Scientists are discovering new interactions in the way things work. Here is a list of 50 new things we didn’t know this time last year, and below are a few of my favorites from the list.
8. Ground-penetrating radar used by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter revealed enormous underground reservoirs of frozen water far from Mars’ polar caps — glaciers up to a half-mile thick buried beneath rock and debris. Researchers said one glacier is three times the size of Los Angeles.
10. The world’s oceans are growing more acidic at an increasing rate, a phenomenon that may lead to major disruptions for corals, lobster, oysters, crabs, mussels and snails, which have difficulty building their calcium crusts in such conditions.
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11. Magnetic resonance imaging scans of blood flow in the human brain indicate that bullies often derive pleasure from watching others in pain.
16. Exposure to light in grocery stores reduces the quality of cauliflower, broccoli, chard, leeks and asparagus.
20. Searching online is better than reading books for increasing the brainpower of middle-aged and older adults.
29. Excessive flip-flop wearing leads to a much higher risk of developing skin cancer on the feet. Only half of patients with foot melanomas survive.
30. An ADHD-related gene may encourage behaviors beneficial for nomads.
35. The fully fleshed-out head of a Tyrannosaurus rex may have weighed more than 1,100 pounds, but much of that volume came from air cavities that likely created painful sinus infections.
36. An expedition 6,500-feet below the Atlantic Ocean caused one explorer to describe the region as “a new continent.” Hundreds of rare and unknown species were discovered in the 1,500-mile-long Mid-Atlantic Ridge between Europe and America.
37. Great white sharks travel long distances every winter to meet in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. During this gathering, they make dives to depths of 300 meters.
40. A newly found species of bacteria can grow at low temperatures, spoiling raw milk even when it’s refrigerated.
44. Mexican scientists discovered a way to make diamonds from the carbon and organic compounds found in tequila.
50. Drinking just three cups of coffee a day can make women’s breasts shrink.