Posts tagged with "Live Science"

Experts say killer whales are teaching each other to attack boats

May 29, 2023

OrcasThey are nothing, if not organized. A sharp uptick in killer whale attacks on boats sailing off Europe’s Iberian Peninsula has led scientists to believe that orcas are actually teaching each other how to sink sailing vessels, Live Science reports.

Per Live Science, reports of increasingly aggressive encounters with orcas started back in 2020. But it wasn’t until this month that any of these increasingly hostile orcas had actually sunken any ocean-faring vessels.

And, while researchers can’t say for certain why the killer whales are suddenly sinking sailboats, according to a report by Futurism, they do have a compelling leading theory: revenge.

In short, as Alfredo López Fernandez, a biologist at the University of Aveiro in Portugal and representative of the Grupo de Trabajo Orca Atlántica (Atlantic Orca Working Group), recently told Live Science, the prevailing theory is that one female orca nicknamed White Gladis—was traumatized by a sailboat. This “critical moment of agony,” as researchers are calling it, caused a behavioral change in White Gladis, who began to attack similar vessels.

“That traumatized orca,” López Fernandez says, “is the one that started this behavior of physical contact with the boat.”

As the theory goes, other adult orcas picked up on this behavior—becoming more aggressive with boats themselves. And now, the kids of those adults have seemingly picked up the behavior, too. At this point, according to López Fernandez, sinking sailboats is really just good ol’ family fun.

“We do not interpret that the orcas are teaching the young,” the researcher says, “although the behavior has spread to the young vertically, simply by imitation, and later horizontally among them, because they consider it something important in their lives.”

Testimony from sailors certainly seem to support this theory.

“There were two smaller and one larger orca,” skipper Werner Schaufelberger, whose boat was sunk by orcas on May 4 in the Strait of Gibraltar, told the German outlet, Yacht. “The little ones shook the rudder at the back while the big one repeatedly backed up and rammed the ship with full force from the side.”

“The two little orcas observed the bigger one’s technique,” Schaufelberger added, “with a slight run-up, they too slammed into the boat.”

The orcas reportedly are attacking a relatively small number of vessels passing through the area. But, if the situation escalates, it could be dangerous for sailors and orcas. Here’s hoping that chaotic legend White Gladis chooses peace soon.

Research contact: @futurism

Acne can make you go bananas—in a good way

August 6, 2018

On average, Americans feel they experience five bad skin days each month, based on findings of a recent study of 2,000 adults sponsored by CeraVe and conducted by OnePoll. That means that in a single year, the average American will suffer from 60 terrible skin days.

It’s enough to make you go bananas—but in a good way.

Strange, but true: Anecdotal evidence shows, many who suffer from acne, oily skin, psoriasis, eczema——even warts and skin discolorations—have found that rubbing the inside of the skin of a ripe banana (one with dark spots) on your face can bring relief from the redness, inflammation, pain and number of occurrences of the problem.P

You cut the banana skin up; then, rub a piece of it on your face very gently. Leave it there for half an hour, after which you can wash it off with cool water. (You also can leave it there overnight, for good results.)

Among the hundreds of positive posts on the site,, are the following—many of them, from former skeptics and cynics:

  • Outstanding result: Last week, I saw the reviews about banana peels and I have started to use [to use the peels on my broken out facial] skin. OMG. The amazing results appeared. So what does it do to my skin? (1) Reduces inflammation incredibly. (2) Heals pimples greatly. (3) Empties blackheads from pores. (4) Gently exfoliates. [I recommend that} … you leave it on your skin throughout the night. Choose, use it, and love it. Toby_boy
  • Shook: To say I was skeptical of this is undermining how I really felt. I was just have a bad breakout week, as well as a rash from a medical. I was desperate and nothing else was working, so I … rubbed a banana peel on the spots for a minute; then let it dry and went to sleep.(Others did this three times  day, but I only had time to do it at night.) … Woke up [with] a significantly less red face and shrunken pimples. I continued this for three more nights and my skin is 60% better and [the] facial redness/rash is gone .… So give it a try! It can’t hurt and it’s natural! Serena_95
  • I am so [darn] happy: Really, my acne was [so] bad that I [was] depressed and didn’t even wanna leave my house. I refused to look in people’s eyes because I [felt] like they were judging me. Acne covered my cheeks and I have oily skin, so I [felt] very dirty and I had tried every single product, but no improvement .… And this works so amazingly! I have only been using this for two days, and it works. How I use: Pick a yellow banana peel and massage gently over my entire face and sleep with this. Remember, it’s just my skin and you are different … but I hope it works for you guys, too. Mooniey

Why does it work? According to the site, Live Science, a wide variety of health benefits are associated with bananas. They are high in potassium and pectin, a form of fiber, said Laura Flores, a San Diego-based nutritionist. They can also be a good way to get magnesium and vitamins C and B6.

“Bananas are known to reduce swelling, protect against developing type-2 diabetes, aid in weight loss, strengthen the nervous system and help with production of white blood cells, all due to the high level of vitamin B6 that bananas contain,” Flores told Live Science.

“Bananas also are high in antioxidants,” she said, “which can provide protection from free radicals, which we come into contact with every day, from the sunlight to the lotion you put on your skin.”

And here’s another plus. If you are upset about your acne, bananas can be helpful in overcoming depression—”due to high levels of tryptophan, which the body converts to serotonin, the mood-elevating brain neurotransmitter,” Flores said. Plus, vitamin B6 can help you sleep well, and magnesium helps to relax muscles. Additionally, the tryptophan in bananas is well-known for its sleep-inducing properties.

Eaten in moderation, there are no significant side effects associated with eating bananas. However, eating the fruits in excess may trigger headaches and sleepiness, Flores said. She said that such headaches are caused by “the amino acids in bananas that dilate blood vessels.” Overripe bananas contain more of these amino acids than other bananas. “Bananas can also contribute to sleepiness when eaten in excess due to the high amount of tryptophan found in them,” she said.

Research contact: