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Shipwreck Oddity: 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including an imperfection at one of the world's great wonders
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2016 5:11 AM CDT
Shipwreck Oddity: 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week
A previous dive at the site of the Antikythera wreck off the island of Antikythera in southern Greece.   (AP Photo/ARGO via Greek Culture Ministry, Brett Seymour)

(Newser) – An intriguing discovery about sperm whales and another about the most famous pyramid of all make the list:

  • Among Antikythera Shipwreck Finds, an Odd Item: The Antikythera shipwreck is a gift that keeps on giving. The ancient shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera in the Aegean Sea has yielded another 60 artifacts, including a gold ring, luxury glassware, and one particularly unusual item called a "dolphin." Turns out, it's a surprisingly simple defense weapon. (It doesn't beat the wreck's most famous item, however.)
  • Today's Sperm Whales Descended From One 'Eve': Researchers have stumbled upon a surprising discovery: All of today's sperm whales appear to have descended from the same female. They've named her Eve and say she lived between 10,000 and 80,000 years ago. One puzzle: how this happened, given what we know about sperm whale behavior.

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  • One of the World's Seven Wonders Stands a Bit Askew: Scientists scanning and mapping the Giza pyramids say they've discovered that the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest of the world's Seven Wonders, is a bit lopsided. And really, just a bit. In fact, the near perfection helps fuel a working hypothesis on how the pyramids were designed.
  • Naval Bases Found That Once Guarded World's First Democracy: Archaeologists have discovered massive naval bases that once enabled Athens to fight off the Persian Empire—and develop the world's first democracy. For that, they've got an old fisherman to thank.
  • Asteroid That Killed Dinosaurs Wiped Out Most Mammals, Too: The asteroid that took out the dinosaurs nearly claimed the planet's mammals, too. Only about 7% of mammals survived, far fewer than thought, and that's causing a reassessment of how mammals rebounded.
Click to read about more discoveries, including a "singing" sand dune. (Read more discoveries stories.)

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