The 7 Craziest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2017
2017 has been a huge year for scientific discoveries—NASA found thousands of new exoplanets, we said hello to our galaxy's first-ever interstellar visitor—asteroid Oumuamua—and NASA announced plans for a new space gateway that could finally make deep space exploration a reality, just to name a few.
But then there are the weird, wild, and wonderful science stories that remind us just how awesome (and bizarre) science can get. Here are our top 7 craziest science stories of 2017.
A true Back to the Future DeLorean won't be possible until we make some major breakthroughs in time travel, but when that day comes, we won't need roads to hit 88 miles per hour. That's a because a "flying car," or at least a vehicle which can easily perform vertical takeoffs and landings, is in the works from DeLorean Aerospace...Specifically, the company is putting together the DeLorean model DR-7, a "two-seat vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) personal air transport vehicle."
Every couple years, tech geeks like us watch questionable press releases come out announcing that soon we'll be able to control mouse cursors with our minds and get rid of keyboards. They always boil down to the same thing: the tech is still spotty, the brain is complicated, and reading thoughts is still sci-fi. So when we started reading about Boston start-up Neurable, we were excited but skeptical-Neurable promises to turn augmented reality into a seamless experience by letting you navigate it with your thoughts.
Called "Handle", the robot is able to make pinpoint turns and navigate flat surfaces, downhill slopes and stairs (which defeated even ED-209 in Robocop). Even more impressive, it's able to leap four feet in the air as it zooms along on its twin wheel-feet.
Remember the origin story behind the Green Goblin in the 2002 Spider-Man movie? How Norman Osborn's technology company has a defense contract to develop a one-man glider for use in military operations? Well, welcome to the superhero future: Russian defense company Kalashnikov (the same company that built the original AK-47) has built something that perfectly fits that description.
3) Elon Musk Announces SpaceX Plans to Fly Two Space Tourists Around the Moon
Elon Musk has announced plans to allow two private space tourists a personalized trip into space, which will involve traveling around the dark side of the moon before returning to Earth. This extra-terrestrial cruise will be the first time in forty years that human beings have traveled this far from our home planet.
From the Space Corps to laser weaponry, life is beginning to feel a little bit more like Star Wars than the 21st century. So it's only fitting that the SAS, the UK's version of the US' Navy SEALs, have been testing bulletproof "Boba Fett helmets." These helmet-mask combos aren't just a space-age way to protect your face-they allow the wearer to use heat-sensing technology to locate enemies.
When people imagine humanity's earliest ancestors, they probably think of a hairy ape-human hybrid, or maybe a furry little mammal that looks like a possum. What they do not imagine is a tiny, flat slab of a worm that has no heart, central nervous system, or anus. But that may be the truth.