discoveries

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5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including an intriguing mummy mask and an ancient Japanese moat

(Newser) - The hidden location of a whole lot of long-lost Civil War weapons and artifacts is among the week's notable discoveries:
  • SC River May Yield Civil War Munitions : South Carolina needs to remove about 40,000 tons of tar left over from a 1950s gas-producing plant from the Congaree River.
... More »

Scientists Find Fish Under 2.5K Feet of Antarctic Ice

They expected to find only microbes in the dark, tiny wedge of seawater

(Newser) - With the help of a special hot-water drill, a large, multidisciplinary team of scientists has become the first to bore through the Ross Ice Shelf—the biggest body of floating ice in the world, roughly the size of France—and sample life below nearly 2,500 feet of ice. What... More »

Ancient Moat in Japan May Be Part of Royal Tomb

Archaeologists think it dates back to 7th century

(Newser) - Archaeologists in Japan have found the remains of an ancient moat that may have once guarded an emperor's tomb. They made the discovery in Asuka, and researchers think the moat was part of the burial site of a seventh-century emperor named Jomei who died in the year 641, reports... More »

Near Irish 'Little Pompeii,' an Even More Ancient Site

Traces of buildings have been found along cliffs near a well-known castle

(Newser) - The settlement of Dunlace on Northern Ireland's craggy North Coast is thought to have been founded in 1608, but was eventually abandoned after a fire destroyed much of it in 1642. The settlement, first unearthed in 2009, reports the Belfast Telegraph , has been called Little Pompeii, and it's... More »

What Chimps Say When They Talk to Each Other

There's a special kind of fruit that makes them all chatty

(Newser) - Chimps chat, just like we do—and like many of us, they spend a lot of time gabbing about what they want to eat and where they're going to get their next meal, Discovery reports. For a study published in Animal Behaviour , scientists camped out in the Ivory Coast'... More »

Inside the Rare Case of the Woman Who Has No Fear

SM has been studied since the '90s

(Newser) - Would it be like to live a life completely void of fear? NPR's Invisibilia tackled that question in its second episode by talking to Antonio Damasio, a University of Southern California neuroscientist who has treated a woman—referred to as SM—with an inability to feel fear. SM suffers... More »

Researchers Making Mario Think for Himself

He can 'learn' to collect coins, jump on bad guys

(Newser) - Before you know it, your video games could be playing themselves. Researchers in Germany are working on giving Nintendo's best-known character a form of artificial intelligence, the Verge reports. Their goal is a "Living and Conversing Mario Agent" that can act on commands given not with a gamepad... More »

How Raindrops Get Their Smell

MIT researchers reveal the mechanism that releases the earthy smell of fresh rain

(Newser) - If you think rain has a distinct scent, you're not imagining it. Petrichor, that earthy smell that accompanies light showers, could be the result of raindrops releasing aerosols, which are tiny amounts of liquid suspended in gas, reports MIT News . "Rain happens every day—it’s raining now,... More »

Gen. Sherman's War Spoils May Sit at Bottom of SC River

Tar-cleanup project in Congaree River could expose munitions

(Newser) - In 1954, a gas-producing plant closed near the Congaree River in Columbia, SC. But its presence lingers, in the form of roughly 40,000 tons of "taffy-like" black tar that need to be removed from the river. The State reports on a most unusual side effect of damming the... More »

The Elderly Are Falling More Often

Study sees 8% increase, but reasons remain murky

(Newser) - Elderly Americans are apparently falling more often, but researchers don't know why. A new study says adults aged 65 and up self-reported a noticeable increase in falls between 1998 and 2010, reports Eureka Alert . Queried every two years, the percentage of seniors who said they'd fallen at least... More »

Early Humans Ate Animals We Call Pets

Human bite marks found on small-carnivore remains

(Newser) - Europeans have dined on dogs, foxes, badgers, and wild cats, a new study says—although admittedly it's been a while. Researchers base this on ancient small-carnivore remains discovered in a Spanish cave, the Telegraph reports. Dating back 3,100 to 7,200 years, the remains show signs of human... More »

In Mystery Greek Tomb, Bones From 5 Corpses

Among the remains found at Amphipolis: newborn, 60-year-old woman

(Newser) - A giant tomb found in Greece's Macedonia region over the summer contains more than simply sphinxes and a mosaic. Researchers say bones found at the ancient Amphipolis site are from at least five people—including a newborn and a 60-year-old woman, the country's Culture Ministry said in a... More »

'Oldest Known Gospel' Found in Mummy Mask

Researchers say Mark fragment pre-dates 90AD

(Newser) - Ancients apparently used various papyrus documents to create mummy masks—including what may be the earliest known fragment of a New Testament gospel, LiveScience reports. Confirming information that leaked in 2012, professor Craig Evans says he's among the researchers who peeled apart the glued layers of a mummy mask... More »

How Recess Can Make Kids Eat More Veggies

Just let them play before lunch

(Newser) - Researchers have come up with a way to get kids to chow down on 54% more fruits and vegetables, and it's remarkably straightforward: Just have them go out for recess before lunch rather than afterward. Researchers studied 2,500 elementary-schoolers in Utah receiving fruits and veggies at lunch as... More »

Temperature Might Explain Zebras' Stripes

Researchers investigate continuing mystery

(Newser) - There are all kinds of explanations out there for why zebras have stripes, ranging from tricking lions to putting off bugs . A new study helps clarify the situation: Zebras' stripes appear to be linked to temperature, National Geographic reports. Zebras living in warmer temperatures have more stripes than their cousins... More »

Wisconsin Crater Yields One of the Rarest Minerals

450M-year-old reidite find is most ancient yet

(Newser) - Reidite is one of the rarest minerals on earth—it's been found in only four places. The most recent is Rock Elm, Wisconsin, where scientists discovered the material in a crater, Phys.org reports. The crater has been around since the geologic period known as the Middle Ordovician, and... More »

Two Planets May Lurk Beyond Pluto

Astronomers can't otherwise explain behavior of objects way out there

(Newser) - It might soon be time to change all those grade-school dioramas of the solar system again: Astronomers think at least two more planets exist, reports Universe Today . In two studies from the UK and Spain, scientists say the planets' existence is the only way to explain why objects are behaving... More »

5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including a Mars probe missing since 2003 and a 'sinister dolphin' found in Scotland

(Newser) - A Scottish sea monster and a poker-playing bot that most people will never beat make the list:
  • Mars Probe Lost for a Decade Shows Up : The Beagle 2 began its fall to Mars on Dec. 19, 2003, with a scheduled Christmas Day landing—but it was never heard from again.
... More »

Michigan Neighbors Unearth Mastodon Bones in Backyard

They dig up more than 40, will donate to museum

(Newser) - Eric Witzke's home is in Bellevue Township, Michigan, but he is clearly not the first one to roam his yard. While he and neighbor Daniel LaPoint were excavating a backyard pond, they happened upon more than 40 mastodon bones, reports ABC News . An expert from the University of Michigan... More »

Lost Mars Probe Found Intact After 11 Years

Scientists: Beagle 2 mission was 'a great success' after all

(Newser) - The British-built Beagle 2 began its fall to Mars on Dec. 19, 2003. It was expected to land on the Red Planet on Christmas Day and begin its search for alien life (its name is a nod to Charles Darwin's HMS Beagle). But it was never heard from again.... More »

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