Science is ever-evolving and it can be hard to keep track of the latest news and developments. There are probably some scientific facts you didn’t learn in school and that’s because they were only recently discovered.
All of the following 20 facts were researched many years ago, but proven for the first time in 2017. Read LifeDaily’s 20 Times Science Blew Our Minds.
Scientists have returned from a major expedition to Zealandia, a “hidden” Earth continent. Little is known about Zealandia because it’s submerged beneath the sea surface more than 80 million years ago in the South Pacific. However, scientists did conclude that Zealandia fulfills all the requirements to be considered a drowned continent.
The appendix is by no means a useless organ and research suggest that it plays an important role in the immune system. Acting as a secondary defensive organ, the appendix acts as a safe house for the gut. Scientists believe that the immune system cells located in the appendix have the function of protecting the good bacteria.
A gigantic penguin the size of a grown man waddled around Hampden Beach in Otago, New Zealand around 60 million years ago. This discovery amazed scientists, as the penguin stood at 5 feet, 8 inches and weighed 225 pounds. Its large size would have enabled it to swim further and dive deeper than today’s penguins.
There is a surprising new role for lungs and its that the lungs make blood. While the lungs have been known to produce a limited amount of platelets, platelet-forming cells called megakaryocytes have been identified in the lungs before. For a long time, scientists have assumed that most of the cells responsible for blood production are kept inside the bone marrow.
Unlike many other types of animals, great apes do not like music at all, including chimpanzees and orangutans. Research has shown that they can’t tell the difference between genres of music, although we don’t necessarily believe that apes still can’t appreciate a good tune.
For the first time in 130 years, the dinosaur family tree might have to be redrawn. New evidence revealed that two categories of dinosaurs, plant-loving bird-hipped beasts (the stegosaurus) and the lizard-hipped meat-eaters (like the T. Rex), should be grouped together.
Researchers have finally figured out why giant pandas are distinctly black and white. According to a recent study, their patterns serve as a combination of communication and camouflage. The panda’s white fur helps it hide in snowy habitats, while its dark fur aid in both communication and camouflage.
The world’s smallest fidget spinner is smaller than the width of a human hair, measuring 5.09mm long. A company in Japan created the spinner that’s way smaller than the average fidget spinner you would see in stores. It took a team of eight two months to create the tiny spinner.
Two physicists developed a mathematical model for a time machine based on Einstein’s theory of relativity. The only thing that’s holding us back is the technology that can actually bend this space-time fabric. While this theory was proven in 2015, the actual time machine hasn’t been invented yet.
Bees are the first insects shown to understand the concept of zero. When the honeybees were encouraged to fly towards a platform carrying fewer shapes than another one, they recognized no shapes as a smaller value than some shapes. Zero is not an easy concept to understand, even for some children.
Every day, around 60 tons of dust from asteroids, comets, and other celestial bodies fall to the Earth. This means that rooftops and other cityscapes readily collect this extraterrestrial dust. If you ever wanted to uncover a piece of space, look no further than the rooftop of your home.
Time crystals do exist as a new study confirmed. Teams of researchers from Harvard University and the University of Maryland set out to prove it. This strange matter was first proposed in 2012, but it was only considered theoretically possible in September 2016. Then, the first ever crystal was made one month later in October.
It turns out that pugs adorable squished faces are actually a result of genetic mutation. Researchers created 3D reconstructions of pugs faces so they could map and measure the dogs’ features. The result was one mutation that suppresses a gene called SMOC2.
There is a human organ that very few about and its called mesentery. It’s a set of tissues that attaches the intestines to the abdominal wall and its formed by the double fold of peritoneum. The mesentery is believed to perform important functions for the body like helping the heart, to aiding the immune system.
To the surprise of many, humans have accidentally created a protective bubble around the Earth. The use of very low-frequency radio communications over dozens of years has resulted in an artificial cocoon that could help protect the planet from radiation particles and solar flares.
Recent tests from lunar samples by the Apollo astronauts show that real volcanic eruptions that occurred about four billion years ago released trillions of tons of gas. While the gases eventually became lost in space, the gases were being produced faster than they could escape into space, therefore, an atmosphere was formed. Yes, the moon once had an atmosphere.
Believe it or not, humans are still evolving and researchers have proved it. After tracking eight million mutations, they found that a number of genes, like the one that predisposes you to Alzheimer’s disease, are gradually being filtered out of human DNA.
There is actually a reason why eggs come in different shapes and sizes and it’s all down to a bird’s flying ability. Scientists discovered that the best fliers lay more pointy or elliptical shaped eggs, while others are more likely to lay oval or round-shaped eggs.
An eighth planet has been found orbiting a distant star and it’s been discovered with the help of Artificial Intelligence. In December 2017, NASA announced the discovery of a new exoplanet orbiting a distant star 2,500 light years away from here called Kepler 90. The new planet is known as Kepler-90i.
For the first time in human history, gene editing has been performed to fix a mutation for an inherited disease in embryos. According to Irish News, using a tool called Crispr-Cas9, scientists successfully altered the DNA in defective embryos so that they were no longer programmed to develop congenital heart failure.