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Antique vampire-slaying kit up for auction. Bible, crucifix and pistol included. – Livescience.com

When vampires come calling, it’s important to be prepared

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An antique, brass-trimmed wooden box holds all the tools that you might require in order to slay a vampire
, including a 19th-century bible, crucifixes and a pistol. 
This “vampire-slaying kit” is estimated to be worth about $2,500 to $3,700 (£2,000 to £3,000) according to Hansons Auctioneers
in Derbyshire, England, which is taking bids on the box beginning July 21.
Lined with crimson silk, the inside of the lid is decorated with an oval enamel painting showing Christ’s resurrection. Next to that painting is an ivory carving of a wolf wearing a hooded robe and carrying rosary beads (though it is uncertain if the contents of the box are also suitable for dispatching werewolves
, as the auction listing only mentions vampires).
Related: 7 strange ways humans act like vampires
Inside the box are eight compartments holding: a copy of the New Testament published in 1842; a knife with a silver blade; a percussion cap pocket pistol; pliers, crucifixes and rosary beads; a vial with a metal lid — “contents unknown;” and a small bottle containing sharks’ teeth, according to the listing.
Vampire folklore and the belief in vampires can be traced to the ancient world. Indeed, burials dating to more than 1,000 years ago in Europe took safeguards to protect the living against the restless undead, with suspected vampires buried with stones in their mouths
or pinned in place with rocks or iron bars

Religious items such as crucifixes and bibles were thought to repel vampires. (Image credit: Hansons Auctioneers)
For people who believed in creatures that rose from the grave to drink blood, “the task of killing a vampire was extremely serious and historical accounts suggested the need for particular methods and tools,” Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said in a statement
.
However, alleged “vampires” were usually identified as such because people did not understand how infectious diseases spread, or because they misinterpreted a corpse’s appearance during natural decomposition, Live Science previously reported
.
As for the age and origins of this vampire-slaying kit — not to mention any indication that it was ever used to hunt and kill vampires — its current owner purchased it three years ago at an antiques fair in Newark-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire, England, and knows “very little of its history,” the owner told the auction house.
“I loved the look of the Gothic box and, when I opened it, I just had to have it,” said the owner, who lives in West Midlands in the U.K. and declined to be named. “I thought it was so interesting — a great conversation piece.” 
The kit is part of an online auction
of antiques and collectibles offered by Hansons Auctioneers, beginning on July 16. Other items include: 19th-century silver tableware, trays and cups; compacts and snuff boxes; and jewelry such as brooches, lockets and rings — though only the vampire box is described as an object of “supernatural interest,” according to the auction website.
Originally published on Live Science.

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SpaceX: Musk’s ‘Mars ship’ prototype aces 150m test flight – BBC News

A prototype of the engine for SpaceX’s next-generation Starship vehicle has made a 150m test “hop”.

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The test flight lasted less than a minute
A prototype of SpaceX’s next-generation Starship vehicle has successfully flown to an altitude of 150m (500ft).
The uncrewed test vehicle rose up on a plume of exhaust before deploying its landing legs and touching down softly.
The flight was carried out at SpaceX’s test site near the village of Boca Chica in south Texas on Tuesday evening.
It’s the first flight test in almost a year for the Raptor engine, which w…

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Massive ancient temple complex may lurk beneath famous Northern Ireland fort – Live Science

Navan Fort has been viewed as a sacred site for thousands of years.

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The remains of “monumental temples” dating to the Iron Age and medieval buildings may be hidden underground at Navan Fort, an archaeological site in Northern Ireland, a new study finds. 
Exactly what’s left of these ruins, however, remains to be seen. Archaeologists discovered the buried structures by using remote-sensing techniques that allowed them to map the hidden landscape and detect anomalies, such as architectural features made by humans. 
These Iron Age and medieval buildings suggest t…

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Surprisingly dense exoplanet challenges planet formation theories – Phys.org

New detailed observations with NSF’s NOIRLab facilities reveal a young exoplanet, orbiting a young star in the Hyades cluster, that is unusually dense for its size and age. Weighing in at 25 Earth-masses, and slightly smaller than Neptune, this exoplanet’s ex…

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New detailed observations with NSF’s NOIRLab facilities reveal a young exoplanet, orbiting a young star in the Hyades cluster, that is unusually dense for its size and age. Weighing in at 25 Earth-masses, and slightly smaller than Neptune, this exoplanet’s existence is at odds with the predictions of leading planet formation theories.
New observations of the exoplanet, known as K2-25b, made with the WIYN 0.9-meter Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab, t…

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