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Tuesday, Sep 16th

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Massive 'ocean' found under Earth's surface

ocean found under surfaceScientists have found evidence of a huge underground reservoir containing up to three times as much water as on the entirety of Earth’s surface and theorized to be the source for all of the world’s oceans.

The new evidence, published Friday in the journal Science, suggests that melting rocks, including those containing the water-rich mineral ringwoodite, may exist far deeper below the Earth's surface. The discovery suggests to researchers that most of the Earth’s water slowly seeped out from within, as opposed to arriving on ice-bearing comets, a theory many scientists have posited.

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Chimps outsmart humans at simple strategy games

Chimps outsmart humansComplex cognitive reasoning skills don't always win out in the game of life, or in basic strategy games like the Inspection Game, the computer game chimpanzees recently outperformed their competitors in during a Caltech study.

The Inspection Game is really just a simple digital version of hide-and-go-seek. Two players (in this case, either a pair of chimps or a pair of humans) sit back to back, each facing their own computer screen. The game begins with each competitor pushing a circle on the screen and then selecting one of two blue boxes on the either side (right or left) of the screen.

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'Super computer' dupes people into thinking it is a 13-year-old boy

supercomputerFive machines were tested at the Royal Society in central London to see if they could fool people into thinking they were humans during text-based conversations.

The test was devised in 1950 by computer science pioneer and Second World War codebreaker Alan Turing, who said that if a machine was indistinguishable from a human, then it was "thinking".

No computer had ever previously passed the Turing Test, which requires 30% of human interrogators to be duped during a series of five-minute keyboard conversations, organisers from the University of Reading said.

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Mega-Earth Is the Weirdest Exoplanet Yet

Mega earthLooking at the Solar System, there seem to be two basic types of planets.

The smaller planets, including Earth, are dense, lower mass, and composed of rock. The larger worlds—Jupiter and the other giants—are massive, made of compressed gas, and possess no surface to speak of. As we learn about exoplanets orbiting distant stars, those two basic categories seem to hold. However, as astronomers map the landscape of planets, they are discovering worlds that don’t fit what we once thought, and which suggest a richer galaxy of possibilities.

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Stunning fossil eggs provide insight on ancient flying reptiles

pterosaursA spectacular fossil find in China - a prehistoric egg extravaganza from 120 million years ago - is providing unique insight into the lifestyle and gender differences of pterosaurs, the flying reptiles that lived alongside the dinosaurs.

Until now, only four pterosaur eggs had ever been found, and all were flattened during the process of fossilization.

But Chinese scientists said on Thursday they had unearthed five pterosaur eggs preserved beautifully in three dimensions at a site in northwestern China that also includes no fewer than 40 adult individuals of a newly identified species that lived in a bustling colony near a large freshwater lake.

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Millennials Are America's Most Godless Grown-Ups

evolutionWhile a plurality of Americans overall still believe in creationism, a majority of young adults believe in evolution.

Gallup regularly polls Americans on their beliefs about how human beings came to be. Overall opinions have stayed remarkably stable over time, with a plurality believing that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years.

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'Godzilla of Earths' identified

Godzilla of earths identifiedThere is a new class of planet out there that astronomers are calling the "mega-Earth". It is an object with a hard surface like our own world but much, much bigger.

The necessity for the new designation follows the discovery of a planet which has a mass some 17 times that of Earth.

Known as Kepler-10c, it orbits a star about 560 light-years away. Scientists described its properties at an American Astronomical Society meeting in Boston.

They confess it is something of a head-scratcher.

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