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So this is weird.

The ground in Russia is ... jiggly?

GIF from Siberian Times/YouTube.


This video was posted on July 20, 2016, on the Siberian Times' YouTube page. And as of this writing, it's had over a million views, probably because it's a super weird and curious phenomenon.

So what the heck is going on? Is this an optical illusion? A mass of jelly under the grass?

Basically, this piece of ground is the Earth's equivalent of a giant water bed.

Though the video's title calls it a methane bubble, this Wired article is on point in its declaration that we're basically seeing the Earth's version of a giant water bed.

Up that far north, the ground often freezes solid for months. Some of the ground actually never melts at all and is known as permafrost. In the summer, when the top layer of ground thaws, some of the water can get trapped between the deeper permafrost layer and vegetation (like this grass), forming the wiggly, jiggly mass you can see in the video.

The video was made by two Russian researchers, Alexander Sokolov and Dorothee Ehrich, during a research trip to the remote Bely Island above the Arctic Circle. There, they found 15 of these mysterious patches.

This isn't the only weird thing happening on the tundra, by the way.

Though we usually only hear about the tundra on shows like "Ice Road Truckers," there have been some pretty cool findings there lately. For example, scientists recently found several mammoths, wooly rhinos, and other extinct animals.

Mammoth skeleton from Siberia. Photo from Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images.

We've even been able to revive ancient, frozen plants and giant viruses.

Also, did I mention that there are explosions and flammable lakes?

Yeah, there are explosions and flammable lakes.

GIF from University of Alaska Fairbanks/YouTube.

Remember how the jiggly-grass video was labeled as a methane bubble? Turns out that the methane bubbles idea isn't so far-fetched.

When frozen soil thaws, microbes in the soil start eating it and kind of poop out methane, a flammable gas. Sometimes it bubbles up naturally (the Russian scientists detected some methane in their water beds, for example), but sometimes it gets trapped under the soil or under lake ice. And if too much pressure builds up, it might pop like a giant balloon.

These weird phenomena may become more common in the future.

Generally, there's a natural rhythm to the seasons. And these weird happenings are, to some extent, just natural things that happen in the tundra.

But there is also evidence that, thanks to climate change bringing bigger and bigger thaws each year, more and more stuff might change.

For example, we've built a lot of our infrastructure, like buildings and oil pipelines, on frozen soil. If that melts, those structures might fall apart. Also, that methane that can bubble up? Yeah, turns out it's a greenhouse gas, just like carbon dioxide, which is pretty bad for the environment.

This jiggly grass could actually be kind of an important sign. One patch by itself isn't bad, but because more earthy water beds could be tied to global warming, we should definitely keep an eye on them.

Basically, if we can slow down climate change, we can keep the natural rhythm of the seasons going strong. Hopefully, that'll also keep our random jiggly wiggly water beds and exploding lakes in check.

Watch the full video of the grassy water bed below:

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Marlon Brando on "The Dick Cavett Show" in 1973.

Marlon Brando made one of the biggest Hollywood comebacks in 1972 after playing the iconic role of Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.” The venerable actor's career had been on a decline for years after a series of flops and increasingly unruly behavior on set.

Brando was a shoo-in for Best Actor at the 1973 Academy Awards, so the actor decided to use the opportunity to make an important point about Native American representation in Hollywood.

Instead of attending the ceremony, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a Yaqui and Apache actress and activist, dressed in traditional clothing, to talk about the injustices faced by Native Americans.

She explained that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this generous award, the reasons for this being … the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

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