GenZ News for Kids: A Free-Thinking Education Starts Here ...

Close

The Spill: Unicorn of the Ocean

Weekly news you can use.

If you notice a yellow highlight on the page, hover over it for the definition!

First Narwhal Sound Recordings

Are there unicorns under the sea? Sure there are, but not the white horses with sparkling horns that we think of when picturing the fantasy creatures. The artic unicorn is a real-life creature. Now, thanks to the help of local indigenous people and current technology, scientists are finally getting some great information from these shy sea-dwellers.

Narwhals are the “unicorns of the ocean,” and their nickname makes sense when you look at their long “horn.” Not much is known about these underwater unicorns because they are shy and avoid humans.  They also live in icy areas of the water, and it can be dangerous to take boats there. Only Inuit hunters can get close to them. Luckily for scientists, the Inuit agreed to take them while hunting whales.

With the Inuits’ help, scientists put underwear microphones on the bottoms of the boats. They were excited to capture the narwhals’ clicking and whistle calls for the first time. The sound recordings captured whistles used for social calls and clicks the mammals use as sonar (echolocation), like the system used by bats and dolphins to navigate and find food. As the narwhals get closer to their food, their clicks become faster. In fact, the noise grows so much that it becomes a buzz, kind of like a chainsaw, which helps them to find their prey.

For such shy creatures, they like glacial areas that are noisy. One scientist said the ice breaks and makes bubbles, so “it’s like a fizzy drink underwater.” He added, “It seems we are dealing with animals living in one of the most noisy environments without having much trouble.”

Trump Responds to Riots

Protests and riots have rocked the U.S. after the tragic death of a man called George Floyd. Many protesters gathered peacefully to express their anger, but some groups have been causing violence. President Trump responded to the events.

He called the rioters “an angry mob” and said he will make sure America gets back to law and order. The president said he plans to send the National Guard into areas with riots. Some states have already called the National Guard to gain control of the streets, but Trump said he would send enough to “dominate the streets.”

As well as the National Guard, Trump also said he would send active soldiers. It’s very rare for soldiers to be sent onto American streets. Trump also said he would make sure the people doing the violence are arrested.

A lot of attention is going to the violence and rioting, but many Americans have protested peacefully. In one event, hundreds of people gathered at the site of Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, laying flowers and signs.

NASA’s Artemis Accords

The final frontier is starting to get a lot more visitors. It had been a decade since America launched astronauts into space, but that changed on Saturday. This time, the rocket was made by civilians in the SpaceX program – the first time NASA partnered with a private company.

With these new launches, NASA came up with some rules for travelers. Known as the Artemis Accords, the rules are for the government and private companies alike. They make sure everyone shares the information they find in space, rather than keeping it secret.

In Greek mythology, Artemis was the daughter of Zeus and the sister of Apollo. She was the goddess of hunting and wild nature. She was a patron of young women, often called upon to protect them during childbirth.

The Artemis Accords tell all space partners to share new science with the public and to register all space objects.

The Accords also ensure that partners will protect sites and artifacts that have “historic value.” This can include past Moon landings, which already have more than 400,000 pounds of junk left behind.

On May 30, SpaceX had its first launch with a human crew to the International Space Station. The Crew Dragon spacecraft was thrust into orbit by a Falcon 9 rocket. Even though the first launch was postponed due to bad weather, the second attempt was a huge success.

Try an online crossword about this week’s news!

Related Posts