Science Watch: The Ancient Lands of Pluto

Hamilton Nolan · 06/14/16 01:48PM

Double stars! Space molecules! Sea dolphins! Moon missions! Dead zones! Pluto-nic findings! And cleanliness of all of the atoms! It’s your Tuesday Science Watch, where we watch science—from a perch of ill repute!

A Scientist Experimented on Dolphins By Giving Them LSD

Rich Juzwiak · 06/17/14 06:25PM

If you thought the story about woman who regularly jerked off her dolphin friend/test subject Peter was twisted, get a load of what else happened to the dolphins in that experiment. As detailed in BBC Four's The Girl Who Talked to Dolphins, which aired tonight in the U.K., John C. Lilly was a scientist who started studying three dolphins in a partially flooded villa on St. Thomas dubbed "the dolphin house." A lot of these experiments revolved around dolphin communication—specifically, Margaret Howe Lovatt (the titular girl who talked to dolphins...sometimes with her hand) attempted to teach English to her beloved Peter.

The New U.S.-Russia Cold War Is Not About to Happen Between Dolphins

Adam Weinstein · 04/22/14 02:43PM

Last month, Russia seized Ukraine's combat dolphins. This week, the U.S. Navy was rumored to be deploying its own dolphins to the Black Sea. The Great Game seemed upon us once again: the warm-water game of cold war. But more likely, the American media just got played by a Kremlin mouthpiece.

Kim Jong Un Loves Dolphins

Hamilton Nolan · 09/18/13 12:12PM

Beloved Leader Kim Jong Un, Mighty Nuclear-Equipped Hero King of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Brave Machine-Gunner of Justice, is really into dolphins.

Scores of Dolphins Are Dying and No One Knows Why

Maggie Lange · 08/09/13 08:39AM

Over 120 dolphin corpses have washed on shore so far this summer—seven times the normal amount. Experts say that the number of dead bottlenose dolphins is "very alarming." The strandlings have appeared on shore between New York and Virginia starting in July and increasing over the past two weeks. In Virginia, 64 animals have been found.

Chinese Tourists Snap Selfies with Dying Dolphin

Neetzan Zimmerman · 06/19/13 08:55AM

Tourists who stumbled onto a gravely injured dolphin while swimming off the coast of Sanya City in the Chinese province of Hainan are being blasted on local social networks for manhandling the distressed animal and posing with it for pictures in lieu of alerting wildlife authorities.

The Gowanus Dolphin Died From Natural Causes, Not Man-Made Filth

Taylor Berman · 01/28/13 08:09PM

Last Friday, an injured dolphin swam into Brooklyn's filthy Gowanus Canal, where it became stuck and later died; the ordeal was equal parts captivating and disturbing, and inspired at least one moving tribute. Now comes word that the dolphin probably wasn't killed by anything man-made, news that will hopefully let us all rest a bit better. According to the Riverhead Foundation's Kimberly Durham, who performed a necropsy on the animal, the dolphin likely died from natural causes and not one of the thousands of pollutants in the canal:

Requiem for a Dolphin

Max Read · 01/25/13 06:24PM

A fish shape appeared on Paumanok on Friday morning, carried in on high tide. A dolphin: It had started from the sea and made its way into Brooklyn from without, working along the wood and concrete embankments toward the river head, and by mid-morning it was paused by one of Gowanus's empty lots, surfacing and plunging out of and in to the mucoid black. A gathering crowd of locals and police watched it from the shore; it was hyperventilating and bleeding from its fin. Biologists from the Riverhead Foundation arrived. The next high tide wouldn't be until 7 p.m.

Those Job-Stealing Robots Are Going After the Navy's Mine-Hunting Dolphins

Mallory Ortberg · 12/02/12 03:34PM

It's a textbook case of not appreciating what you have until it's gone: the U.S. Navy plans to replace some of its mine-hunting dolphins with unmanned submersibles described as "12-foot torpedo-shaped robot[s]" by 2017. Were you even aware before this announcement that the Navy had a $28 million-dollar marine mammal program based in Southern California? Or that it began in the 1950s and at one point also included "killer whales and sharks"? If not, you must feel this loss all the more keenly.

Either 'The Hunger Games' Has Gone Next Level or Someone is Mutilating Dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico

Jordan Sargent · 11/18/12 03:43PM

If you're a dolphin (are you?), the Gulf of Mexico isn't exactly the place you want to be right now. The dolphins there are already dealing with a myriad of health issues stemming from the Deepwater Horizon explosion, and since June, a number of dolphins have washed ashore after having been killed and mutilated. The latest incident happened this past Friday, when researchers in Gulfport, Miss. found a dolphin whose lower jaw had been removed.

Robert Kessler · 09/28/12 04:47PM

A dolphin is either dead, alive, or dead after washing ashore a beach in Queens this morning. RIP/live long and prosper!