1. A New Use for Toilet Paper
Last fall, the city of Littleton, Colo., sealed cracks in 120 of its streets. Rather than close lanes to let the asphalt dry, though, the town opted for a more convenient strategy: covering the mess with toilet paper. Contractors laid down single-ply to absorb oil from the tar, which kept it from clinging to shoes and tires. The upshot: smoother roads and a city that looked a bit like a college campus during frosh week—at least until the paper decomposed a few days later.
Check out the most exciting destinations in Colorado.
2. The Woman Who Got Pregnant Twice in 10 Days
In 2006, doctors diagnosed Kate Hill with an ovary disorder and told her she might never be able to get pregnant. Rather than accept her fate, the Brisbane, Australia, resident doubled down. In 2015, she conceived twice, 10 days apart. Her daughters aren’t technically twins but rather the products of a rare phenomenon called superfetation—a conception during an ongoing pregnancy. Doctors aren’t entirely sure how it happened, especially in light of the fact that Hill only had unprotected sex once within that time frame. The unconventional conception will no doubt make for an interesting conversation when the girls are old enough to ask where babies come from.
In the mood for more intriguing science stories about pregnancy? Check out 6 Surprising Ways Pregnancy Changes a Mother’s Brain.
3. A Surprise Guest
Miami Beach, Fla., residents are used to floods. But recently, one inundation delivered more than H2O. Last November, when a supermoon triggered a particularly intense tide, a little grey octopus squirmed out of the ocean, into a sewage pipe and up through a grate in a local condominium’s waterlogged parking garage. Building security scooped the cephalopod into a bucket of brine and tossed it back into the ocean. Given sea levels are expected to rise, however, perhaps the condo should consider spinning the garage as a new, albeit inadvertent, amenity: an aquarium.
If you haven’t got your fill of strange science stories yet, take a look at these 5 songs that are scientifically proven to help you sleep better.