Friday, September 06, 2013

Daily 2 Cents: Earth's Largest Volcano Under Pacific Ocean -- Bad Psychic -- Man Dies During Exorcism


Tamu Massif, Earth's Largest Volcano, Lurks Beneath Pacific Ocean

The world's largest volcano lurks beneath the Pacific Ocean, researchers announced today (Sept. 5) in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Called the Tamu Massif, the enormous mound dwarfs the previous record holder, Hawaii's Mauna Loa, and is only 25 percent smaller than Olympus Mons on Mars, the biggest volcano in Earth's solar system, said William Sager, lead study author and a geologist at the University of Houston.

"We think this is a class of volcano that hasn't been recognized before," Sager said. "The slopes are very shallow. If you were standing on this thing, you would have a difficult time telling which way was downhill."

Tamu is 400 miles (650 kilometers) wide but only about 2.5 miles (4 km) tall. It erupted for a few million years during the early Cretaceous period, about 144 million years ago, and has been extinct since then, the researchers report.

Like other massive volcanoes, Tamu Massif seems to have a central cone that spewed lava down its broad, gentle slopes. The evidence comes from seismic surveys and lava samples painstakingly collected over several years of surveys by research ships. The seismic waves show lava flows dipping away from the summit of the volcano. There appears to be a series of calderas at the summit, similar in shape to the elongated and merged craters atop Mauna Loa, Sager said.

Until now, geologists thought Tamu Massif was simply part of an oceanic plateau called Shatsky Rise in the northwest Pacific Ocean. Oceanic plateaus are massive piles of lava whose origins are still a matter of active scientific debate. Some researchers think plumes of magma from deep in the mantle punch through the crust, flooding the surface with lava. Others suggest pre-existing weaknesses in the crust, such as tectonic-plate boundaries, provide passageways for magma from the mantle, the layer beneath the crust. Shatsky Rise formed atop a triple junction, where three plates pulled apart.

Tamu Massif's new status as a single volcano could help constrain models of how oceanic plateaus form, Sager said. "For anyone who wants to explain oceanic plateaus, we have new constraints," he told LiveScience. "They have to be able to explain this volcano forming in one spot and deliver this kind of magma supply in a short time."

Geochemist David Peate of the University of Iowa, who was not involved in the study, said he looks forward to new models explaining the pulses of magma that built Shatsky Rise. Tamu Massif is the biggest and oldest volcano, and the cones grow smaller and younger to the northeast of Tamu. Sager and his colleagues suggest that pulses of magma created the volcanic trail.

"It seems that in many oceanic plateaus the melting is continuous, but here you have a big shield volcano," Peate told LiveScience. "Understanding the source of the volume of that magma, the rate of production of the magma and the time interval between those pulses will help give better constraints to feed into those models," he said.

Sager said other, bigger volcanoes could be awaiting discovery at other oceanic plateaus, such as Ontong Java Plateau, located north of the Solomon Islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean. "Structures that are under the ocean are really hard to study," he said.

Oceanic plateaus are the biggest piles of lava on Earth. The outpourings have been linked to mass extinctions and climate change. The volume of Tamu Massif alone is about 600,000 cubic miles (2.5 million cubic km). The entire volcano is bigger than the British Isles or New Mexico.

Despite Tamu's huge size, the ship surveys showed little evidence the volcano's top ever poked above the sea. The world's biggest volcano has been hidden because it sits on thin oceanic crust (or lithosphere), which can't support its weight. Its top is about 6,500 feet (1,980 meters) below the ocean surface today.

"In the case of Shatsky Rise, it formed on virtually zero thickness lithosphere, so it's in isostatic balance," Sager said. "It's basically floating all the time, so the bulk of Tamu Massif is down in the mantle. The Hawaiian volcanoes erupted onto thick lithosphere, so it's like they have a raft to hold on to. They get up on top and push it down. And with Olympus Mons, it's like it formed on a two-by-four."

Sager and his colleagues have studied Shatsky Rise for decades, seeking to solve the puzzle of oceanic plateaus. About 20 years ago, they named Tamu Massif after Texas A&M University, Sager's former employer, he said. - THP

Encyclopedia of Volcanoes

Volcanoes

Volcanoes in Human History: The Far-Reaching Effects of Major Eruptions


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Sri Lankan man dies in failed exorcism ritual

A Sri Lankan man died Thursday after a bizarre and botched ritual to drive out what he thought were evil spirits from a house outside the capital, police said.

The man sacrificed a cat and was then buried in a shallow grave after instructing onlookers to dig him out once he gave a signal of pushing a sword he was carrying through the ground, police said.

“Even after three hours, there was no sign of the sword coming up from the grave,” a local police official told AFP.

“That is when the onlookers decided to pull him out anyway, but he was unconscious,” the unnamed official said.

The 32-year-old man, identified by police as Maxi Castro, a local exorcist, was taken to hospital early Thursday morning but he had already died, the official said.

The man had been requested to drive out demons feared residing in the home of a school teacher at the village of Pelanwatte.

“I saw him perform a ritual like this at a temple six months ago and invited him to check my property,” the teacher, Wasantha Bandara, told local radio station Shree FM.

“He said I had bad luck because someone had sprinkled human ash at my house, but he could drive out evil spirits through this ritual.” Police spokesman Buddhika Siriwardena confirmed the incident and said an investigation was underway.

