distance, only to be followed by another set." The complexity of the display was so great that it confused the eye ...
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... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 139: Jan-Feb 2002 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Tunguska: An Inside Job?Virtually all speculation about the 1908 Tunguska Event assumes an external cause: a meteor, a comet, an asteroid, or even the accidental explosion of an alien spaceship. A recent meeting of Tunguska experts in Russia looked down rather than up for Tunguska's initiating phenomenon. In this open-minded review, two little-publicized but highly pertinent Tunguska observations were discussed. The catastrophe had five centers of destruction rather than one. At the Tunguska site are many large root stumps, not yet rotted away, that cannot be linked to any pits associated with their origin. These stumps were apparently blown out of the ground and hurled dozens of meters from where they stood prior to the Event. Next to be considered were the unappreciated similarities between the Tunguska Event and the 1883 explosion of Krakatoa. The four bright nights in Europe and western Asia, straddling 30 June 1908, are remimiscent of the 1883 Krakatoa outburst, they ask for transient scatterers in the upper atmosphere, above 500 km, at heights which only methane and hydrogen are light enough to reach in sufficient quantity. Fast-rising natural gas has been repeatedly detected in recent years, in the form of "mystery clouds"---by airplane pilots---and indirectly as pockmarks on 6% of the sea floor. In other words, Tunguska might well have been---not an extraterrestrial impact--- ...
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... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 78: Nov-Dec 1991 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Meteoroid impacts: the other side of the story Astronomers have long puzzled over the origin of localized magnetic anomalies on the moon. These magnetic concentrations (called "magcons") are located precisely on the opposite side of the moon from the larger lunar basins. How could an impact on the moon magnetize the antipodal region? The impact of a large silicate meteoroid at speeds of 10 kilometers/second would not only blast out a big crater but it would also create a huge cloud of hot, partially ionized gas. This hot gas or plasma will conduct electricity and interact with lunar magnetic fields. As the plasma cloud spreads away from the impact site, it acts like a bulldozer, compressing the lunar magnetic fields ahead of it, as it envelopes the whole moon and rushes towards the antipodal point. It drives the compressed mag netic field into the surface, permanently magnetizing the rocks at the antipodal point. Voila! Magcons. (Hood, L.L ., and Huang, Z.; "Formation of Magnetic Anomalies Antipodal to Lunar Impact Basins: Two-Dimensional Model Calculations," Journal of Geophysical Research, 96:9837, 1991.) Comment. The earth also sports scars from the impacts of large meteoroids. Are there magnetic anomalies opposite these craters? Even more interesting to check out would be the holes blasted in the earth's biosphere by the converging masses of hot gases at the an tipodal points ...
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... Sky-Spanning Auroral Arches GLA3 Auroral Meteors: Moving Luminous Patches and Bands GLA4 Low-Level Auroras GLA5 The Odor of the Aurora GLA6 Artificial Low-Level Auroras GLA7 Geographically Displaced Auroras GLA8 Auroras with Unusual Geometries GLA9 Auroras Correlated with Thunderstorms GLA10 Auroras Correlated with Earthquakes GLA11 Auroras Correlated with Meteors GLA12 Close Relationship between Aurora Displays and Clouds GLA13 Glowing Night Skies GLA14 Transient Sky Brightenings GLA15 Bright, Luminous Patches on the Horizon GLA16 Weather or Storm Lights GLA17 Curious Folklore: Auroras and Silken Threads GLA18 Correlation of Aurora Frequency with Lunar Phase GLA19 Auroras Interacting with Lunar Halos GLA20 Electrical Effects of Auroras at the Earth's Surface GLA21 Auroras and Surface Fogs GLA22 Black Auroras GLA23 Banded Skies GLA24 Millisecond Brightness Pulsations of the Night Sky GLA25 False Dawn GLA26 Auroras Following Coastlines GLA27 Challenges to the Theory of Aurora Origin GLA28 Flash Auroras GLA29 Possible Atmospheric-Laser Emission Accompanying Auroras GLA30 Mysterious Bright Streaks in the Sky GLA31 Short-Lived, Bright, Cloud-Like Patches High in the Sky Aurora-Frequency Correlated with Climate Coastlines Auroral Streamers Aligned with Wind Direction Expanding Ball-of-Light Phenomenon Infrared Banded Sky Auroral Streamers Aligned with Wind Direction Bright Lines in the Sky Auroras Associated with the Tunguska Event Luminous-Tube Phenomenon Phantom Volcanos GLB BALL LIGHTNING GLB1 "Ordinary" Ball Lightning GLB2 Ball Lightning with Spikes GLB3 Ball Lightning with Rays GLB4 Rod-Shaped Ball Lightning GLB5 Double and Triple Ball Lightning GLB6 Miniature Ball Lightning GLB7 Giant Ball Lightning GLB8 Transparent Ball Lightning GLB9 Fragmenting Ball Lightning GLB10 Materialization of Ball Lightning in Enclosures GLB11 Black Ball Lightning GLB12 Ball Lightning's Electromagnetic Effects GLB13 Ball Lightning with Apparent ...
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