ustralia fell into the grip of a minor UFO frenzy after "a strange spiral" of light appeared over three eastern states early Saturday morning. Witnesses, many of whom recorded the event on their cameras, reported seeing the lights for two or three minutes and compared them to a "huge revolving moon" and a "lollipop-type swirl." Rumors of alien spacecraft flooded the media, but a practical explanation for the phenomenon was soon forthcoming: Astronomers in Australia and the U.S. said the lights were likely from SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, which was launched from Cape Canaveral late on Friday night. "The path of the rocket over the Earth's surface... goes right over eastern Australia," says Phil Plait at Discovery Magazine. The "spiral pattern" is from "gas leaking out of the booster." Whatever, says Inspektor Paget at Buzzfeed. "I, for one, welcome our new spinny-aroundy overlords." Watch a video of the spooky spirals:
- How to make people like you: 6 science-based conversation hacks
- 10 things you need to know today: December 13, 2013
- The Black Death is back
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- How John Boehner learned to stop worrying and hate the Tea Party
- The lingering mystery of the 1964 World's Fair
- Which professions have the most psychopaths?
- How Arrow became the best superhero show on television
- What one thing can determine whether or not you're successful in life?
- Watch Fox News' Megyn Kelly claim Santa, like Jesus, is a white guy
Subscribe to the Week