New aquatic species, tiny loud fish, new water exoplanet, DST explained, “shroom frog.”

Mar 13, 2024 Episode 175

New marine life discovered, tiny but loud fish, new watery planet discovered, Daylight Saving Explained and the shroom-sprouting frog!

Episode Transcript


LEELA: This week… New aquatic species and discoveries, including the tiny but loud fish, a planet covered in water is observed, Daylight Saving Explained and the shroom-sprouting frog!

OPENING STING – LEELA: “Hey, hey, hey. Listen up. New, new, newsy – Newsy Pooloozi!” 


LEELA: Hello and welcome to Newsy Pooloozi – the news pool for curious kids and adults! I’m your host Leela Sivasankar Prickitt and, as ever, I’m joined by the big story explainer and sound effects finder otherwise known as my… mama!

MAMA: Hello, hello. I’m Lyndee Prickitt.

LEELA: This week…

Scientists from Chile discover around 100 new species of animals in the Pacific Ocean during a month-long underwater adventure!

Plus, a teeny tiny fish is heard in the Asian country of Myanmar making a VERY loud sound. How loud? You’ll just have to listen to find out!

In space news, NASA scientists discover a planet they think is covered in water boiling hot water, actually.

And heard a lot lately about changing the clocks? Well, we’ll give you the low-down on Daylight Saving… or is it Daylight Savings?

Finally, in India there’s a frog with a funky “accessory.” What? Well, it’s a story that’s really “mushrooming” with popularity.

Alrighty then, let’s dive on in. First up, it’s the…

BIG NEWS STORY STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “The big news story of the week!”

MAMA:  Well, for this week’s deep dive – we really do have to take a DEEP dive into the vast seas.

LEELA: And for that we need a bit of this…

NATURE STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “The call of nature. Get on your safari suite. Or squeeze into your scuba gear. And get ready to hop into a jeep. Or submarine. Submarine. Because Mother Nature is calling! Nature.”   

MAMA: Today we’re starting off the podcast with some underwater discoveries. First, the group of researchers and biologist from Chile who took an underwater vessel on a month-long adventure to explore parts of their ocean.

LEELA: As in the southeast Pacific Ocean… I think?

MAMA: You got it! So, the Chilean biologists mapped out more than 20,000 square miles of the Pacific coast. In the process they managed to discover around 100 new aquatic species.

LEELA: Wow! Animals we never knew existed.

MAMA: You got it.

LEELA: Like what?

MAMA: Well, how about a squat lobsters?

LEELA: OK… I mean, I never really thought of lobsters as tall… so this must be really, really squashed to be called squat. And?

MAMA: Glass sponges.

LEELA: Oh, gosh. I wouldn’t want that turned into a kitchen sponge.

MAMA: Oow! No, I guess not. There are also new sea urchins and amphipods.

LEELA: OK, those are crustaceans, right? Kinda like shrimp?

MAMA: Yep. And… they also found four underwater mountains, called seamounts surprise, surprise – that were previously undiscovered.

LEELA: An unknown deep-sea mountain!? A very cool. So, how big is it?

MAMA: More than two miles high, actually.

LEELA: Wow I bet their ears popped a lot on that journey.

MAMA: Ha! I guess so. But talk about ear-popping… The second “aquatic discovery” for today involves a small fish that’s got a huge talent.

LEELA: Oh, do tell.

MAMA: Well, we’re talking about teeny-tiny danio Nella cerebrum.

LEELA: The what-who-where-Brum?

MAMA: The danio Nella cerebrum.

LEELA: OK, when you say tiny… what are we talking here, like the size of fish in the doctor’s office aquarium?

MAMA: Well, we’re talking 10-13.5 millimeters tiny. That’s barely half an inch. And it’s transparent on top of that. It lives in the shallow waters off the coast of Myanmar.

LEELA: Oh! Just next to us here in India, in fact.

MAMA: Yep. And neuroscientists from Germany were studying the fish because it has the smallest known brain of any vertebrate on the planet.

LEELA: Vertebrates being any animal with a vertebrae or backbone. So, what’s its talent then? Having a small brain?

MAMA: Not exactly. For this one, let’s go to our aquatic’s correspondents, Nina and Marcky Granena.

LEELA: OK, then, over to you to water lovers then!

NINA: Thanks, Leela. As you mentioned, this tiny fish with a fancy name is making a splash in the science world for the loud noise it makes.

MARCKY: It’s true. Sometimes, fish -usually males- make sounds to attract a mate.  Others do it to scare away predators!

