Another year is about to pass, but before we do it would be remiss if we didn’t take a look back at the news stories that fascinated us here at the Grail in 2022. We’ve posted links to over 3000 stories in our daily news briefs updates over the course of the year – but we’ve sorted through them all to bring you what we think are the 150 most interesting, odd and/or mind-blowing news items of 2022.
Note that these are pretty much restricted to Daily Grail news fare: cutting-edge science, new discoveries about history, general weirdness and Forteana, new ways of seeing the world around us etc. – you won’t be getting financial or political news stories unless they are in some way relevant to the categories we usually cover. We’ve gone with 15 different categories that seemed to best cover the types of fascinating stories that turned up regularly (with 10 items in each, making 150 stories all up): Space, Alien-hunting, UFOs/UAP, Science, Technology, Environment, Life on Earth, Animal Cognition, Ancient Sites, Pre-history, History, Weird/Forteana, Mind Mysteries and Parapsychology, Psychedelics, and Conspiracy.
Also: it was a very tough job to cut the lists down to just 10 in each category – we had to leave out some absolutely bonkers stories from our first collection, sadly. As such, we’ve posted our first, uncut draft to our Patreon, for those that would like to see what we left out (and judge us unmercilessly for what you might think are any incorrect decisions in what we cut versus what we left in)!
Thanks to all our readers for your support over 2022, and all the best to everyone for an excellent 2023! We’re an independent website, so if you like what we do, please consider helping us continue for the next year by signing up for a $US1/month (or more) ‘voluntary subscription’ via our Patreon (you get a free ebook for your trouble!) to help pay for our time and effort – or you can give a one-off donation easily at PayPal.me/DailyGrail.
Without further ado: the 150 most fascinating stories posted on the Grail in 2022:
- NASA’s latest moon mission is the dawn of a new space age. And also: NASA expects humans to live on the Moon this decade.
- Asteroid-smashing planetary-defense test was a success, NASA confirms.
- James Webb Space Telescope’s first glimpses of early galaxies could break cosmology.
- Over the past few million years, some stars have passed uncomfortably close to our own solar system – did they cause an increase in impact events on Earth?
- There’s something strange about how these star clusters are moving, scientists say – they appear to be defying the laws of physics.
- China plans to send monkeys to their space station to have sex with each other.
- Earth just mysteriously spun faster, causing the shortest day ever recorded.
- After surveying 87% of the southern sky, ‘Planet Nine’ is still AWOL.
- Distant star is orbited by 65 mystery objects that transit precisely 23.1 minutes apart.
- Scientists want to send tardigrades to distant stars with massive lasers.
- New NASA study overturns previous findings that phosphine gas on Venus could prove it hosts alien life.
- Harvard scientists are hoping to find a crashed alien space probe at the bottom of the ocean.
- Radio astronomer and SETI pioneer Frank Drake – he of the eponymous ‘Drake Equation’ – has passed away at 92.
- The great Venusian bug hunt: looking for unambiguous signs of life in the clouds of Venus.
- Scientists are looking for ‘very powerful’ alien ‘transmitters’ hiding in space images.
- There are four ‘malicious extraterrestrial civilisations’ in the Milky Way, researcher estimates.
- Blasting out Earth’s location in hopes of reaching aliens is controversial – but two teams of scientists are doing it anyway.
- Tantalising discovery hints at possibility of life on Pluto.
- A.I. could reveal extraterrestrial intelligences beyond our level of consciousness.
- Double telescope study of zone where possible extraterrestrial ‘Wow! signal’ originated comes up empty.
- How believers in the paranormal birthed the Pentagon’s new hunt for UFOs. Also: Pentagon UFO study led by researcher who believes in the supernatural.
- After six globe-trotting decades spent probing ‘the phenomenon’, Jacques Vallée still doesn’t know what UFOs are.
