HomeScienceElden Ring Corpse Wax Is Real, Sort of

Elden Ring Corpse Wax Is Real, Sort of

What’s the weirdest thing you learned this week? Well, whatever it is, we promise you’ll get an even weirder answer if you listen. pop scienceThe hit podcast from . The strangest thing I learned this week comes to Apple, Spotify, YouTube and everywhere else you listen to podcasts every other Wednesday morning. It’s your new favorite source for the weirdest science facts, figures, and Wikipedia. popular science can gather. If you like the stories in this post, we guarantee you’ll love the show.

FACT: New York City architects of the 1920s hid spires in their buildings to sneakily become the tallest

by john kennedy

In June 1930, the Empire State Building was poised to claim the title of world’s tallest building, but its developers were at least a little concerned that the nearby Chrysler Building would sneakily reveal its final form and snatch the trophy.

This will-they-won’t-they suspense epitomized the architectural design fight between three (yes, three) New York City buildings in the late ’20s, as each one was simply trying to be bigger than the others. The one you are least likely to have realized was part of this contest was 40 Wall Street, now known as the Trump Building. That’s because this 927-foot structure was, at best, only briefly No. 1 before Chrysler developers secretly built a height-increasing spire inside the main structure and raised it on its place, like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

Naturally, at least some people working on the Empire State Building a few blocks away were worried that Chrysler architect William Van Alen had a similar trick up his sleeve by the time his structure finally surpassed 1,046 feet in height. Chrysler. Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about New York City’s race to the sky and the underlying rivalry between former business partners that is now etched in stone and steel.

FACT: A bug not seen in decades appeared in a Walmart and was identified via Zoom

By Rachel Feltman

In 2020, Michael Skvarla was given the unenviable task of leading an insect identification lab course on Zoom. The director of the Penn State Insect Identification Laboratory was describing an insect from his personal collection, one he had labeled an “ant lion,” which is a dragonfly-like creature known for having predatory larvae that most people called scribbles, when froze. . He was realizing, on Zoom and in real time, that it wasn’t an antlion. He told the class that they would reclassify him together and within a couple of minutes they came to a shocking conclusion.

actually was Polistoecotes punctatamember of a family of giant lacewings that has existed for at least 100 million years.

A few quick caveats: Many media outlets have referred to the giant lacewing as a “Jurassic-age insect,” but J. Ray Fisher, who works remotely from Fayateville for the University of Missouri and helped Skvarla confirm the identity of the insect, noted that this is a bit of an exaggeration. This is one of about 60 species with an evolutionary lineage going back to a common ancestor originating in the Jurassic.

It is also important to note that the giant lacewing is only “giant” relative to other lacewings, which are smaller. The specimen Skvarla found has a wingspan of about two inches.

So this is not a massive bug that has been missing since the days of the dinosaurs, or even one that has been missing absolutely. It can still be found in the western United States. But the species has been considered extirpated, meaning regionally extinct, in most of the country since the 1950s. If you look at the map of its recorded sightings, some are seen in the 19th century on the East Coast and in the early 20th century. In the 20th century, there are a handful in the Midwest, but by mid-century, the only citations are in the West. It’s not entirely clear why this happened, but most experts say increased light pollution and invasive species drove them out.

Not only was Skvarla’s specimen from Arkansas, hundreds of miles east of any member of this species found for more than half a century, but he happened to pick it up from the front of a Walmart in an urban area of ​​Fayetteville. And this was back in 2012.

Following that exciting discovery via Zoom, Skvarla analyzed the insect’s DNA to confirm its identity. The big question now is if there are more of them around. The Ozarks may have some pockets of hitherto unknown populations of giant lacewings. It is also possible, as Fisher has pointed out to the press, that the insect hitchhiked in a cross-country Walmart truck.

FACT: Corpse wax is a thing in the Elden Ring and The real world

by jess body

Last year the video game masterpiece Elden Ring came out. I’ve been streaming it on Twitch basically ever since, and I’m still Uncover insights and secrets, many of which are science-adjacent.

Something that the developer of Elden Ring, a company called FromSoftware, is very good at is world building and lore. They tell these very deep and complex stories through the environment, first in games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne, and now with Elden Ring. You have to explore the worlds they create and read the item descriptions to understand what the heck is going on. It’s very rewarding and, frankly, a lot of fun playing games like that, unraveling their stories piece by piece. And Elden Ring is by far the HUGE one – there are like 10 different plotlines in Elden Ring that all twist together one way or another. And one of those stories has to do with the waxing of corpses.

There is an area in the game called Leyndell, Royal Capital. As the name suggests, it is a large city in the middle of the map. And as you explore the city, it’s clear that some kind of tragedy occurred there. And a lot of the buildings are totally sealed… but around some of the doors, this yellow-orange goo is oozing out. The first time I saw it, I was like… I want to eat this. It looks like when you leave a rolled fruit in the car and it melts. It looked delicious. Of course, the Elden Ring slime probably isn’t delicious, because it was corpse wax.

In real life, corpse wax is something that happens when a body SHOULD decompose, but it has too much moisture and little to no oxygen. That is the perfect formula for a process called saponification to occur. Basically, anaerobic bacteria, the kind that don’t need oxygen to live, will go to town with a cadaver’s body fat and help trigger a bunch of chemical reactions that turn that fat into a soapy, waxy substance called adipocere, also known as adipocere. like corpse wax. It starts out all sticky and then gets hard and brittle. That can actually seal the corpse, preserving it! What is some kind of an archaeologist’s dream!

To hear all about how the corpse wax in the Elden Ring connects to real life corpse wax mummies, check out this week’s episode of Weirdest Thing.



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