NINA:  Well, this group of researchers thought they’d be studying the fish’s brain. But in the lab, people walking past the fish tanks kept hearing strange noises. So, they put a camera in the fish tank and what they discovered was pretty amazing! Inside the male fish there’s a special muscle that moves a piece of cartilage.

MARCKY: Cartilage is a strong tissue that protects your joints. Like what your nose and ears are made out of. It’s not just skin, but it’s not just bone either. It’s kind of in between.

NINA: Yes, so this special muscle moves this teeny piece of cartilage against the swim bladder.

MARCKY: Some fish have a swim bladder – it’s like a bag filled with gases that lets the fish float up or down, kind of like buoyancy compressors that scuba divers have to wear.

NINA: Exactly. So, this piece of cartilage is used to beat the swim bladder. Like a drum.

MARCKY: I’m imagining something like a balloon… filled up with air…. that you flick with your finger.

NINA: Yes! And if you’ve ever tried doing that, you will know that it creates a noise. But when these little fishes do it, it creates a really LOUD noise. And considering that the fish is only half an inch as you said – that’s pretty amazing.

MARCKY: How loud are we talking here? Like, louder than an elephant?

NINA: Yes!

MARCKY: Louder than a jack hammer?

NINA: Yes!

MARCKY: Louder than you singing in the shower?  I highly doubt it!

NINA: Ugh. Little brothers.

NINA AND MARCKY: From Barcelona this is Nina Granena and Marcky Granena for Newsy Pooloozi!

LEELA: Thanks a lot for that, you guys!

MAMA: Yeha, thanks! I gotta confess, I sing in the shower too.Mmmhmm. And it’s interesting to note that while that fish sound –


MAMA: Might not have sounded super loud to our ears on this podcast – well, that’s deliberate. First of all, the sound we’ve got is out of the water. But, with equipment scientists found underwater and up close the fish’s sound was 140 decibels, decibels being a measurement of sound, and basically if we played it that loud for you, it would hurt.

[SOURCE: https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/animals/a46922597/chile-100-new-species/?utm_source=pocket-newtab-en-intl





MAMA: OK, let’s stick with science but go up, up, up and away!

SPACE NEWS STING – MAMA/LEELA: “Now let’s have the latest… space news!”

MAMA: Huge news this week for space nuts!

LEELA: Oh, oh, oh – tell me more!

MAMA: Well, in the quest to find life outside our planet…

LEELA: A very noble and exciting, if not a little scary, quest.

MAMA: Indeed! Well, astronomers at NASA have found a distant planet that could be… wait for it… entirely covered in water.

LEELA: Wow – that’s awesome! But wait, did you say entirely covered in water. Like it’s just one big ocean? Kinda likes in the movie.

MAMA: Yes, you heard me right. And not just any ocean, but a deep ocean.

LEELA: Hmmm – so maybe not the place for us Earthlings, then?

MAMA: Not until we sprout fins, I suppose.

LEELA: Or big submarine spaceships.

MAMA: I think I’ve seen that in a movie too… But sticking with some facts from this finding, observations revealed water vapour and what seems to be methane and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of the exoplanet.

LEELA: And an exoplanet is simply any planet beyond our solar system.

MAMA: Correct! So, this exoplanet is twice Earth’s radius and about 70 light years away.

LEELA: So, if we did build a submarine spacecraft it could be a possible place…

MAMA: No no it’s not like some tropical ocean.

LEELA: Oh, it’s super cold?

MAMA: Oh no. It is hot well like a hot soup – scientists reckon it could be just over 200 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Celsius!

LEELA: Ouch! Boiling.

MAMA: That is indeed boiling. So maybe not inhabitable. Though, it has to be said that some other Canadian scientist, who’ve also made observations of the same exoplanet, which by the way known as TOI-270 d.

LEELA: Snazzy name.

MAMA: Yes, they detected the same atmospheric chemicals but argue the planet would be too hot for liquid water – like 40 times hotter – and so it probably features a rocky surface topped by an incredibly dense atmosphere of hydrogen and vapour.

LEELA: Hmmm. It’s sounding confusing. How can be the water and no water at the same time?

MAMA: Well, remember this is just using a very powerful telescope to look at planets and stars out of our solar system. So, a lot of is just guess words to be honest but it’s still pretty cool or I should say hot that they are able to observe and try an understand what lies beyond our solar system.

