A Blue-Green Meteor Visible Over Spain and PortugalSaturday night, a fireball shot across the skies, visible in Spain and Portugal as a blue or green light to those on the ground, and seen by us because so many people had their phones out in a flash to record it. The European Space Agency (ESA) said the burning object was a piece of a comet that was traveling around 100, 000 miles an hour. During its most visible phase, the meteor was around 38 miles (60 kilometers) above the ground. It most likely burned out as it headed out over the Atlantic Ocean.
A Planet Bigger Than Jupiter, But Light as Cotton CandyThe further astronomers look into the Milky Way galaxy, the more strange and different planets they find. A newly-discovered exoplanet designated WASP-193b is one of those in the "puffy Jupiter" category. It is 50% larger than Jupiter, but has only about 14% of Jupiter's weight. What's it made of -Aerogel? WASP-193b was discovered by the dip in light coming from the star WASP-193, which it revolves around every 6.25 days. The amount of light it blocked told us how large it is. Scientists tried defining its mass by measuring its gravitational pull on the star, but came up empty because it is so light that it exerts no detectable pull! Four years of data and calculations led them to the conclusion that this massive star is just that fluffy. Its density is estimated to be about 0.059 grams per cubic centimeter, close to that of cotton candy. Astronomers believe it is mostly made of hydrogen and helium. Of 5,400 planets we know about, planet WASP-193b is the second lightest. Kepler 51d displays a lower density, but that planet is also much smaller. Read more about the cotton candy planet at MIT News. -via Real Clear Science​(Unrelated image credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser)
The Toxic Fungus That Became a Culinary SuperstarThousands of years ago, farmers in the Middle East were domesticating wheat and pigs, South Americans were breeding corn and potatoes to be more useful as food, and Asians were domesticating koji mold, the fungus used in fermenting soy sauce and saki. The moldAspergillus flavus produced deadly toxins that infected grain crops and even milk from animals that ate those grains. Its close cousin Aspergillus oryzae did not, but digested and broke down starches that could then be more easily fermented by yeasts. The two species diverged millions of years ago, and both exist in the wild, but are nearly invisible until they infect grains and can be hard to tell apart. You have to wonder how many people were sickened or even died in the process of developing saki, miso, and soy sauce. That's one thing we'll probably never know. That brings up another question: how does one domesticate a fungus, anyway? When Aspergillus oryzae began to be deliberately grown for fermentation, there were no microscopes or DNA tests, nor clean labs to prevent contamination. Read about koji mold and how it became the foundation of fermented Asian foods at Knowable magazine. -via Strange Company (Image credit: Peachyeung316) 
The Strange Theory That Amelia Earhart was Eaten by Giant CrabsPioneering aviator Amelia Earhart was attempting to fly around the world in 1937 when her plane disappeared, shortly after leaving Howland Island in the Pacific, and neither she nor navigator Fred Noonan was ever found. What happened to Earhart? There has been plenty of speculation and many theories proposed over the past 87 years, but one of the strangest was that she was eaten by giant crabs. There are giant crabs in the South Pacific, as we will see in this video from IFLScience.-via Strange Company 
The Face of a Neanderthal Buried 75,000 Years AgoExcavations have gone on for decades in a cave in Iraqi Kurdistan where Neanderthals interred their dead. In 2018, an individual skull was discovered that had been crushed into more than 200 pieces. Years of work were spent putting that skull back together, along with the bones of the upper half of the body. Research on the teeth revealed this was a Neanderthal woman, probably in her mid-40s. They named her Shanidar Z. A facial reconstruction shows us what she may have looked like in life, 75,000 years ago. The recreation of Shanidar Z is one of the topics covered in the new Netflix documentary that premiered today called Secrets of the Neanderthals. It also covers the burial practices of Neanderthals, and what that may tell us about their attitude toward death and possible religious beliefs. Read what we know about Shanidar Z and how she ended up in so many pieces for us to find all these years later at EurekAlert! -via Real Clear Science​(Image credit: BBC Studios/Jamie Simonds) 
The World's Most Physically Painful ThingsA long time ago, someone told me that the most painful things are a spinal tap, a root canal, and childbirth. My mother underwent all three of those, so I asked her which was the worst. She said she didn't know, since she was knocked out for all three. Anesthesia is a wonderful thing. But today my eyes have been opened, because there are a lot of exotic things out there that can cause such intense pain that you might think death is preferable. Chill Dude Explains lists nine things that are more painful than a root canal without Novocain, and it will make you want to stay inside, away from the ocean, and far, far from Australia.