Lennon a Jerk? 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week
Including the happiest language on Earth and a millennia-long embrace
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2015 5:24 AM CST
In this 1964 photo taken by Walt Burton and provided by Christopher Hoeting, John Lennon, front, and Paul McCartney of the Beatles, perform during a concert in Cincinnati in 1964.   (AP Photo/Walt Burton)

(Newser) – John Lennon's alleged dark side and a material stronger than spider silk make this week's list:

  • Housekeeper's Letter Reveals Lennon's Demons: Dorothy Jarlett was the housekeeper for John Lennon and his first wife, Cynthia, during the late '60s, and the picture she paints of the late Beatles singer isn't flattering. In a newly surfaced 1968 letter to lawyers involved in the Lennons' divorce, Jarlett alleges that John was an "apathetic" father to Julian—sometimes smacking the boy if he misbehaved—and neglectful husband to Cynthia. Jarlett also noticed something else about John that she hoped was just a phase (it wasn't).
  • There's a New Strongest Material on Earth: And it's found in the most unlikely of places: the lowly mouth of a tiny snail-like sea creature called a limpet. The limpet's teeth, which are about a millimeter in length, are made up of fibers of goethite, which is about five times stronger than spider silk (the previous front-runner). How strong is it? Imagine a solitary spaghetti noodle holding up 3,300 pounds of sugar. Here's what scientists think the secret to its toughness is.

  • 'Priceless' Gold Coins a Record Haul for Israel: An Israeli diving club out in a local harbor struck literal gold by chance: It stumbled upon 2,000 priceless gold coins that had been sitting on the seabed for about 1,000 years. It's the largest stash of gold ever found in Israel. At first the divers thought the coins, which are mainly in excellent condition, were toys, but once they realized they were for real, they did the right thing.
  • One Language Is Happier Than Any Other: Languages tend to favor using positive words over negatives, but which is the most positive? Researchers pored over texts (everything from tweets to the news to music lyrics) in 10 languages and ranked words on a "happiness scale." Their findings: Spanish is the happiest language of them all, with Portuguese, English, German, and French rounding out the top five. See if you can guess the language that ranked last.
  • Imagine Hugging Someone for 6K Years: That's what the skeletons of a man and woman have been doing in Greece, according to archaeologists who unearthed them at the Alepotrypa Cave dig site. The pair in their early 20s apparently spooned during in their final moments, and they might be the most ancient couple ever found in an embrace. It's not clear how they died, though some artifacts found near their bodies may provide a clue.
Click to read about more discoveries.