[SOURCE: https://science.nasa.gov/missions/hubble/nasas-hubble-finds-water-vapor-in-small-exoplanets-atmosphere/


WORLD WRAP STING – LEELA: “What’s that? I’ll tell you what. That’s the halftime bell! Which means… it’s time to hear what’s making news around the rest of the world. Hold on tight, it’s around the world in 80 seconds.” 

MAMA: US President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump both are officially their parties’ nominees for the election in November. The economy as well as US involvement in Russia’s war against Ukraine and Israel’s war against Hamas militants are likely to be the big topics discussed in the run-up to the voting.

Speaking of voting… The winners are in – for the 96the Academy Awards of Motion Pictures with the historical drama Oppenheimer taking seven Oscars, while the movie Poor Things got four. But the blockbuster Barbie only took home one trophy for the best original song category.

In Italy an investigation is underway after a big art heist at an exhibition in the super swanky Lake Garda area. Forty-nine pieces of art worth more than $1.3 million were stolen, including a sculpture that was made up of 50 pieces of gold.

And a fossil of a toothless bird is named after the famous nature documentary maker, David Attenborough. Called Impar Avis Attenborough, which means “Attenborough’s strange bird,” the fossil is changing our understanding of how the creatures evolved.

[SOURCE: https://edition.cnn.com/2024/03/12/politics/biden-trump-presidential-nominees/index.html




LEELA: Well, thank you so much for that – wait for it… that whippity-whappity-zippity-zappity wrap of what’s making headlines elsewhere in the world, Mama.

MAMA: Anytime, my dear. Speaking of time… it’s time

LEELA: It’s time?

MAMA: Yes. It’s time.

LEELA: Time for what exactly?

MAMA: Time to talk about the darn complicated and messy topic of… time. Daylight Saving Time, to be exact.

LEELA: Oh, you mean when some countries in the world change their clocks in the Spring. But isn’t it actually called Daylight SAVING-S Time? With an S?

MAMA: Sigh. Actually, the correct term is daylight saving, but that’s the least of the complications with this tradition.

LEELA Ok… So lemme just ask who, what, when, where how and why do some countries move their clocks ahead by one hour in the springtime?

MAMA: Yes! So, here’s the low-down. Daylight Saving Time means that in the spring and summer, the sun sets at a later time. So instead of it getting dark at 6 o’clock in the evening, it gets dark at 7 o’clock.

LEELA: Ah! Those longer summer days, or evenings, I should say. Love those.

MAMA: Yes, allowing us to get an extra hour of light in the evening during the warmer months, clocks jump – or spring – forward one hour in the spring to begin daylight saving time and then slide back an hour in the fall to end it.

LEELA: And I think there’s a lot of people who don’t like this, right?

MAMA: Yep, there are always campaigns to get rid of it, so that it’s not so dark when we awake in Winter. But like with all things, there are pros and cons both ways.

LEELA: Like those lovely long summer nights…

MAMA: Exactly.

LEELA: So, when did this begin anyway?

MAMA: So according to one story, the idea started quite a long time ago. Back in the 1890’s, a New Zealand entomologist named George Hudson…

LEELA: And just to clarify, “entomologists” are scientists who study bugs.

MAMA: Yes, thank you very much. So, the entomologist from New Zealand was the first person to suggest using Daylight Saving Time. You see for him, the best time to collect bugs was in the late afternoon. If he had more daylight and time before your dinner, then he could collect more bugs!

LEELA: Wow! And, the rest of the world agree and decide to do the same thing?

MAMA: Not exactly. There was another reason it was adopted, then dropped, in Europe and the U.S. during World War I and II.

LEELA: Ok. Why?

MAMA: So, the military could make better use of the daylight hours, of course. Since then, it’s gone through many, many iterations, or versions, but finally becoming what it is today. Which, if I’m honest, is a bit like a patchwork quilt.

LEELA: What do you mean?

MAMA: Well, for one thing, not every country participates. Like as you know, us here in India, the time never changes. The fact that our time is thirty minutes off most everyone else’s is a different matter. But, in fact, two thirds of the countries on earth don’t move their clocks. And not even every state in the U.S. participates!

LEELA: Who? I mean which ones.

MAMA: Well, Hawaii for a start.

LEELA: OK, I guess they’re so far away its Kinda makes sense they beat to their own drum, or clock. But who else?

MAMA: Believe it or not, US state of Arizona!

LEELA: What? It’s right there in the middle of America. Well, in between California and New Mexico!

MAMA: I know, wild. Right. But most of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe do move their clocks. Just not all the same day as the US.

LEELA: What?