Many in Sri Lanka, where 70 percent of the population are Buddhists, have faith in black magic, sorcery and exorcism, and place great importance on astrology. Important state functions are held according to the auspicious times chosen by astrologers. - NST

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Click image for larger version

Amazing....

This is the astonishing moment a jaguar emerged from the water to launch a ferocious attack on a caiman basking on a sand bank.

These stunning images show the 20-stone cat striking with lightning speed while the eight-foot reptile basks on a river island in Brazil.

In a flurry of action, the ferocious cat sinks its teeth and claws into the back of the leathery reptile before whisking it away in its jaws. See more at Daily Mail

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North Korea’s death camps

Camp No. 22 covered some 775 square miles, a larger geographic expanse than London, New York or Los Angeles.

In a way, the camp was a city in its own right, albeit a locus of inhumanity rather than a bustling metropolis. Camp 22 was one point in North Korea’s constellation of concentration camps that run on unadulterated cruelty, a secret world where prisoners are fed poison for experimentation, women are forced to kill their own children and entire families are murdered in gas chambers.

North Korea has imprisoned as many as 200,000 people in these camps. North Korea’s gulag is a place where people aren’t people but rather objects for exploitation and elimination.

The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea released a report this week detailing the harrowing reality of Camp 22. Satellite imagery suggests the camp recently closed. According to the report, after a food shortage in 2009-10, Camp 22’s population shrunk to between 3,000 and 8,000 people from around 30,000 in previous years. Thousands of prisoners seem to have evaporated into thin air — perhaps via Camp 22’s crematoria.

Nations have tolerated these camps for far too long.

It is encouraging that the United Nations has stirred itself to pay attention to North Korea’s camps. Still, historians may again wonder how the world could have known so much and done so little.

Editorial page - The Washington Post - 9/5/2013

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Psychic accused of planting man in attic during ghost tour

Chris Date, a paranormal medium, is alleged to have rapidly driven away from the scene after suspicious staff who hung around after his tour spotted a man climbing down from the roof.

The 38-year-old, who calls himself Knight Guider, tells guests who pay £12-a-head for the ghost hunt that he can contact the spirit world.

During a recent tour of the “haunted” Halfway Hotel in Llanelli, South Wales, 14 people paid to join him in trying to contact the spirit world.

The ghost hunters were led into the hotel stables where Mr Date asked a spirit to knock twice in answer to a question.

The guests were hushed as two ghostly knocks were heard coming from the ceiling above.

Hotel owner Paul Francis, 33, said: "A member of staff and a member of the public wanted to see if someone came down from the attic where the knocking was coming from.

"Twenty minutes went by and then this guy jumped down.

"Our staff grabbed the guy and threw him out."

Guest Mike Grimble, 43, said the man claimed he was homeless and had nothing to do with the spooky sounds but was wearing "designer jeans".

Mr Date denied having any link to the mystery man in the attic and said: "I'm disgusted by it."

“It was nothing to do with me, that is one of the reasons that I left,” he said.

"The knocking did not sound like what I am used to. I said on several occasions that it was odd, the noise was too extreme.

"I have got a very good track record. It's disgusting, I would never do that.

"I take what I am doing very seriously. It was a ghost hunt. No mediumship was promised – it's a fun ghost tour around the hotel."

However, Mr Grimble remained sceptical, adding: "In life the only certainty, other than being born, is death.

"Billions of people have a religion and they are all looking for the same thing – that there's something else after death.

"People who are looking for answers could be vulnerable."

Mr Date's website describes him as "a great intuitive reader who speaks from the heart."

It tells potential customers: "If you are lost and need to find your way again or if you need reassurance then a reading from Knight Guider is for you.

"A male medium with a strong spiritual guide who comes forward to help enable connections with those who have passed over." - Telegraphs

Lon's 2 Cents: This happens occasionally with some of these so-called 'renown' psychics. But the truth eventually comes forward, no matter how slick they think they are. Lon

Psychic Blues: Confessions of a Conflicted Medium

The Rational Psychic: A Skeptic's Guide to Extraordinary Perception

Psychic Intelligence: Tune In and Discover the Power of Your Intuition


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TODAY'S TOP LINKS

5 Giant Cryptids from Around the World

America and Russia in secret Syria talks as Moscow warns of nuclear catastrophe if US launches strikes at Assad's uranium reactor

9 Modern Day Dr. Frankensteins

Witnesses tweet UFO photos during Canadian baseball game

Mysteries of the Sea: Whither St. Elmo?

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'CHICAGO PHANTOM' - FLYING HUMANOID SIGHTINGS

'CHICAGO PHANTOM' - FLYING HUMANOID SIGHTINGS
Have you had a sighting of a flying humanoid or huge bat-like creature in the Chicago, Illinois metro area or nearby? The entity has also been referred to as the 'Chicago Phantom', 'Chicago Mothman', 'Chicago Owlman' & 'Chicago Man-Bat.' Please feel free to contact me at lonstrickler@phantomsandmonsters.com - your anonymity is guaranteed. Our investigative group is conducting a serious examination of his phenomenon. We are merely seeking the truth and wish to determine what eyewitnesses have been encountering. Your cooperation is truly appreciated. You can call me directly at 410-241-5974 as well. Thanks...Lon Strickler #ChicagoPhantom

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