UFO

Not an actual sighting covered in the report. PICTURE: Albert Antony/Unsplash

Amid much anticipation in some quarters, the US Government's report on UFOs - or more officially 'Unidentified Aerial Phenomena' - was released last week and while it found no evidence of aliens it did acknowledge that 143 reports of UAPs since 2004 that could not be explained (while one was identified as a "large, deflating balloon"). Released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence with substantial input from the military, most of the reports of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena were made in the context of "interrupted pre-planned training or other military activity". In 18 of the incidents, "observers reported unusual UAP movement patterns or flight characteristics". In the end, the report said the sightings of UAP "probably lack a single explanation" but could range from birds, balloons and drones to natural atmospheric phenomena, technologies being developed by US or foreign governments or "other" ("we would group such objects in this category pending scientific advances that allowed us to better understand them", the report noted). The truth is (still) out there.

An octopus in Florida has of late been expressing his artistic side. Farallon the giant Pacific octopus, who lives at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, was filmed using his tentacles to paint on a plastic covered canvas to create a masterpiece (with considerable help from a human keeper) to mark the institution's 'Cephalopod Week'. It was apparently Farallon's first time painting - the paintings are reportedly being given away to people who made the best comments on the aquarium's Instagram account. Head here to see Farallon.

A masterpiece by French painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard was hanging on a wall, forgotten and covered in dust, in an apartment in the French town of Marne when it was spotted by an eagle eyed auctioneer. Antoine Petit had reportedly been asked to assess a family's inheritance when he spotted the work, finding Fragonard's name on the back when he examined it. It was subsequently verified as Fragonard's A Philosopher Reading which dates from 1768 to 1770 and recently sold to an unnamed buyer for a staggering $US9.1 millon.