NASA Scientists Claim THIS Asteroid May Hit Earth with Force of 22 Atomic Bombs

Mark your calendars folks as scientists have revealed the exact date an asteroid is predicted to smash into Earth with the force of 22 atomic bombs.

The asteroid, named Bennu, passes Earth every six years but it has been predicted by asteroids that on a day in September many years from now it will make contact.

NASA has been working on plans to thwart the asteroid’s collision course and divert Bennu. Their mission is now in the ‘final leg’.

Richard Burns, project manager for OSIRIS-REx at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland explained all the work that has been going on to divert it.

He said: “We are now in the final leg of this seven-year journey, and it feels very much like the last few miles of a marathon, with a confluence of emotions like pride and joy coexisting with a determined focus to complete the race well.”

Bennu is around a third of a mile wide which makes it half the size of the asteroid that is thought to have killed dinosaurs. If Bennu crashes into Earth, it will cause devastation 600 miles from the crash site, but it’s not large enough to cause worldwide extinction.

You’ll be even more pleased to know that the possibility of Bennu colliding with our planet and causing devastation for our future generations is actually very slim.

NASA says while there is a risk, there is an ‘extremely small chance’ Bennu will hit Earth on September 24, 2182.

With the date falling near the end of the 22nd century, we don’t have to worry for a good while yet too.

Bennu’s location in 2182 will vary depending on how the 2135 flyby goes, according to NASA. Credit: NASA
Bennu’s location in 2182 will vary depending on how the 2135 flyby goes, according to NASA. Credit: NASA

According to a new paper shared by the OSIRIS-REx science team last month, there is a 1:2700 (0.037%) chance of this missile impacting Earth on September 24, 2182.

“Although it is difficult to determine the odds of this actually happening, new data from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft have allowed scientists to better model how Bennu’s orbit will evolve over time, and to better calculate the probability of an impact,” NASA explains.

On September 25, 2135, Bennu will make a close flyby of Earth. Bennu’s location in 2182 will vary depending on how the 2135 flyby goes, according to NASA. There is a one in 1,750 chance Bennu will hit earth by 2300.

Stars Slammed for Leaving ‘Ball Girl’ in Tears During French Open (Video)

Two tennis stars have been booted out of the French Open after one of the pair inadvertently left a ball girl in tears.

Miyu Kato and Aldila Sutjiadi were taking on Marie Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo in the third round of the women’s doubles when the incident happened. Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo had edged the first set 7-6 on Court 14.

Their opponents had fought back in the second set though and were 3-1 up with the set in the fifth game. The score was level at 30-30 when Kato hit the ball cross-court over the net as Sorribes Tormo prepared to serve.

While not hit in anger, the shot hit a ball girl on the shoulder, with the girl left in tears and visibly upset. The careless backhand landed the Japanese-Indonesian team in hot water with match umpire Alexandre Juge.

Juge initially handed Kato and Sutjiadi a warning, before Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo stormed over to protest his apparent leniancy. ITF supervisior Wayne McKewen and tournament referee Remy Azemar were then called to the court.


An emotional Kato had also gone over to comfort and apologize to the ball girl. Despite her remorse though, Juge’s decision was eventually upgraded after 15 minutes of deliberation to a default.

The default ensured Kato and Sutjiadi were removed from the tournament altogether. Kato was comforted by Sutjiadi after the decision was confirmed, while the ball girl was escorted off the court.

When the announcement was made over the Court’s tannoy, the crowd booed the decision, with Kato and Sutjiadi applauded off. Supervisior McKewen though insisted that the decision to hand out a default was correct.

“The result is serious. The ball girl has been hit. If you hit a ball not in play and it hits someone and they are injured, then you are responsible. Even though you didn’t mean it, you are still responsible for that action,” he said.

“It wasn’t intentional but that doesn’t matter. If you hit the ball in-between points and it hits someone and they are injured, then you are responsible for the end of the match. The way you passed it, you have injured someone.”

“You may not have meant to do it, you may have meant it just in frustration. If it is during play, it’s different. If it’s in-between points, and you hit a ball that hits someone and they are injured, you are then responsible for that action.”

