8 of the Greatest Finds of 2016

Image Credit: Atlas Obscura

If you’re looking for reasons that 2016 might not have been the worst year ever, how about this? We (as in humans) discovered a lot of cool things last year.

Here are 8 of the most amazing things we uncovered as a species in 2016.

#8. Mount Diablo Buckwheat

Thought to have gone extinct seven decades ago, the location of a field of 1.8 million of the rarest of wildflowers isn’t being disclosed by botanists.

#7. A Missing Black Box

Photo Credit: Atlas Obscura

In 1985, Eastern Airlines Flight 980 crashed on its way from Paraguay to Miami. After 31 years, two friends found the flight’s black box in a nearly inaccessible spot in the Bolivian mountains.

#6. New Species: Tiny Ghost Octopus

Photo Credit: Atlas Obscura

2.5 miles beneath the Pacific Ocean, NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer found this remarkable little guy. The octopus lacked fins and finger-like cirri on its arms, along with having no pigment and only one series of suckers on its legs.

#5. Ancient Oven with Food Still Inside

Photo Credit: Atlas Obscura

About 1,600 years ago, around 400 CE, someone started cooking a meal in Alberta, Canada. They never ate it, and the remains were discovered still intact last year.

#4. The World’s Largest Insect

Photo Credit: Atlas Obscura

The stick insect clocked in at over 2 feet long and was discovered in Liuzhou City, China. I mean, it’s just a stick, but I still wouldn’t want to meet it in a dark alley. Or a bright one.

#3. The World’s First Identical Twin Puppies

South African veterinarian Kurt de Cramer was performing a c-section on an Irish Wolfhound when he got the surprise of his life – two puppies sharing a single placenta.

#2. Fairy Circles in Australia

Photo Credit: Atlas Obscura

Once thought to exist only in Namibia, these strange, unexplained hexagonal patterns left bare by surrounding vegetation appeared outside Newman, Australia. I do love a good, lasting mystery!

#1. Heinrich Himmler’s Diaries

Photo Credit: Atlas Obscura

Thought to have been lost decades ago, the disturbing diaries of one of Hitler’s right hand men were discovered sitting in a Russian archive.

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h/t: Atlas Obscura