Tall Tales

Contraceptives used to control grey squirrels

And other stories from the stranger side of life

A squirrel with its lunch

Scientists are using oral contraceptives to control grey squirrel populations in the UK, the BBC reported. Grey squirrels, which are accused by the government of “untold damage” to woodland ecosystems and native red squirrel populations, are lured into feeding boxes only they can access, using pots containing hazelnut spread, which are spiked with contraceptives. Grey squirrels have driven the UK’s native red squirrel to the verge of extinction across much of the country.

Asparagus prediction turns out to be wrong

A fortune teller who uses asparagus to predict the future has suffered a knock to her credibility after the man she said would be the UK’s next prime minister ruled himself out of the Tory leadership race. The Mirror reported that Jemima Packington, known as “Mystic Veg”, said Ben Wallace would be the next PM. However, since her prediction Wallace has said “after careful consideration and discussing with colleagues and family, I have taken the decision not to enter the contest for leadership of the Conservative party”.

Building blocks of life found in Milky Way

The likelihood of life on other planets has been raised after the building blocks of life were found floating near the centre of the Milky Way. Experts have discovered that organic molecules, known as nitriles, are common in interstellar clouds, boosting the theory that similar life-sparking particles “hitchhiked a ride to Earth,” said The Telegraph. The scientists said their findings raised the prospect of life evolving “in other places in the galaxy under favourable Earth-like planetary environments”.

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