McKewen compared the incident to a similar one that saw Novak Djokovic disqualified from the 2020 US Open.

Bouzkova and Sorribes Tormo will now face Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Perez in the quarter-finals.

Original Article

Haunting “Mermaid” Mummy is Discovered in Japan

A centuries-old mummified “mermaid” that scientists recently revealed to be a gruesome doll of animal parts is even weirder than previously thought, new findings show.

In 2022, researchers discovered the mermaid, which is around 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) long, lying inside a sealed wooden box within a Japanese temple, located in Okayama Prefecture. At the time, researchers thought it was made from the torso and head of a monkey sewed onto a decapitated fish’s body

The haunting hybrid, which resembles a Ningyo from Japanese mythology — a fish-like creature with a human head that is fabled to help cure disease and increase longevity — had previously been displayed in a glass case at the temple for people to worship, before being stored away more than 40 years ago. A letter inside the mummy’s box claims that the specimen was caught by a fisher sometime between 1736 and 1741, but it was likely created decades after that as a hoax to sell to affluent people wanting to improve their health or live longer lives. 

Researchers from the Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts (KUSA) in Japan took possession of the mermaid in early February 2022 (with permission from the temple’s priests) and began studying the eerie artifact using a range of techniques including X-ray and CT (computerized tomography) scanning, radiocarbon dating, electron microscopy and DNA analysis. 

On Feb. 7, the team finally released its findings in a KUSA statement (translated from Japanese). And what they found out about the mermaid was even more bizarre than expected.

The results showed that the mermaid’s torso did not belong to a monkey but instead was made predominantly from cloth, paper and cotton that was held together by metal pins running from the neck to lower back. It had also been painted with a paste made from a mix of sand and charcoal. 

However, the torso was covered in components stripped from other animals. Mammal hair and fish skin, likely from a pufferfish, covered parts of the arms, shoulders, neck and cheeks. The mermaid’s jaw and teeth were also likely taken from a predatory fish, and its claws were made from keratin, meaning they likely came from a real but unidentifiable animal.

The lower half of the mermaid did come from a fish, likely a species of croaker — a ray-finned fish that makes a croaking sound with its swim bladder, which helps it control its buoyancy.

The researchers were not able to identify any complete DNA from the mermaid, but radiocarbon dating of the scales indicated they could date back as far as the early 1800s.

The new analysis suggests that the mermaid was most likely created to trick people into believing that Ningyos and their supposed healing abilities were real, researchers wrote. However, it also shows that the tricksters behind the creation also put much more effort into stitching together the counterfeit creature than expected.

There are 14 other “mermaids” that have been found in Japan, and the team now hopes to analyze others for comparison.

Original Article

Lab Attempts to Re-Awaken “Zombie Virus” Found in Frozen Mammoth

Russia’s Vector lab is extracting Stone Age viruses from woolly mammoths for experimentation but experts fear a leak could set off another catastrophic pandemic

Scientists have caused alarm by unearthing the bodies of long-dead mammals in an effort to ‘re-awaken’ Stone Age viruses.

The pathogens are believed to have been preserved for millennia in the frozen remains of woolly mammoths and other extinct species in northeast Siberia.

Such prehistoric ‘paleoviruses’ are unfamiliar to anything inhabiting the Earth today.

The project is being carried out by Russia’s State Research Centre of Virology and Biotechnology, known as Vector.

It aims to extract cellular material containing the diseases for lab experiments.

One of the research center’s branches is a former biological weapons facility which, in April 1979 inadvertently released spores of anthrax.
The outbreak killed at least 66 people but Soviet authorities denied the incident ever happened.

In 2004, meanwhile, a researcher accidentally contracted Ebola by pricking herself with a needle containing the virus.

Vector currently hosts 59 maximum security biolabs around the world.

International experts, including Jean-Michel Claverie, are worried about the impact of the new experiments.
The professor of microbiology at the University of Aix-Marseille in France led a team involved in reviving a Siberian ‘zombie’ virus that had lain frozen under a lake bed for 50,000 years.

