Old Gold: 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including a Great Lakes shipwreck
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2016 5:20 AM CDT
Old Gold: 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week
The gold bead.   (Yavor Boyadzhiev, National Institute of Archaeology)

Some historically ancient gold and a surprising find about a Stonehenge-like monument are among the notable discoveries of the week:

  • This Might Be Mankind's Oldest Gold: It measures just 0.16 inches in diameter and weighs just 0.005 ounces, but its importance could be countless magnitudes of that: A tiny gold bead has been found in southern Bulgaria and dated to as early as 4600 BC. If confirmed, that would make it mankind's oldest gold—but it raises another mystery about how it was processed.

  • 'Superhenge' Missing One Key Attribute: UK archaeologists reported finding a huge stone monument buried two miles from Stonehenge last year. Some new digging, however, has revealed that the so-called "Superhenge" had no stones at all. Instead? Timber. Why is another question entirely.
  • New Dolphin Species Hid in Museum for 55 Years: The discoverers of a brand-new dolphin species didn't even have to leave the office to make their find. Two researchers announced that a skull in the Smithsonian collections since 1951 represents a new genus and species they dubbed Arktocara yakataga. One thing that's unclear: how on earth it got to what is now Alaska.
  • Scientists May Have Answer for Birds' Deformity: Just before the start of the 21st century, scientists spotted chickadees in Alaska with grossly deformed beaks that impeded their very ability to survive. With sightings on the rise among other birds across the US, scientists now think they've got the culprit: a novel virus. Research continues, but those with backyard bird feeders can help in the meantime.
  • 2nd Oldest Shipwreck Found in Great Lakes: The second-oldest confirmed shipwreck in the Great Lakes has been found. The Washington was an American-built, Canadian-owned sloop that sailed in Lake Ontario more than 200 years ago—but a fierce storm in 1803 did the ship in. Here's the ship it's second to.
Click to read about more discoveries. (Read more discoveries stories.)

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