5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including a big and poisonous jellyfish

By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 9, 2014 5:26 AM CDT | Updated Aug 9, 2014 6:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – A pair of surprise discoveries, one in a museum basement and the other from a plane over the desert, highlight the week's list:

  • 6.5K-Year-Old 'Noah' Found in Museum Basement: An ancient skeleton gathering dust in the basement of the Penn Museum in Philadelphia for 85 years finally has an ID: It's a 6,500-year-old man newly nicknamed Noah. Turns out, he was rather big and long-lived for his day.
  • Sandstorms Reveal Ancient Designs in Peru Desert: Sandstorms in Peru have revealed mysterious designs believed to have been etched into the desert thousands of years ago. The newly exposed geoglyphs include a snake nearly 200 feet long as well as a bird and some llama-like creatures. The discovery is courtesy of a pilot flying by.

  • Giant, Venomous Jellyfish Discovered: A huge new species of jellyfish discovered off western Australia looks a bit like a plastic bag—but one that can deliver a potentially lethal sting. Keesingia gigas is as long as a human arm, though it has one characteristic that sets it apart from other jellyfish.
  • Why Fake Smiling Is a Bad Idea: If you're subscribing to the old adage of "grin and bear it" to mask negative emotions, you're not doing yourself any favors. In fact, pasting on a fake smile might end up making you feel even worse.
  • One Mystery of China's Terracotta Army Solved: Every member of First Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Terracotta Army—thousands of replicas of Chinese imperial guards rendered in clay around 221 BC—is unique and incredibly realistic, which is why they've fascinated researchers since they were discovered in 1974. Now, scientists in China say they’ve peeled back another layer of mystery—they've figured out the binding media used to paint the more than 8,000 soldiers, chariots, and horses.
Click to read about more discoveries.

Janet Mong discusses the recently rediscovered 6,500-year-old human remains found in the Penn Museum's basement.
Janet Mong discusses the recently rediscovered 6,500-year-old human remains found in the Penn Museum's basement.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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