However, the professor said his work is focused only on pathogens that could infect single-celled amoeba and not animals or humans.

He described Vector’s research as “terrible”, reports state.

He said: “I’m totally against it. [It] is very, very risky. Our immune systems have never encountered these types of viruses.
“Some of them could be 200,000 or even 400,000 years old. But ancient viruses that infected animals or humans could still be infectious.”

Referring to how secure the research branch itself is, he added: “I would not be very confident that everything is up to date.”

But it’s not just what Russian scientists might unearth in the Arctic’s ancient wastelands.

Permafrost, the huge expanses of frozen ground, are melting due to global warming and could unleash deadly viruses regardless.

It had come from human and animal remains incased in the thawing permafrost.

The disease had not been seen in the region since 1941.

Original Article

‘Victory Over Death’ – Book Declares Death will Eventually be Optional

A sensational book is now declaring ‘victory over death’. Futurists think that it will soon be ‘treatable’, and by 2045 at the latest it will even be ‘optional’.

The dream of eternal life is certainly as old as humanity. In fact, we have come a little closer to it over the years, as medical advances and improvements in circumstances have already significantly extended life expectancy. And now the next decisive step is to come.

On the way to unlimited life expectancy

Futurist and technology expert from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) José Cordeiro and his co-author David Wood (mathematician and transhumanist from Cambridge University) are certain of one thing. Everyone interested will soon be able to live radically longer and even have an unlimited life expectancy. The corresponding technological revolution is taking place right now. Cordeiro explains this in an interview with

Ultimately, he says, the main question is how to repair the damage that the ageing process does to the body. Co-author David Wood emphasizes:

Research is making progress in finding ways to systematically replace, repair or reprogram this damage.

Ageing is a curable disease

For the two futurists, ageing is a form of disease for which a cure may soon be possible. Cordeiro says:

Cell and organ rejuvenation have already been scientifically proven.

So the main thing is still to live long enough to really benefit from the powerful rejuvenation therapies that are expected.

Longevity therapies, on the other hand, will in future be a part of general social security. And instead of spending 80% of medical expenses in the last two decades of life, health care could then work in reverse – and thus become cheaper.

Society will be completely restructured

Instead, people would invest in effective longevity therapies in their first decades, so that the whole society would benefit afterwards. After all, ageing and its consequences are under control, so that humanity can then relieve the burden on health care with a kind of ‘longevity dividend’.

The two futurists Cordeiro and Wood also see no overpopulation problem arising if death becomes truly optional in the future. What is essential, however, isa change in meat production as it has been practiced up to now – to cultured meat that does not come from sentient animals. In addition, modern farming methods would work in a much more resource-efficient way.

Original Article

Tomb of ‘Jesus’ Midwife’ Yields New Secrets

A cave in Israel said to be the burial place of Salome, Jesus‘ midwife, has yielded more of its secrets, according to archaeologists who have unearthed inscriptions and precious artifacts there, which was once revered as a pilgrimage destination by early Christians.

The discoveries at the Cave of Salome, near the ancient city of Lachish and about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southwest of Jerusalem, include hundreds of clay oil lamps that pilgrims had purchased or rented before entering the cave, and inscriptions carved into the walls by worshippers, some of them written in Arabic.

Although looters discovered the cave 40 years ago and archaeologists excavated the site in 1984, the new dig is the first to examine the cave’s forecourt, a decorated spot covering 3,767 square feet (350 square meters) that sports mosaic floors and is surrounded by stone walls.

Next to the court, the cave’s entrance is heavily decorated with symbolic carvings of rosettes, pomegranates and acanthus vases — a type of vase covered with the ornamental leaves of the acanthus plant, which are said to be characteristic Jewish designs, according to a statement from the Israel Antiquities Authority (opens in new tab) (IAA). Christian pilgrims visited the cave during Byzantine times, from the fifth century A.D; but evidence suggests that a wealthy Jewish family originally used the cave for burials about 2,000 years ago, the IAA researchers said.

