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Thousands of ancient Egyptian texts have just been deciphered, revealing hangover cur

Submitted by: Odio @ 03:57 PM | Friday, March 4, 2016 | (url: http://www.scienc...)

In January 1897, British archaeology students Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt dug into what they thought was a simple sand dune at the site of the ancient Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus, about 200 km south of Cairo.

Pretty soon they realised there was nothing simple about what they were excavating - theyd uncovered an ancient rubbish dump, from which more than 500,000 fragments of Egyptian papyrus were eventually extracted. But the problem with finding so many documents is that someone actually has to read them all.

Between 1898 and 2012, academics managed to transcribe just over 5,000 of the 500,000 documents that are now housed by the Sackler Library in Oxford and owned by the Egypt Exploration Society in London. That means it took them more than a century to transcribe 1 percent of the documents.

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Fossil Daddy Longlegs Sports a 99-Million-Year Erection

Submitted by: Odio @ 11:19 AM | Wednesday, February 3, 2016 | (url: http://news.natio...)

For one well-endowed harvestman, death could not have come at a more inconvenient time.

The ancient arachnid entombed in amber has a massive erection that has persisted for 99 million years, after dying in the throes of arousal.

Based on the uniquely structured penis, which grew to be nearly half the length of the male's body when fully erect, researchers suggest the fossil represents a new, extinct family of harvestmen.

The study was published in The Science of Nature last Thursday, according to National Geographic, and researchers are saying this bizarre find is the first of its kind.

'This is the first record of a male copulatory organ of this nature preserved in amber and is of special importance due to the age of the deposit,' the authors write in the abstract.

The erect specimen, a relative of daddy long legs known as Halitherses grimaldii, is encased in Burmese amber of Myanmar, which trapped the living creature in oozing tree resin before solidifying to preserve him in eternal arousal.

'It must have been in an amorous state to have it out like this,' Ron Clouse of the American Museum of Natural History, who wasn't involved with the study, told National Geographic.

'This poor animal.'

Harvestmen have lived on earth for more than 400 million years, and researchers look to them to understand the spread of early life across the shifting landmasses,

Differentiating between the types can be difficult, as many evolved to look the same, but this well-preserved penis offers a more precise method if identification.

'Different families, and even species, [of harvestmen] can have a characteristic penis shape,' study leader Jason Dunlop, of the Berlin Museum for Natural History, told National Geographic.

'It might be the case that the animal was struggling as it was trapped in the tree resin,' Dunlop told National Geographic, 'and that this caused the blood pressure to shoot up and the penis to become squeezed out accidentally.'

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