5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

A humongous iceberg and an elusive 'unicorn' make the list
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2013 6:00 AM CST
In this file photo, NASA’s DC-8 research plane flies across the crack forming across the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf in Antarctica.   (AP Photo/NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Jefferson Beck)

(Newser) – Antarctica might have sent a very unwelcome visitor toward international shipping lanes, while conservationists are thrilled about spotting an "Asian Unicorn:"

  • Danger in the Ocean: 270-Square-Mile Iceberg: A vast iceberg—described variously as Singapore-sized, bigger than Chicago, a quarter of the size of Rhode Island, or just really, really big—is drifting away from Antarctica. Worse, it could end up in shipping lanes.
  • 'Asian Unicorn' Captured on Camera: One conservationist went so far is to call them "the most important wild animal photographs taken in Asia, and perhaps the world, in at least the past decade." That's because, captured in them, is an image of the "Asian Unicorn," aka the endangered saola.
  • Dogs Got Their Start in Europe: Dogs have been hanging out with humans way longer than thought, a new study suggests. UCLA researchers say the first ones were ancient wolves that started following hunters and gatherers around Europe between 18,000 and 32,000 years ago.
  • World's Oldest Animal Lived to 507: The oldest animal ever known lived from 1499 until the day researchers cracked its shell open, killing it in the process. Ming, an ocean clam, was initially thought to be a record-setting 402 years old. Turns out researchers undershot the mark by more than a century.
  • Secrets of Black-Hole Jets Revealed: For years, astronomers have wondered what exactly black holes spew into our universe—and now they know. Iron and nickel have been found shooting from the relativistic jets of a black hole several times larger than our sun, but the finding is more surprising than it may seem.
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