“The family tomb attests that its owners were a family of high status in the Judean shefelah [lowlands] in the Second Temple period,” which lasted from 516 B.C. to A.D. 70, the statement said. “The name Salome may have appeared in antiquity on one of the ossuaries [stone boxes] in the tomb, and the tradition identifying the site with Salome the midwife developed.”

Jesus’ midwife

The story of Salome the midwife is told in the Gospel of James, which is considered apocryphal by Christians — meaning its authenticity is doubted — and it does not appear in the New Testament.

Looking out from a cave, we see three archaeologists wearing hard hats as they work on the Salome’s cave and its forecourts excavation site.
The story of Salome the midwife is related in the apocryphal Gospel of James; it’s said her arm withered because she doubted the virgin birth of Jesus, but it was healed when she touched Jesus’ cradle. (Image credit: Emil Aladjem, Israel Antiquities Authority)

Salome is largely unknown to Western Christians today; but she was venerated by early Christians and is depicted as a midwife at the birth of Jesus in many Eastern Orthodox icons.

The story in the Gospel of James relates that Salome was an associate of another, unnamed midwife at the birth of Jesus; but that her hand was withered when she refused to believe that Jesus’ mother was a virgin, and it healed only after she touched the baby’s cradle.

The Salome cave itself comprises several chambers with multiple rock-hewn kokhim (burial niches) and broken ossuaries, attesting to the original Jewish burial custom. But it was a surprise to the archaeologists that the site had become an early Christian chapel and pilgrimage center.

“Salome is a mysterious figure,” the researchers said in the statement. “The cult of Salome, sanctified in Christianity, belongs to a broader phenomenon whereby the fifth-century CE Christian pilgrims encountered and sanctified Jewish sites.”

Place of pilgrimage

The Christian pilgrimage to Salome’s cave continued until at least the ninth century A.D., during the region’s Islamic period. Many of the clay oil lamps uncovered in the new excavation  date to the eighth and ninth centuries, the archaeologists noted. The team also revealed a row of shop stalls in the cave’s forecourt that sold or rented the lamps to pilgrims, perhaps so they could venture into the dark interior.

“The lamps may have served to light up the cave, or as part of the religious ceremonies, similarly to candles distributed today at the graves of righteous figures and in churches,” Nir Shimshon-Paran and Zvi Firer, the IAA’s excavation directors for the southern region, said in the statement. 

Although the cave has remained closed to the public since its discovery, Salome’s cave will open its doors, so to speak, once the current excavations are complete. The cave will be part of the Judean Kings Trail, a 60-mile-long (100 km) trail through the southern part of Israel that features dozens of significant archaeological sites.

Tom Metcalfe is a freelance journalist and regular Live Science contributor who is based in London in the United Kingdom. Tom writes mainly about science, space, archaeology, the Earth and the oceans. He has also written for the BBC, NBC News, National Geographic, Scientific American, Air & Space, and many others.

Giant ‘Gate to Hell’ Crater Opens Up in Russian Town (VIDEO)

An enormous sinkhole, described as a “gate to hell” by local media, has opened up close to one of Russia’s most popular ski resorts. The 100-foot-wide crater formed above an iron-ore mine in Sheregesh.

Terrifying footage of the incident, shared on Telegram by the channel @incident_kuzbass, shows a house teetering on the edge of an enormous smoking cavern.

There were no casualties reported as the area had already been evacuated by local authorities due to concerns over ground instability above the mine. The Tashtagol district administration said in a statement that roads and houses had not been damaged, but the main road approaching the area had been blocked and bus services suspended.

Evgeny Chuvilin, leading research scientist at the Center for Petroleum Science and Engineering at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, told Newsweek that while the billowing crater might look dramatic, it was not unexpected and that suitable security measures had been taken to minimize the damage. However, further north, craters are forming under less predictable circumstances.

“The craters found in the permafrost in the north of Western Siberia are unique geological formations,” Chuvilin said. “They are the result of an explosive release of gas from the upper horizons of the Arctic permafrost.

“The formation of a crater is preceded by a local accumulation of gas, mainly methane, under pressure in the permafrost. Its accumulation occurs in characteristic cavities that form in the lower horizons of ground ice. Subsequently, in gas-saturated cavities, an increase in pressure occurs as a result of gas concentration.”

