5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including something REALLY small, something REALLY big, and something ... average
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2015 5:48 AM CST
5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week
That extra cup o' joe could clean out the junk in your arteries, according to a new study.   (Shutterstock)

A totally untouched civilization and more potential hot news about coffee make the list:

  • Archaeologists Hit Jackpot in Rainforest: Experts have long sought the legendary Ciudad Blanca ("White City") in the Honduran rainforest, but scientists say they've found something even better: an entire lost civilization. Among the exposed remains discovered were an earthen pyramid and ceremonial seats, perhaps dating back as far as AD1000. An explorer emerged from that same rainforest in 1940 with what was rumored to be White City artifacts—but something happened before he could divulge the city's location.
  • 4 Cups of Coffee a Day Might Be Your Arteries' Sweet Spot: According to a study published in Heart, people who drank a moderate amount of coffee (three to five cups a day) had lower levels of coronary artery calcium—which when built up can be an early indicator of heart disease—than those who drank one cup or less or those who downed five cups or more. The study, which tracked more than 28,000 subjects in South Korea, still has scientists puzzling over a few things.

  • Behold, the Smallest Form of Life Ever Seen: Try taking a picture of an organism that could fit with 149,999 other members of its family on the tip of a single human hair. You likely can't, but researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory did—for the first time ever. This "ultra-small bacteria" has an average volume of 0.009 cubic microns and is "the smallest a cell can be and still accommodate enough material to sustain life," the scientists say. The complex process they used to capture the snapshot is fascinating.
  • What Microsoft Co-Founders Do in Their Spare Time: Finding the wreckage of Japan's biggest World War II warship more than a half-mile underwater in the Sibuyan Sea isn't something most people do to kick back after work, but most people aren't Paul Allen. The Microsoft guru says he found the remains in the Philippines while exploring on his yacht, describing it as the culmination of an eight-year search.
  • Figuring Out 'Average' Penis Length Is Actually Pretty Complicated: Yet that's what UK researchers did, analyzing scads of prior studies, conducting a "formal systematic [review] of penile size measurements," and creating "graphical diagrams that plot the relationship between two variables ... of flaccid and erect penile size measu"—oh, never mind. You just want to know the magic number, don't you? 5.16 inches. (In maybe-related news: A study found men are more narcissistic than women.)
Click to read about more discoveries. (Read more discoveries stories.)

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