- New classified report to U.S. Congress says half of the UFO sightings they have can be explained (but still leaves nearly 200 mysteries unsolved). Also: Congress admits that UFOs are not ‘man-made’, and says ‘threats’ are increasing ‘exponentionally’.
- Revealed after 32 years, the top secret picture one British Ministry of Defence insider calls ‘the most spectacular UFO photo ever captured’.
- Obama’s presidential library has thousands of files on UFOs.
- The Canadian government often disregards UFO reports, but on rare occasions even fighter jets are scrambled to investigate.
- With new study, NASA seeks the science behind UFOs. Also: NASA announces unidentified aerial phenomena study team members.
- Researchers analysed material from an unsolved UFO case with modern scientific equipment.
- Video of mysterious drone swarm over US Navy’s most advanced destroyer released.
- Paranormal activity: why is Harvard University astrophysicist Avi Loeb working with ardent UFO believers?
- ‘Major breakthrough‘ in nuclear fusion announced.
- Scientists create world’s first ‘synthetic embryos’.
- A teen’s cancer is in remission after she received new cells edited with CRISPR.
- Scientists design algorithm that ‘reads’ peoples’ thoughts from brain scans.
- Brain cells in a dish have learned to play the classic computer game Pong, and scientists plan to get them drunk next.
- Rise of the ‘Xenobots’: embryonic cells can self-assemble into new living forms that don’t resemble the bodies they usually generate, challenging old ideas of what defines an organism.
- Scientists ‘really surprised’ after gene-editing experiment to make hamsters more peaceful unexpectedly turns them into hyper-aggressive bullies.
- Do we need a new theory of evolution?
- Scientists say there may be a mirror universe in which time runs backwards.
- A billion years of time are mysteriously missing. Scientists think they know why.
- This Google engineer believes the company’s AI has become sentient.
- Talking to whales: can AI bridge the chasm between our consciousness and other animals?
- The French town where the street-lights are alive: using the bioluminescence of bacteria as an alternative light source.
- A third of artificial intelligence researchers think AI could cause ‘catastrophic’ outcomes on par with nuclear war in this century.
- Douglas Trumbull, the visual effects maestro behind sci-fi classics 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Blade Runner, has passed away at age 79.
- Robot dogs can swim now.
- The Indus Valley script has defied translation for more than a century since its discovery – can AI crack the code?
- Oculus founder builds VR headset that kills the user if they die in-game.
- China launches the world’s first AI-operated ‘Mothership’, an unmanned carrier capable of launching dozens of drones.
- Drone carrying a defibrillator saves its first heart attack patient in Sweden.
- James Lovelock, the creator of the Gaia hypothesis, dies on his 103rd birthday.
- The theory of the “wood-wide web” is everywhere, but some scientists argue that it is overblown and unproven.
- We have created the Pandemicene: Climate change is completely rewiring the network of animal viruses.
- Rapidly melting glaciers are releasing a staggering payload of unknown bacteria.
- Dimming the Sun to cool the planet is a desperate idea, yet we’re inching toward it.
- Ice cores reveal huge volcanic eruptions during the last Ice Age, 25 of which were larger than anything Earth has seen in the last 2,500 years.
- Scientists propose controversial plan to refreeze the North and South Poles by spraying sulphur dioxide into atmosphere.
- World’s oldest trees reveal the largest solar storm in history.
- Potentially alive 830-million-year-old organisms found trapped in ancient rock.
- Scientists say planetary intelligence is real, but Earth doesn’t qualify yet.
Life on Earth
- How animals perceive the world: every creature lives within its own sensory bubble, but only humans have the capacity to appreciate the experiences of other species. What we’ve learned is astounding.
- Honey bees are only living half as long as they did in the 1970s.
- Whale sighting in Australia hints at ‘extremely unusual’ interspecies adoption.
- Insect swarms create so much electricity that they may influence the weather, study finds.
- Scientists could create a genetic doppelgänger of a Tasmanian Tiger. But will it be wild enough to avoid extinction a second time?
