5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

We've got a new 'coldest spot on Earth' ... even if the universe is just a hologram

By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 14, 2013 6:01 AM CST

(Newser) – Scientists are postulating that the universe is somehow a hologram, but if that's too abstract, other scientists have identified the coldest spot on Earth:

  • All the Universe Is ... a Hologram? Prepare for a head trip: The universe may actually be a hologram and everything you see an illusion, according to new research that could prove gravity comes from thin, vibrating strings—holograms of events in a simpler, flatter cosmos. The theory has been around for a while, but mathematical studies lend it new weight. (Or not.)
  • Found: Coldest Spot on Earth: If you're reading this in a spot just below the crest of an ice ridge on the East Antarctic Plateau, you're probably frozen solid by now. Researchers using satellite data say the area is the coldest place on Earth, with a record low of -136 Fahrenheit (-93.2 Celsius) in the books. Bundle up.
  • Newfound Greenhouse Gas Way Worse Than CO2: Canadian researchers have detected another greenhouse gas—and its global warming potential is extreme. Over the course of a century, "a single molecule of PFTBA has the equivalent climate impact as 7,100 molecules of CO2," says a lead author of the study that identified perfluorotributylamine.
  • Take Lots of Photos? You May Remember Less: If you're busy snapping photos of an experience, you may not remember it well. So suggests a new study that compared groups of museum tourists, one with cameras, the other without. It seems people shut down their brains when the cameras come out.
  • Doctors Find 40-Year-old Fetus in Woman: An 82-year-old Colombian woman went to the hospital with abdominal pain and got a diagnosis she almost certainly wasn't expecting: There was a 40-year-old fetus inside her. The condition is known as a "calcified fetus" or "stone baby," and the woman will have to undergo surgery.
Click to read about more incredible discoveries.

An image released by NASA in 2010 shows a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.   (AP Photo/NASA)
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