As the pressure builds beneath the Earth’s surface, the ground above it begins to heave. Eventually, the ground gives way. “There is an explosive release of gas with a scatter of rock fragments [and] ice at a distance of several hundred meters around the area of gas breakthrough,” the scientist said.

The formation of these craters is still quite rare, Chuvilin said, and, since 2014, only 20 such craters have been found. Many of them are enormous, with one on the Gydan peninsula stretching to a width of 650 feet.

As the planet warms, the occurrence of these underground explosions is expected to increase. “It can be said that [climate warming] causes an increase in the temperature of the upper permafrost horizons, and this reduces their mechanical characteristics and thus contributes to the realization of excess gas pressures in the upper permafrost horizons in the form of gas emissions with the formation of craters,” Chuvilin said.

Whether it is the result of mining or natural gas, Russian soil is becoming increasingly vulnerable to these “gateways to hell.”


Original Article

Face of Tutankhamun Seen for the First Time in Over 3,300 Years

The face of Tutankhamun can be seen for the first time in over 3,300 years after scientific reconstruction.

Christian Corbet, the artist who sculpted Prince Philip in 2013, used a 3D model of the pharaoh’s skull to bring the ancient Egyptian ruler to life.

The model was created using scans of Tutankhamun’s skull, taken by Andrew Nelson of Canada’s Western University.

The end result has been called the most realistic reconstruction of the pharaoh’s appearance ever created.

Dr Nelson said: “We worked from the 3D model of the skull, and then we added the layers of muscle and actually built up the face.

“The anatomy of his skull guided the facial reconstruction, so I think it’s a much more realistic appearance than any of the ones we’ve seen in the past.”

The use of computed tomography (CT) scans to create an accurate 3D model of the skull was just one aspect of creating the realistic new depiction.

The team also used tissue markers – which indicate the depth of the flesh at different places – based on modern Egyptians.

Other reconstructions of mummies have used tissue markers based on Caucasian subjects.

Mr Corbet said: “I then built the muscles up layer by layer until the forensic reconstruction was complete.

“The forensic sculpture was based on the science of the skull, and the tissue markers and the measurements of each were based on the average male Egyptian subject.

“There is no creative licence here. Every stage was also photographed to prove my work.”

The forensic bust has eyes shut, no ears and no expression.

But once it was complete, Mr Corbet had the chance to breathe life into the face.

He said: “I was permitted to be more creative and open his eyes, angle directions to the eyes, and perhaps add a bit of an upturn of the lips.

“But again there was no fabricating the features – even the ears were carefully thought out by all of us.”

As a finishing touch, a khepresh or war crown was added.

The sculptor said: “That was creative but then it was also referenced from period sculptures of Tut depicted wearing the crown.

“I just needed to learn how the physics of such a crown would work to sit on the pharaoh’s head.”

The recreation was made for a two-part documentary from Soura Films, Tutankhamun: Allies & Enemies, aired by American public broadcaster PBS.

The project was not without its challenges, however.

The ancients had used resin-soaked linen on the skull in a bid to preserve the shape of the pharaoh’s face after mummification.

Which meant the software had to be shown how to distinguish between the skull itself and other material.

Dr Nelson said: “My role in this project was to segment the skull from the CT scan.

“That involves marking pixels in the CT slices as bone, as packing/resin or as something else.

“I did this using the software, Dragonfly, and I used its deep learning segmentation capabilities by training it on a number of slices, then leaving it to run overnight to do the initial segmentation.

“I then manually cleaned it up to produce the 3D model of the skull – that took about 20 hours of work.”

And unlike with normal subjects, there was no living person for the sculptor to draw from.

Mr Corbet said: “In sculpting the duke, I could at least interview him from the many sittings I had with him; I could talk and chat, and watch his gestures and his incredible intelligence.”

But the sculptor is sure the pharaoh would have approved of the final piece.

Original Article

Notre Dame’s Uncovered Tombs Start to Reveal Their Secrets

Two lead sarcophaguses discovered buried under the nave at Notre Dame Cathedral in what was described as an “extraordinary and emotional” find have begun giving up their secrets, French scientists announced on Friday.