MAMA: Yep, in the northern hemisphere, Europe and the UK “spring forward” on March 31st unlike the US and Canada that have already done it, on March 10.

LEELA: OMG. That does sound confusing. I think it’s time to put an end to this story once and for all!

MAMA: Ha, ha, good one!

[SOURCE: https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2023/10/26/most-countries-dont-observe-daylight-saving-time/




LEELA: And finally, let’s see what the lucky dip machine has for us this week.

ODDBALL STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “Step right up, step right up… Have a go at the lucky dip machine… What’s it gonna be today, eh? An oddball, no doubt!”

LEELA: So, today’s oddball is quite wacky indeed. And very close to home, too! Do you know what supernumerary body parts are?

MAMA: Yes, in fact I do. Supernumerary body parts are extra body parts that people sometimes have… like an extra finger or even an extra internal organ.

LEELA: Well, this is a story about a frog with an extra … well, not sure if it qualifies as a “body part” really…

MAMA: What a frog you’re talking about. OK. This IS an oddball! Please, go on.

LEELA: Well, in fact, we’re going to head to our Environment Correspondent, Yuvraj Singh Sahni.

MAMA: Ok, then. Take it away, Yuvraj.

YUVRAJ: Thanks, you guys.

So, one day a group of scientists from the World Wildlife Fund in India were out exploring India’s Western Ghats.

That’s the mountain range that runs along the western coast of India, by the way.

So, these scientists were exploring a pond there that was packed with Hylarana Intermedia.

What’s that, you’re no doubt asking?

Well, it’s the scientific name for Rao’s Intermediate Golden-backed frogs.

They’re little-bitty things – only about the size of an adult thumb.

Well, the pond was filled with them.

But one seemed to have… an extra body part!

OK, when I say body, I don’t mean an extra limb.

Oh, no. I mean they saw a tiny little gray mushroom sprouting from its back!

Yes, you heard me right – a mushroom SPROUTING from the frog’s back.

And, yes, usually mushroom-like fungi called Mycena only grow on decaying organic matter, like rotting wood.

So why is it popping up on the back of a frog?

Well, that’s exactly what the scientists want to know!

Sadly though, the researchers who photographed the little guy did not pick it up for observation.

So, for now, it’s a bit of a mushrooming mystery…

But you can be sure, there are more observations going on in that Indian pond than ever before!

In India, I’m Yuvraj Singh Sahni, reporting for Newsy Pooloozi!

LEELA: Thanks, Yuvraj, so much for that story!

MAMA: Yes, I’d have to question whether this mushroom qualifies as an extra body part. Seem to me it’s more like a “fun”gi way to accessorize. Get it? Funky. Fungi?

LEELA: Oh, very good!

[SOURCE: https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/mushroom-growing-on-frog-india-9161001/


FAB FACTS STING – LEELA: “And it’s time to wrap up the podcast with the top five fab facts heard today. Here goes…” 

MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 1 – Scientists from Chile made some amazing underwater discoveries, one of them is a two-mile-high seamount. What does “seamount” mean?

An underwater mountain

LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 2 – The scientists also discovered that a tiny fish in Myanmar can make a super loud noise with a piece of cartilage? What is cartilage?

Connective tissue that protects your joints

MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 3 – A group of NASA researchers say they’ve discovered an exoplanet that they think might be covered in hot water. What is an exoplanet?

Any planet beyond our solar system

LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 4 – Daylight Saving Time was first suggested by an entomologist from New Zealand. What things do entomologists study?


MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 5 – What is it called when humans have extra body parts or organs?

A supernumerary body part

And don’t forget, if you want to test yourself later on, then go to the Lucky Dip page of our website,  newsypooloozi.com, that’s like a swimming pool so, pool-o-o-z-i, just an I only an I, and take this quiz online in your own time!

LEELA: And that almost brings us to the end of this episode of Newsy Pooloozi! But first…

MAMA: A big shout-out to my new co-producer Julie Noce – who I’ve known for years but have failed to pronounce her name correctly until this very day. Sorry Juile.

LEELA: Oh, no, And a big thanks to Jyoti Chauhan too, who’s our trusty production assistant.


LEELA: If you enjoyed this dip in the coolest pool of news and information then HIT that subscribe button on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Alexa or wherever you get your podcasts.

MAMA: While you’re at it… Give us a good rating. Or better still, leave us a review! Go on – we’ll read it out loud if you do…

LEELA: Alrighty then, see you next week in the happy, splashy giant Newsy Pooloozi!