Do NOT think about Russell Crowe right now: G-String-Clad Gladiator Found
Divers exploring a river near a former Roman Empire fort and settlement in Britain have found a piece of pottery that depicts the backside of a rather buff gladiator wielding a whip and wearing nothing but a G-string, according to British researchers.
The image represents the first known depiction of a gladiator in such revealing attire. It adds to the evidence that ancient Romans viewed gladiators not only as fearless warriors, but also as sex symbols.
Philippa Walton, who analyzed the object and is a finds liaison officer for the Cambridgeshire County Council, described the artifact to Discovery News. “The find is a small shard of pottery possibly from a drinking beaker made in Britain in the 3rd century A.D.,” Walton said. “It depicts a man wearing a G-string and possibly holding a whip and is likely therefore to represent a gladiator.”
Or just a stripper. But hey, gladiator is much more sexy.
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Way cool non-archaeological story: It’s Sensitive. Really.
For centuries, the tusk of the narwhal has fascinated and baffled.
Scientists have long tried to explain why a stocky whale that lives in arctic waters, feeding on cod and other creatures that flourish amid the pack ice, should wield such a long tusk. The theories about how the narwhal uses the tusk have included breaking ice, spearing fish, piercing ships, transmitting sound, shedding excess body heat, poking the seabed for food, wooing females, defending baby narwhals and establishing dominance in social hierarchies.
But a team of scientists from Harvard and the National Institute of Standards and Technology has now made a startling discovery: the tusk, it turns out, forms a sensory organ of exceptional size and sensitivity, making the living appendage one of the planet’s most remarkable, and one that in some ways outdoes its own mythology.
The find came when the team turned an electron microscope on the tusk’s material and found new subtleties of dental anatomy. The close-ups showed that 10 million nerve endings tunnel from the tusk’s core toward its outer surface, communicating with the outside world. The scientists say the nerves can detect subtle changes of temperature, pressure, particle gradients and probably much else, giving the animal unique insights.
Lots of speculation on what this may mean. One imagines it must have some other purpose besides ‘sensing’ since it’s only the males (mostly) that have them. Or the trait could simply be a sex-linked one without any sort of sexual selection involved. Still, fascinating.