Lost Palace: 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including a strange new insight into fish
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2016 5:18 AM CDT
Lost Palace: 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week
Kublai Khan, in a painting done after his death in February of 1294 by Anige, a Nepalese artist and astronomer.   (National Palace Museum / Wikimedia Commons)

The site of a spectacular but long-lost palace and a big find about hobbits were among the headline-making discoveries of the week:

  • Palace Marco Polo Called 'Greatest Ever' May Have Been Found: In the 13th century, Kublai Khan—grandson of Genghis Khan—conquered China, effectively ruling over all of it from Beijing. The Mongolian built a palace that Marco Polo described as "the greatest ... that ever was." The palace, however, effectively disappeared sometime after the Yuan dynasty's end in 1368—until, perhaps, now. Archaeologists think they've figured out where it was built.
  • Real-Life Hobbits Smaller Than We Thought: Researchers say fossils discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores suggest that the species we know as hobbits were smaller than previously believed—a modern kindergartner might not be intimidated. And they say one crucial part of the discovery should put an end once and for all to hobbit skeptics.

  • Your Fish Might Recognize You: For the first time, scientists have discovered that a species of fish can distinguish between human faces—something once thought possible only among primates with large, complex brains. To do so, they taught this particular type of fish a pretty neat trick.
  • Mediterranean Diet Could Halt Breast Cancer's Return: Women who've survived breast cancer and are looking to prevent a recurrence may be encouraged by news out of a major cancer conference: that adhering to a Mediterranean diet (lots of fruits, veggies, fish, and olive oil) may help fend off the disease's return. The study sample was small, but its results were striking.
  • 16K Items That Vanished From Auschwitz Are Found: Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum officials have found 16,000 personal items—jewelry, tobacco pipes, buttons, keys, etc.—that had been mistakenly packed away in boxes and forgotten decades ago. And it was an old documentary that led to the surprise find.
Click to read about more discoveries. (Read more discoveries stories.)

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