The first contains the remains of a high priest who died in 1710 after what experts say appeared to be a sedentary life. The occupant of the second has not yet been identified – and may never be – but is believed to be a young, wealthy and privileged noble who could have lived as far back as the 14th century.

The tombs were uncovered as part of a cache of statues, sculptures and fragments of the cathedral’s original 13th-century rood screen buried under the floor of the transept crossing at the heart of the cathedral that was ravaged by fire in April 2019.

The burial sites were described as of “remarkable scientific quality” and were found after a preventive dig under the floor where heavy scaffolding is to be erected to install the cathedral’s new spire.

While most of the treasures were discovered barely 20cm (8in) under the cathedral floor, a body-shaped lead sarcophagus was buried one metre deep.

Once opened by specialists in Toulouse, it was found to contain what was left of a man, probably in his 30s, who researchers have named “Le Cavalier”, as his pelvic bones suggest he was an experienced horseman.

There was no name plaque on the coffin, which was moulded around the shape of the body, and holes in the lead around the head meant the remains had been exposed to the air and severe deterioration.

Scientists are continuing to examine fragments of cloth and plant material found inside the coffin and say he was embalmed – a rare practice in the middle ages – and appears to have been buried with a crown of flowers.

A brass plaque on the second lead sarcophagus, also exposed to the air and water infiltration from the historic flooding of the Seine in 1910, confirmed that it contained the remains of Antoine de la Porte, the canon of Notre Dame Cathedral who died on Christmas Eve 1710 aged 83.

Eric Crubézy, professor of biological anthropology at the University of Toulouse III, who oversaw the cutting open of the coffins, said the two men were clearly important in their respective eras to have been buried in such prestigious tombs at the heart of the cathedral.

The unknown cavalier would have been a member of “the elite” at the time of his death to have been interred at the foot of the large cross on the since-destroyed rood screen, an ornate partition between the chancel and the nave that separated the clergy and choir from the congregation. Most rood screens were removed from France’s Catholic churches during the Counter-Reformation in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The young man had suffered a “chronic disease” that had destroyed most of his teeth by the time he died, Crubézy told journalists. “He would have had a difficult end of life.” The dead aristocrat also had a deformation of the skull caused by wearing a headdress or headband as a baby.

Christophe Besnier, who headed the scientific team for the dig carried out by France’s national archaeological institute, Inrap, told a press conference: “If the date of his death was around the second half of the 16th century or early 17th century, we may be able to identify him in the death register that we have. If it’s earlier than that, we probably won’t ever know who he was.”

Unlike the cavalier, de la Porte had “extraordinarily good teeth”, Crubézy said. “They were remarkable for his age. We see this very rarely, but he clearly cleaned his teeth and took care of them.”

De la Porte was rich, influential and not only commissioned several works of art that are now in the Louvre, including a painting by Jean Jouvenet entitled The Mass of Canon Antoine de la Porte, but paid 10,000 livres – a small fortune at the time – for the renovation of the choir of Notre Dame Cathedral. Part of the destroyed rood screen was used in constructing his tomb.

After fire swept through the 850-year-old cathedral, one of Paris’s most symbolic and visited monuments, in April 2019, almost destroying the entire edifice, President Emmanuel Macron pledged to have it rebuilt and open for mass in five years.

The Inrap team was called in to carry out a “preventive dig” under a section of the cathedral floor between February and April before a 30 metre-high, 600-tonne scaffold was built to reconstruct the monument’s spire. The archaeologists were given a strict timeframe and only a specific area in which to carry out the excavation.

Dominique Garcia, president of Inrap, reiterated that the human remains were not “archaeological objects” and would be treated “with respect from beginning to end” of the research before being returned to Paris for the culture ministry to decide what would happen to them.

Original Article

Discovery’s Shark Week Needs Diversity, Study Says

Lisa Whitenack loved sharks as a kid. She spent rainy days leafing through a guide to sharks in Reader’s Digest. Every summer, she would watch “Shark Week,” Discovery’s annual TV event that spotlights the ocean predator with seven days of dedicated programming.