- Bringing back the woolly mammoth.
- Why were Bolivian river dolphins swimming around with a large anaconda in their mouths?
- The wizards of mind control: how parasites manipulate the behavior of their hosts.
- Wolves infected with mind-altering parasite Toxoplasma gondii are more likely to become pack leaders, researchers find.
- Gravitational action of sun and moon influences behavior of animals and plants, study shows.
- Crows perform mental ‘recursion’ as well as kindergarten kids.
- Are these bumble bees playing with toys?
- She has deep emotions, complex social needs and a large brain. Just because she’s also an elephant doesn’t mean her legal personhood shouldn’t be recognised too.
- Another path to intelligence: octopus brains are nothing like ours — yet we have much in common.
- Spiders seem to have REM-like sleep and may even dream.
- Scrutinising the science of animal sentience.
- Altruism in birds? Magpies have outwitted scientists by helping each other remove tracking devices.
- Do birds have language? In the cheeps, trills and tweets of birdsong, scientists find some parallels with human speech.
- Cephalods can pass a cognitive test that is designed for human children.
- For millennia, people across the globe have reported alarmed animal behaviour in the run-up to natural disasters. Could these signals be used to warn us of impending catastrophes?
- Huge megalithic complex of more than 500 standing stones discovered in Spain.
- Mystery of structures resembling kites from thousands of years before the pyramids finally cracked.
- Scientists discover 168 mysterious Nazca geoglyphs in the desert sands of Peru.
- Easter Island statues suffer ‘irreparable’ damage in fire.
- Ancient Maya cities found to be heavily contaminated with mercury.
- Hidden hieroglyphics suggest Tutankhamun’s burial chamber may contain door to Nefertiti’s lost tomb.
- 7,000-year-old structure discovered near Prague is older than Stonehenge, Egyptian pyramids.
- ‘Spanish Stonehenge‘ emerges from drought-hit dam.
- ‘Mind blowing’ ancient settlements uncovered in the Amazon.
- Stonehenge may have been a rock calendar built with knowledge from Ancient Egypt.
- Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA discovered in ancient South Americans.
- Scientists can no longer ignore ancient flooding tales – Indigenous stories from the end of the last Ice Age could be more than myth.
- Ancient surgeons performed a successful amputation 31,000 years ago in Borneo.
- Early humans were sailing the Mediterranean half a million years ago, study concludes.
- Mammoth bones and ‘ghost’ footprints add to heated debate about the redating of the first humans in North America.
- A mysterious cult that predates Stonehenge left some of the earliest stone monuments in world history across Saudi Arabia.
- Did ancient humans use echolocation?
- Are ‘hobbits’ still alive on the Indonesian island where their ancestor’s fossils were found?
- Turns out the artists behind many prehistoric paintings were children.
- Does this Amazon rock art depict extinct Ice Age mammals?
- Archaeologists discover huge lost civilization in Guatemala.
- The Aztecs used precise solar observations and mountain markers to maintain a farming calendar that could feed millions.
- Researchers may have tracked down the source of King Tutankhamen’s ‘space dagger’.
- Findings from 3,000-year-old Mediterranean shipwreck that carried tons of rare metals reveal a complex trade network that extended halfway across Asia.
- Unchecked deforestation is destroying evidence of a lost Amazon civilization.
- Gigantic radiation storms have been pummeling Earth once every 1,000 years and could strike again, tree ring analysis reveals.
- Dead Maya elite were used as rubber balls, ancient crypt reveals.
- Extinct pathogens ushered the fall of ancient civilisations, scientists say.
- Howard Carter stole Tutankhamun’s treasure, new evidence suggests.
- Strange, giant stone jars created by a mysterious people were just found in India.
- The Hum: British villagers say they’re ‘tortured’ by mystery noise.
- ‘They look almost human made.’ NOAA finds weird lines of holes in Mid-Atlantic floor.
