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2022 Year in Review: Unusual News Stories

To recap 2022, is taking a look back at some of the most interesting stories we’ve covered this year.
Today we’re looking at some of the most unusual news stories from 2022.

Scientists Teach Goldfish to Drive a Car on Land

Labeled setup for Fish Operated Vehicle (LIDAR, Computer, Camera, Water tank).
Scientists in Israel have taught goldfish an unusual way to reach a target – by driving a small robotic car on dry land. The experiment was designed to test whether goldfish could find their way in conditions very different from their natural living conditions.

Polar Explorer’s Ship Found After Over 100 Years

The helm of the Endurance showing the wheel and the railing.
Over a hundred years after it sank near Antarctica, the ship of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton has been found. The ship, called ‘Endurance’, sank after it got trapped in the ice in the Weddell Sea in 1915. Now it has been found using underwater robots.

Airlines Fly Empty “Ghost Flights” to Keep Airport Spots

A flying Airbus A340 in Lufthansa livery
Flying airplanes costs a lot of money. So you might expect airlines to make sure their flights are as full as possible. But airlines have been making tens of thousands of “ghost flights” in and out of European airports with few passengers, or none at all.

Missing Darwin Notebooks Returned After 20 Years

Librarian Jessica Gardner examines the "tree of life" page of Charles Darwin's missing notebooks after they were returned to the Cambridge University Library.
Two missing notebooks belonging to the scientist Charles Darwin were secretly returned to the Cambridge University Library recently. The stolen notebooks, which had been missing for over 20 years, were returned in good condition.

Scientists Test How Oreo Cookies Twist Apart

Composite image showing Oreo cookie attached to a rheometer, as well as diagrams of an Oreo from different angles.
Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have released a study on a subject they call Oreology – how Oreo cookies twist apart. The study’s results show that the Oreo’s white cream almost always winds up stuck to just one side of the cookie.

World’s Largest Plant is a 4,500-Year-Old Sea Grass

A beautiful meadow of flowering Posidonia australis sea grass, with clear blue ocean above it.
Scientists have discovered what they believe is the world’s largest plant, an underwater field of sea grass that stretches for 112 miles (180 kilometers) off the west coast of Australia. The sea grass plant is believed to be around 4,500 years old.

Droughts Reveal Hidden History Worldwide

2018 image of a Hungerstein (Hunger Stone) in Decin, Czech Republic
As rivers, lakes, and reservoirs are drying up around the world because of droughts, unusual sights are appearing. From Nazi warships to dinosaur footprints to ancient cities and monuments, the dry weather is revealing items long hidden underwater.

US Approves Purple Tomatoes With Changed DNA

GMO purple tomatoes engineered by Norfolk Plant Sciences on the vine.
The US government has approved a new purple tomato for growing and selling in the US. The special kind of tomato was created by making changes to its DNA. The creators say the tomatoes will last longer and could help make people healthier.

Bumblebees Are First Insect Known to Play

Bumblebee shown rolling a ball.
Kids everywhere love to play. And they know that a ball is a perfect thing to play with. Now scientists at London’s Queen Mary University report that bumblebees seem to know the same thing, making bumblebees the first insects known to play.

Researchers Crack 500-Year-Old Mystery Code

Cryptographer Cecile Pierrot (left) and historian Camille Desenclos talk to reporters about how they cracked the code in Charles V's letter.
In 1547, the King of Spain sent a coded letter to his ambassador in France. Now, after nearly 500 years, researchers have finally cracked the code and can read the letter. It turns out that the king was worried someone might be trying to kill him.



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