No Sweat: 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including a 'strange-winged' dinosaur and a bird polluted with flame retardant
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2015 5:54 AM CDT
Come on, get happy!   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Are archaeologists close to uncovering a royal tomb in an ancient Mexican city? Could you beat the blues by smelling someone's armpits? Those questions are both on the list this week:

  • Tiny Dinosaur Was Named 'Strange Wing' for a Reason: A pint-sized two-legged dinosaur that lived in China some 160 million years ago didn't have wings made of feathers like some other dinos. Instead, Yi qi (that's "strange wing" in Mandarin), which weighed less than a pound, sported wings made of an entirely different "material." See how it earned its name.
  • Feeling Down? Smell a Happy Person's Sweat: To feel a little more cheerful, all you might have to do is get a whiff of a happy person's armpits. Turns out we secrete certain chemicals in our sweat for a variety of emotional states, and people who sniff those scents pick up on those particular vibes, scientists say. Reading the study, though, we're glad we weren't among the participants.

  • Find in Mexico Boosts Hope of Royal Tomb: A 600-foot tunnel below the Pyramid of the Plumed Serpent in Mexico's Teotihuacan may have a significant reveal lying in wait. An archaeologist says he's uncovered "large quantities" of liquid mercury at the end of the tunnel, which leads to three chambers that have been untouched for 1,800 years. It's the mercury's possible special meaning that has led scientists to think there may be a royal tomb down there.
  • Scientists Find Planet's Most Polluted Bird: Vancouver researchers studying the livers of local birds of prey found one bird with extremely high levels of flame retardant chemicals. The Cooper's hawks were tainted with polybrominated diphenyl ethers—and one of them had levels so incredibly high that no other bird tested worldwide has ever been reported as polluted with the stuff as this hawk.
  • Invention May Make Air Travel Much Quieter: Because we've all tried to sleep in coach while the plane's engines drone on in our ears, these researchers deserve a high-five. They've developed a thin rubber membrane capable of blocking low-frequency noise that tends to bounce around the cabin, keeping annoying outside noise from filtering in. The extra sound energy it's able to block is pretty significant.
Click to read about more discoveries.

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