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🏙 New York, Fish Parasite, Bird Calls: Last Week in Science #9
New York's massive buildings are causing the city to sink underground, the oldest known bird calls date back 12,000 years, and the parasite thrives 6 kilometres deep in the Pacific.
Sinking New York
Geologists calculated that more than one million buildings in New York added a total mass of 762 billion kilograms of downward pressure on the earth. That's equivalent to roughly 1.9 million fully fueled Boeing 747-400s. Therefore, New York is sinking at an average rate of one to two millimetres per year.
Ancient bird calls
In Israel, archaeologists have unearthed rare prehistoric bird bone instruments dating back over 12,000 years. According to the researchers, the flutes made the sounds of birds of prey in the area. It is the first identified prehistoric sound instrument from the Near East and the oldest that imitates a bird call from any ancient civilisation.
Although the number of fish parasites decreases rapidly with depth, some, such as Lepidapedon flatworms, can survive in the deep ocean. Scientists recently sequenced its ribosomal DNA collected at a depth of approximately 6,200 meters in the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. It is the record for any group of fish parasites.
Not the best news for fish: even at a depth of 6 kilometres, they cannot hide from parasites.
Illustration: Elia Kabanov feat. MidJourney. Photo: Laurent Davin et al.