Inverse Daily

A cosmic ray discovery confirms a Viking legend

Plus: An unexpected force may be responsible for life on Earth.

Leiv Eiriksson discovers America. Found in the collection of National Museum of Art, Oslo. (Photo by...
Heritage Images/Hulton Fine Art Collection/Getty Images

Vikings, primordial life, exploring Mars, and fixing the worst thing about an iconic board game: It must Inverse Daily on a Friday, y’all. Let’s go down the rabbit hole.

I’m Nick Lucchesi, an editor here at Inverse. Hi, hello.

This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for Friday, December 3, 2021. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day in your inbox. ✉️

Lorado/E+/Getty Images

Cosmic ray discovery both confirms and complicates Viking legend

[By Elana Spivack]

Leif Erikson, son of Viking explorer Erik the Red, was many things — an explorer in his own right, he played a starring role in 10th century Norse geopolitics. But he was also a profoundly religious man. And like so many explorers with designs on settling new lands, he wanted to bring his religion, Christianity, along for the ride.

Specifically, he wanted to bring Christianity to Greenland — but ended up being the first European to set foot on American soil instead. At least that’s how the story goes... and now the science goes that way, too.

Read the full story.


Daniel Garrido/Moment/Getty Images

This unexpected force may be responsible for life on Earth

[By Passant Rabie]

Luke Daly wants you to think about the Sun every time you drink a glass of water.

“There’s a little bit of sunshine in that glass of water,” Daly tells Inverse.

Daly, a professor at the University of Glasgow’s School of Geographical and Earth Science, and an international team of researchers recently suggested that it wasn’t just space rocks that seeded the Earth with water. Still, solar winds played a significant role as well.

Read the full story.


Photo Researchers/Archive Photos/Getty Images

This award-winning new game wants to fix the worst thing about Risk

[By Zeb Larson]

In 1803, Toussaint Louverture, a free Black man from the Caribbean, defeated one of the most influential world leaders ever known: Napoleon Bonaparte.

Outmaneouvering the great general, Louverture forced Napoleon’s army out of the French colony of Saint-Domingue and established himself as the de facto ruler of Haiti's new, free state.

Some 200 years later, game creator Damon Stone is facing an almost equally formidable challenge. His goal? Translate Louverture’s incredible victory over the French into Liberation-Haiti, the anti-colonialist answer to dominant board games like Risk and Settlers of Catan.

Read the full story.


Andrew Merry/Moment/Getty Images

50 years ago, Russia landed on Mars for 15 seconds — and taught America a lesson

[By Jon Kelvey]

There’s really no dressing it up: 1971 was a crummy year for the Soviet Mars program. Of the four robotic spacecraft the USSR sent toward the Red Planet that year, one never made it out of Earth orbit, Martian dust storms hampered two, and another crashed into Mars like a speeding bullet.

But the Mars 3 lander had better luck. Somewhat.

Read the full story.


That’s it for this Friday edition of Inverse Daily! Facetime an old friend this weekend.

  • About the newsletter: Do you think it can be improved? Have a story idea? Want to share a story about the time you met an astronaut? Send those thoughts and more to
  • Song of the day: “Freya” by The Sword

Related Tags