Michelle Starr, ScienceAlert

Michelle Starr


Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Recent articles by Michelle:

Experimental Evidence Shows How Humans Could Have Domesticated Ourselves

Human beings were not always the docile, amiable and house-trained animals we are today. → Read More

Horrifying Photo of Huntsman Spider Nest Will Haunt You, But Scientists Are Excited

Huntsmans may be the gentle giants of Australia's spider world, but they definitely have a somewhat alarming mien. With their round furry bodies and long, gangly, sideways-jointed legs, just one of these hand-sized beasties can deliver an impressiv → Read More

Used Cosmetic Products Found to Be Crawling With Infectious Bacterial Contaminants

When was the last time you checked the use-by date of your makeup? Or washed your brushes and sponges? If the answer is "never" or even "a while ago", you could be smearing infectious bacteria on your skin every time you apply your warpaint. → Read More

We May Finally Understand How Life Survived The Icy Hell of Snowball Earth

Life has faced many challenges as it has scrambled over this blue marble; many times, it has seemingly reached the brink, only to come back with surprising vigour. Now, researchers have finally figured out how living things could have survived a col → Read More

Astronomers Have Detected a Familiar Feature in a Far-Away Solar System

How typical is our Solar System? The question bedevils planetary scientists, but making detections of analogous features in other planetary systems is pretty hard. Yet astronomers have just made one - of a Kuiper belt-like feature around a star 320 → Read More

Fireball Spotted Over Australian Desert May Have Been Super-Rare 'Minimoon'

Fireballs explode in Earth's atmosphere all the time, usually unremarkably. And a fireball that exploded over the Australian desert in 2016 might have been mistaken for any other bolide, if not for a network of cameras monitoring the sky to search → Read More

We Discovered Toilet Sloths And Found Hell

We have seen the depths of hell, and it is a sloth. A cheerful-faced, slow-moving two-toed sloth, peering out of its comfortable position, snugly ensconced in... a human toilet. → Read More

The Latest Breakthrough in Time Crystals Is a Structure That Needs No External Input

A newly theorised type of time crystal could revolutionise the potential of these fascinating structures. Unlike the time crystals that have been created to date, it would not require the application of an external stimulus to keep the atoms ticking. → Read More

Thousands of Strange Planets Could Be Orbiting Each Supermassive Black Hole Out There

In the immediate vicinity of a supermassive black hole's event horizon, conditions are pretty wild. But travel a little farther out, and other objects can be snared in its gravitational influence - like the stars orbiting the supermassive black hole → Read More

Scientists Just Found an "Impossible" Black Hole in The Milky Way Galaxy

A new black hole search method has just yielded fruit, and boy is it juicy. Astronomers have found a stellar-mass black hole clocking in at around 70 times the mass of the Sun - but according to current models of stellar evolution, its size is impo → Read More

Man Dies After Being Licked by His Dog in Tragic And Rare Medical Case

A 63-year-old man in Germany who contracted a rare bacterial infection after being licked by his dog has died, prompting doctors to caution pet owners to be aware of any unusual symptoms. → Read More

Scientists Discover 'Ice Fossils' in a 4.6 Billion-Year-Old Meteorite Shard

A meteorite found in the Algerian desert in 1990 is yielding new clues about the formation of the Solar System. New analysis of meteorite Acfer 094 has revealed tiny pores distributed throughout the rock - ancient fossilised holes where ice crystal → Read More

Crows Can Pass The Marshmallow Test as Well as Human Children, New Study Shows

Once again, crows have demonstrated their wicked smarts by passing a cognitive test to prove they can exercise self control almost as well as a human child. Offered treats, they were able to hold off devouring available snacks if they could see an → Read More

Astronomers Have Found a Galactic Merger With Three Supermassive Black Holes

Of the myriad galaxies we've seen in the night sky, NGC 6240 has always stood out for its peculiar shape and unusual infrared brightness. It was thought to be the result of two galaxies colliding - until now. → Read More

2,100 Years Ago, Two Dead Babies Were Buried Wearing The Skulls of Dead Children

Historical burial customs of children around the world often tend to be special, but every now and again, something really stops scientists in their tracks. An ancient burial just uncovered in Salango, Ecuador is a real doozy: two infants buried with → Read More

Music Could Be a Universal Language We All Understand, Science Shows

Wherever you go around the globe, cultures have their own songs: songs of love, of lullaby, songs of war and dance. Now, a new study has found it's not just music itself that's ubiquitous. The same patterns can be found repeated in the same types of → Read More

This Is What The Galactic Centre Would Look Like if We Could See in Radio Wavelengths

The most in-depth radio survey ever taken of the southern sky has helped astronomers find the remnants of dead massive stars nobody knew were there. It's also produced some gorgeous images in the process. → Read More

This Viking Burial of a Boat Put in a Larger Boat 100 Years Later Is Pretty Confusing

The boat burial practices of the Viking people of Scandinavia from the 7th to 10th centuries are famous. But when a high-ranking Viking woman on a farm in Vinjeøra, central Norway, died in the latter half of the 9th century, something was different. → Read More

That Rogue Interstellar Comet Was Imaged Almost a Year Before Its Actual Discovery

It may have only been officially discovered in August 2019, but the tremendously exciting interstellar comet 2I/Borisov was already well inside the Solar System at that point. And, after poring over sky survey data, astronomers have found the objec → Read More

The Sound of Earth Being Wracked by a Solar Storm Is Eerily Disturbing

In space, no one can hear you scream because sound can't travel in a vacuum. But if we convert electromagnetic activity to sound, it suddenly becomes a very noisy place. And our Earth is no exception; specifically, in and around the magnetic field → Read More