A NASA rover completed a marathon on Mars — and won big for humanity.

It took about 11 years. But this little-Mars-rover-that-could did it!

The first marathon is said to have been run by Pheidippides in the ancient Greek times.

It was amazing ... except that he died afterward.


Poor Pheidippides. He ran all the way from Marathon to Athens to be like, "GREECE WON!" and then he died. Image by Luc-Olivier Merson/Wikimedia Commons.

That was the first marathon run on Earth.

Being a species that loves extreme sports, we chose to make the marathon A THING after that.

Marathons (FYI, the name "marathon" comes from the Greek city that served as the starting point) represent stamina, achievement, a healthy obsession with "good proteins," and some of the most fun you'll ever have cheering on strangers in your life!

That's me on the right, at the halfway point of the New York City marathon a few years ago. Photo via Chad Leathers.

Here's the first full marathon ever run on not-Earth.

Look at its little wheels! GIF via NASA Jet Propulsion Lab.

More specifically, that is footage of the first marathon on MARS!

It took 11 years and 20 months to maneuver the 26.2 miles needed to complete a marathon on the Red Planet. And the thing that ran it — a NASA rover named Opportunity — didn't even die!

It's name is Opportunity?! NASA can name things! Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona.

PROGRESS!

This was the first marathon to be run by a creation of Earthlings NOT on Earth.

Just reading that sentence makes me feel space emotions.

Human achievement ... on Mars? GIF via "Cosmos."

What is this human creation that's been solitarily rolling around Mars like Wall-E?

It's a rover that landed 11 years ago on Jan. 24, 2004. NASA has found possible signs of clay minerals around the area where Opportunity landed, and they plan to send the rover to investigate soon. Signs of clay minerals are an indication that there was once a wet environment ... aka Opportunity could be next to discover more water on Mars!

The extraterrestrial marathon represents the ability of humans to make a mark of our culture ... one of stamina, achievement, and community ... on a planet we haven't even been to.

For the first time. EVER. Cool.

The scientists who've been following Opportunity are quick to assert that this rover is there to open new science and space exploration doors, not to set distance records. However, Steve Squyres, a researcher at Cornell University did say, "Still, running a marathon on Mars feels pretty cool."

First the marathon ... who knows what's next!

Martians???? Probably not, but what's next is definitely going to be exciting. GIF via "Sesame Street."

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Universal Pictures: Everest

Image by Brent Connelly from Pixabay and sixthformpoet / Twitter

Twitter user Matt, who goes by the name @SixthFormPoet, shared a dark love story on Twitter that's been read by nearly 600,000 people. It starts in a graveyard and feels like it could be the premise for a Tim Burton film.

While it's hard to verify whether the story is true, Matt insists that it's real, so we'll believe him.

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"Clay's tallest story" is one we should all stop to listen to, no matter how much we think we know about mental health. What starts off as a forgettable fishing video quickly turns into a powerful metaphor about mental health.

What would you do if an unexpected gust of wind pushed your boat out to sea? You'd call for help. It's so obvious, why would anyone think differently? But when it comes to our mental health, things often appear so much more unnecessarily complicated. Thanks for the reminder, Clay!


Clay’s Tallest Story www.youtube.com

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Approximately 10% of the population is left-handed, and the balance between lefties and righties has been the same for almost 5,000 years. People used to believe that left-handed people were evil or unlucky. The word "sinister" is even derived from the Latin word for "left."

In modern times, the bias against lefties for being different is more benign – spiral notebooks are a torture device, and ink gets on their hands like a scarlet letter. Now, a new study conducted at the University of Oxford and published in Brain is giving left-handers some good news. While left-handers have been struggling with tools meant for right-handers all these years, it turns out, they actually possess superior verbal skills.

Researchers looked at the DNA of 400,000 people in the U.K. from a volunteer bank. Of those 400,000 people, 38,332 were southpaws. Scientists were able to find the differences in genes between lefties and righties, and that these genetic variants resulted in a difference in brain structure, too. "It tells us for the first time that handedness has a genetic component," Gwenaëlle Douaud, joint senior author of the study and a fellow at Oxford's Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, told the BBC.

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Pete the Plant is a maidenhair fern living in the Rainforest Life exhibit at the London Zoo, but Pete the Plant isn't like other plants. Pete the Plant is also a budding photographer. Scientists in the Zoological Society of London's (ZSL) conservation tech unit has been teaching the plant how to take selfies.

The ZSL held a competition in partnership with Open Plant, Cambridge University, and the Arribada Initiative for the design of a fuel cell powered by plants. Plant E in the Netherlands produced the winning design. The prototype cell creates electricity from the waste from the plant's roots. The electricity will be used to charge a battery that's attached to a camera. Once Pete the Plant grows strong enough, it will then use the camera to take a selfie. Not too bad for a plant.

"As plants grow, they naturally deposit biomatter into the soil they're planted in, which bacteria in the soil feeds on – this creates energy that can be harnessed by fuel cells and used to power a wide range of conservation tools," Al Davies, ZSL's conservation technology specialist, explains.

RELATED: This plant might be the answer to water pollution we've been searching for

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