2016 into 2017 has been an insane time, with too many significant global events to mention – many good, many terrible and many just downright surprising. When it comes to discoveries, it’s pretty much the same. Some good, some terrible and some just downright surprising!
Subscribe to Talltanic 9 - Mystery Solved Lucy is a 3.2 million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis skeleton, who was discovered in 1974 in Ethiopia. She’s a remarkable find as she bridges the gap between apes and humans. It’s believed that she would have lived in the trees, but also able to walk like we do today. She’s been studied extensively for decades, but her death has only been confirmed in 2016. Judging how her bones were broken, it’s concluded that she fell down from around 40-feet and died when she hit the ground. Whether she was pushed or fell accidentally, that we will ever know. It was gleaned from her arms, and in the same way we would put our arms out to try save ourselves from impact, is exactly how Lucy had broken those bones in her arms and hands.
8 - Money-saver This could potentially save millions of dollars every year – landing a rocket successfully on a drone ship! In the past, rocket boosters would just land in the ocean, but in April of 2016 – Falcon 9 landed on a floating drone, allowing researchers to reuse the rocket booster. Each space flight has altered from costing around $60 million each time to around $600,000, according to researchers.
7 – Not one but two! 2016 was a busy one for NASA, and now their scientists have found an asteroid that is a constant near-earth companion. They say there’s a lot of junk circulating this asteroid, which has been dubbed a second moon. Its real description is a quasi-satellite, with the name 2016 HO3. They do add to not get excited though, we’ll not be walking on this one anytime soon and it will depart within a few centuries.
6 - Not just a feeling This strange discovery has been called an Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, but you can just refer to it as ASMR. It’s that tingling sensation you get at the back of your head or neck when you hear plastic crinkling or someone whispering in your ear. The results of this bizarre study were published in 2016 and it’s thanks to a psychology student at Swansea University that it was officially recognized. Scientists had for years just classed the sensation as goosebumps, but now it’s officially recognized as ASMR.
5 - Keeping it in the family Let’s hope they do, because a group of red squirrels over in the UK have been found to carry a strain of leprosy that was found in people living in the middle ages.
4 - It’s a match When you think of ducks, you don’t really see them as being super intelligent animals – but further research into mallards have shown that they are capable of recognizing if objects are exactly the same or completely different. To put it in the exact words of the people behind this 2016 discovery, “The brain operates with abstract conceptual reasoning, a faculty often assumed to be reserved to highly intelligent organisms.”
3 - A new kind of super-hero! Discovered in 2016, this millimeter long roundworm has been dubbed a little superhero. It’s tiny, eyeless and nothing much to look at – but wait until you hear about its light-detecting capabilities. The worm has photoreceptors that allow it to capture 50% more light than that of a human eye. Scientists are trying to figure out why this little super worm needs that ability, and when they do – they’re hoping to genetically engineer similar photoreceptors.
2 - Excuse Me For a number of years, scientists have wondered where the hum in the middle of the Pacific Ocean comes from… and finally in the last few months, we have a more conclusive answer… but I won’t lie – it’s truly weird! The noise was loudest at sunrise and sunset, and that’s the time when small fish and crustaceans come out from hiding to eat. So their first option was that it was the sudden movement of a large number of sea animals, and the other, more unusual option, was the fish actually let off gases which helps keep them bouncy and floaty. Research continues
1 - Journey of a different kind Many stories have been told by people who have had out of body experiences, or astral trips – and it’s been something that has been studied for as long as anyone can remember, although it has also had its fair share of sceptics. Volunteers had a series of tests run on them, and scientists confirmed that the out of body experience was indeed real. The subjects experienced a kind of hallucination which was triggered by a neurological mechanism, and even stranger, that it was possible to train yourself to activate it.
Buried treasure, hidden caves, and entire cities. we've found it all! Here are the strangest underground discoveries! Subscribe to Talltanic # 10 10 Million Dollars of Coins A couple in Northern California was walking their dog in their property when the dog seemed to notice something peculiar underneath a tree. With some investigation, the couple uncovered 1, 427 gold coins dating from 1847 to 1894 which was easily worth 10 million USD. The face value of the coins would have only added up to $27, 000, however the rarity of these coins is what’s really worthwhile. The fortunate couple decided to remain anonymous and would use the money from selling the coins to pay off their bills and donate to charity. # 9 Whale Fossil In 1978, Gary Johnson from California noticed that there was a large rock sticking out of the ground that seemed a little too unusual. When he called in an expert to evaluate the rock, he was informed that there was nothing noteworthy about it. That is until 2014 when Johnson heard that there was a piece of a 12 million year old Sperm Whale discovered nearby. That’s when he re evaluated the rock and discovered that for decades he had also been looking at the remains of a 14 million year old whale himself. # 8 Explosive Haul In May of 2013, a 39 year old from Czech Republic wanted to dig out some tree stumps from his backyard when he noticed some strange objects under the roots. With some investigation and help from local authorities, they realized that these objects were unexploded dynamite and TNT hand grenades dating from World War 2. #7 Gold Nugget A Californian man had nothing but a metal detector and a shovel when he unearthed something worth 460, 000 dollars. The unnamed Californian man dug up a lump of gold that weighed 8. 2 pounds. Although he auctioned off the nugget for the 460, 000 dollars, he decided to keep his identity hidden in order to prevent treasure hunters from rushing into his property. Geologists said that there is a high chance of more gold being on his land, so he may well be spending the rest of his life digging for gold. # 6 Stolen Ferrari Two kids were playing around in their own backyard back in 1978 when they accidentally dug up something very strange. What they found was a Dino 246 GTS Ferrari. After authorities unburied the car, they realized that it was actually a car that had been stolen several years ago. The story goes, that the thieves stole the car with the intention to destroy it as part of an insurance scam, but loved it so much they just buried it and had the idea to retrieve it later. # 5 Ships Beneath San Francisco During the Gold Rush of the 1850’s, thousands of ships sailed in and out of San Francisco, harbouring adventurers in search of their fortune. Now, thousands of commuters walk over these ships every day without knowing. Since it would pretty much impossible to unearth these centuries-old ships from underneath San Francisco, the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park has created a map of where the buried ships are. This just makes any walk through the city that much more interested. # 4 Giant Earthworm A Chinese worker named Li Zhiwei was hanging laundry to dry his backyard when he noticed what he thought was a snake. In fact, it was actually an earthworm that was a half meter or 20 inches long. An earthworm’s size is dependent on its environment, which is why this particular one had grown so big. # 3 18th Century Cemetery When Vincent Marcello from New Orleans decided to dig a plot in his backyard for a swimming pool, he discovered that someone else had already dug a hole for him - over 200 years ago. Marcello discovered an 18th century cemetery that contained 13 caskets with human remains. This had actually occurred relatively recently in the same area when an apartment complex was being built and 36 corpses were found in the foundation. # 2 Mini-Pompeii While making excavations to build a metro line in Rome, workers discovered the charred ruins of an early 3rd century building and the skeleton of a dog. These ruins were highly similar to the notorious ruins of Pompeii where everyone in the city was preserved by the eruption that wiped them out. It seems that these ruins are from a fire that got out of control in the basement furnace. # 1 Glowworm Caves This half-underground half-underwater cave system is home to a very strange creature. The Waitomo Glowworm Caves on New Zealand’s North Island was first discovered by the Maori people and then extensively explored and documented by an Englishman named Fred Mace in 1887. Even back then, the ceiling of the cave was covered in amazing glowing worms.