Hoax Solved: 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including good news for book lovers
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2016 5:27 AM CDT
Hoax Solved: 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week
This is an undated image released by the Natural History Museum of the skull of Piltdown Man.   (AP Photo/Natural History Museum)

The apparent answer to one of the biggest hoaxes in science and a stunningly long-lived shark make the list:

  • Man Behind One of Science's Great Hoaxes Is Revealed: In 1912, attorney Charles Dawson discovered a fossilized skeleton with the skull of a man but the jaws of an ape in a British gravel pit. For the next three decades, this so-called Piltdown Man was seen as a "missing link" between apes and humans. In reality, it was a hoax, and scientists say they've finally determined who was behind it: Dawson himself. Another big-name suspect was certainly no stranger to mysteries.

  • This Shark Lives to Be Insanely Old: Scientists say there's a shark out there that may be able to live to be 500 years old. Researchers say they're 95% sure that Greenland sharks generally live between 272 and 512 years. That would make the sharks the longest-living vertebrates on the planet—by a mile. Their secret apparently revolves around water temperature.
  • First Americans Didn't Arrive on Land Bridge: You might remember the Bering Land Bridge theory from history class: North America's first inhabitants traveled along a land bridge between Siberia and Alaska. Not so much, says new research, which suggests that those travelers would have found little to eat. An alternative theory involves the Pacific.
  • To Live Longer, Pick Up a Book: Reading books does more than ward off dementia: It also increases your lifespan, according to Yale researchers. In fact, the more time a person spends reading, the less likely they are to die. A half-hour a day seems to do the trick, and researchers have a theory about what's going on.
  • Strolling Couple Finds Centuries-Old Art: Countless tourists have watched beautiful Hawaiian sunsets—but not many have made important archeological finds in the process. Lonnie Watson and Mark Louviere, visitors from Texas, discovered petroglyphs believed to be at least 400 years old during a stroll along Oahu's Leeward coast last month. They credit a "beam of light" for the discovery.
Click to read about more discoveries. (More discoveries stories.)

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