- People are memorialising their dead loved ones by harvesting tattoed skin from their bodies and turning it into fine art collectibles.
- Mystery surrounds aristocrat’s vampire hunting kit.
- Russian warship sunken in Ukraine war may have been carrying a piece of the ‘true cross’ – a treasured Christian relic – onboard when it went down.
- The Dyatlov Pass mystery may have been solved by new video evidence.
- ‘Mad’ Mike Hughes’ last ride: Inside a Flat-Earther’s doomed mission to fly a steam-powered rocket to space.
- Newly-released documents shed light into government-funded research into wormholes, anti-gravity and invisibility cloaks.
- First English sighting of ‘ball lightning’: a 12th century monk’s chronicle reveals all.
- Elephant tramples woman to death, then turns up at her funeral and attacks her corpse.
Mind mysteries and parapsychology
- Why placebo pills work even when you know they’re a placebo.
- Is reality a hallucination? The neuroscientist Anil Seth thinks so.
- First scan of the dying brain reveals a final ‘recall’ of our lives.
- The search for meaning in a mysterious brain signal at death.
- The vision collector: the man who used dreams and premonitions to predict the future.
- The amazing plasticity of the brain: a woman grew up without a large chunk of her brain – but it didn’t matter.
- Injecting spinal fluid from younger mice improves memory in elders, new research suggests.
- Experiment suggests that consciousness may be rooted in quantum physics.
- From global consciousness to global apocalypse: could Putin’s advisor Anton Vaino use a psi experiment to justify war?
- Near death, seeing dead people may be neither rare nor eerie.
- Wari leaders in ancient Peru used hallucinogens to keep followers loyal 1,200 years ago, archaeologists say.
- ‘Magic mushroom’ psychedelic could treat alcohol addiction, trial finds.
- Beyond ‘machine elves’: Cataloguing the variety of entities encountered during DMT trips.
- Manipulating light can induce psychedelic experiences, and scientists aren’t quite sure why.
- Psychedelic trips and near-death experiences both result in strikingly similar changes in mindset.
- The Biden administration is preparing for legal psychedelics within two years.
- The peyote plot: the indigenous fight to conserve the sacred plant and the spiritual medicine it contains.
- Secret ancient Andean passageways may have been used in rituals involving psychedelics.
- Inca child sacrifice victims drank ‘antidepressant’ ayahuasca before death.
- ‘Magic mushroom’ therapy changes brain wiring in depressed people, study finds. Also: How psychedelic drugs might treat depression.
- Biden releases most of the remaining JFK assassination records — but still withholds thousands.
- Alex Jones is ordered to pay almost a billion dollars to families of the Sandy Hook victims.
- The Georgia Guidestones destroyed by an explosion.
- The founder of 8chan is facing death threats for going after QAnon. Also: QAnon unmasked? How a baffling mistake revealed Q’s identity.
- CIA report says ‘Havana Syndrome’ is not the result of a sustained campaign by a hostile power. However, dozens of CIA officers accuse intel agency of soft-pedaling its ‘Havana Syndrome’ investigation. Also: The youngest victims of ‘Havana Syndrome’. And also: Havana Syndrome’ may be caused by directed energy, US intelligence report says.
- What’s with the UFO on a US intelligence agency seal that has since been retracted as “an unofficial and incorrect logo”?
- Pentagon opens sweeping review of clandestine psychological operations (psy-ops).
- The ‘Satanic panic’ is back, and it is bipartisan.
- Google allegedly infiltrated by a ‘cult-like religious sect’ who hired as many fellow members as possible.
- Apple’s AirTag used to locate a secret German intelligence agency’s headquarters.
Phew, you made it! We hope you enjoyed this list of the 150 most fascinating stories of 2022 – we’ll of course be continuing to post daily news briefs throughout 2023, so be sure to bookmark the Grail and check back often.