But when the scientists appeared on her TV screen, she rarely saw any women she could look up to.

“Why would I know I could do that?” Whitenack said. “I don’t come from a family of scientists. I didn’t see very many people that looked like me on television.”

Whitenack, now a biology professor at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., found her way into shark research anyway. When the pandemic lockdowns came in 2020, she saw an opportunity to study the source of her old misconceptions. Was “Shark Week” feeding audiences the wrong messages about sharks — and who studies them?

Whitenack led a team of researchers to examine hundreds of “Shark Week” episodes that aired between 1988 and 2020. In a study published last month by the Public Library of Science, their research claims that Discovery’s programming emphasized negative messages about sharks, lacked useful messaging about shark conservation and overwhelmingly featured White men as experts — including several with the same name.

The programming featured more White experts and commentators named “Mike” than women, said David Shiffman, a conservationist at Arizona State University who was a co-author of the study.

“When there are hundreds of people of color interested who work in this field, [and] when my field is more than half women, maybe it’s not an accident anymore that they’re only featuring White men,” Shiffman said.

Discovery did not respond to a request for comment on the study’s findings. The company told NBC Boston that it wouldn’t comment on a study “that has yet to pass any scientific approvals” after a preliminary version was presented 2021. It has since undergone a scientific review, Whitenack said.

“Shark Week,” a 34-year tradition and consistent ratings draw for Discovery, has faced criticism in the past. Scientists and TV critics blasted the event in 2020 for announcing a roster of TV specials that featured six White men out of eight named experts.

Whitenack’s study found that the trend persisted throughout almost all of the television event’s history. Over 90 percent of the 229 experts featured in 201 “Shark Week” episodes were White, the study found, and about 78 percent were men.

Carlee Bohannon, a marine biologist and co-founder of Minorities in Shark Sciences, praised the study for putting numbers to her and her colleagues’ long-standing concerns about diversity in both the media and shark science. When Bohannon founded her organization with three other Black scientists in 2020, it was the first time any of them had met other Black women in their field.

“We all grew up seeing one type of person on TV,” Bohannon said. “‘Shark Week’ was really the biggest thing, and it was always filled with White men.”

According to a separate diversity study co-written by Shiffman, more than half of the members of the American Elasmobranch Society, an academic group supporting the study of sharks and other fish, are women, but over 70 percent of the group’s leadership positions have been held by men. Women in marine sciences can also face a misogynistic culture, marine biologist Catherine Macdonald wrote in Scientific American in 2020.

“‘Shark Week’ further concentrates power (in the form of publicity and media attention) in the hands of white male ‘featured scientists,’ exacerbating academic power imbalances,” Macdonald wrote.

In the latest study, Whitenack and the other researchers also found that more “Shark Week” episodes included stories of attacks and other fearmongering messaging than positive language describing sharks as “awe-inspiring” or ecologically important, which the study called a missed opportunity.

“Shark Week” also lacked effective messaging about conservation issues, researchers said. Though Discovery has used the show to promote legislation protecting sharks, “Shark Week” rarely gave viewers actionable information about conservation issues, such as avoiding seafoods caught in ways that also trap and harm sharks, the study claims.

But Whitenack and Bohannon agreed that the biggest concern was with the program’s lack of diversity and how that might shape young scientists’ perceptions of marine biology and whether they could enter the field.

“Diversity in people brings diversity in thought, which ultimately brings innovation,” Bohannon said. “Being able to see someone who looks like you in this field really has an impact.”

Whitenack said Discoveryhasn’t contacted the research group.

In 2020, National Geographic developed a partnership with Minorities in Shark Sciences that allowed members of the organization to participate in the network’s competing TV program, “SharkFest,” Bohannon said. Seven scientists of color from the group appeared in this year’s programming.

Bohannon appeared on “SharkFest” twice to talk about nurse sharks in the Bahamas and how they have adapted to swim in shallow water. It felt like a milestone — one she wishes more of her peers get to experience.

“Just seeing myself on TV,” Bohannon said, “it was very surreal.”

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