Discoveries

Baleen whales like humpbacks use hair-like bristles in their mouth to sieve prey from the water

Scientists Discover How Whales Eat Without Choking on Water

An 'oral plug' of muscle and fat could help keep water out of the whales' lungs

The newly recognized species, Taksinus bambus, is the first known tarantula to nest exclusively inside bamboo stalks.

Good News

A Wildlife YouTuber Discovered This New Species of Tarantula in Thailand

The bamboo-dwelling spider is so distinct from others that it's been declared a new genus and species

A first-century C.E. mosaic of Hercules and Iolaus

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Identify Possible Location of Lost Temple of Hercules

Experts in Spain used laser scanning technology to locate submerged ruins along the coast of the Bay of Cádiz

Finds unveiled in 2021 included a wooden falcon that originally belonged to doomed queen Anne Boleyn, an intact ancient chicken egg and a dress worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz.

Cool Finds

Ninety-Nine Fascinating Finds Revealed in 2021

The year's most exciting discoveries include a Viking "piggy bank," a lost Native American settlement and a secret passageway hidden behind a bookshelf

From amazing firsts on Mars to the impacts of climate change on Earth, these science stories stood out as the most important of 2021

The Ten Most Significant Science Stories of 2021

Thrilling discoveries, hurdles in the fight against Covid and advancements in space exploration defined the past year

Unearthed in Norway, this crowned figure with a falcon on its right arm dates to the 13th century, and may be the oldest depiction of falconry discovered in Scandinavia.

Cool Finds

One of the Oldest Depictions of Falconry in Scandinavia Is Discovered

The 800-year-old carved figure holding a falcon was found at a dig site in Norway

Art dealer Helen Fioratti and her husband, Nereo, purchased the mosaic from an aristocratic Italian family in the 1960s and used it as a coffee table in their Manhattan apartment for some 45 years.

Cool Finds

A Mosaic From Caligula's 'Pleasure Boat' Spent 45 Years as a Coffee Table in NYC

Authorities returned the ancient artwork, now on view at a museum near Rome, to Italy following a multi-year investigation

The 13-year-old discovered the cache on her third metal-detecting outing.

Cool Finds

British Teenager Discovers Rare Bronze Age Ax Hoard

Milly Hardwick, a 13-year-old from Suffolk, stumbled onto a cache of 65 artifacts dated to around 1300 B.C.E.

Minted in Canterbury between 1493 and 1499, the silver half groat dates to the middle of Henry VII's reign, when a rebellion led by pretender Perkin Warbeck threatened to unseat the nascent Tudor dynasty. 

Cool Finds

How Did a 15th-Century Coin Minted Under Henry VII End Up in Newfoundland?

Dated to between 1493 and 1499, the silver half-groat is the oldest English coin ever found in Canada

An unnamed treasure hunter discovered the majority of the coins and gold objects between 2014 and 2020.

Cool Finds

See the Largest Trove of Early Medieval Gold Coins Ever Found in England

Discovered in a West Norfolk field, the cache of 131 coins and 4 gold objects dates to around 600 C.E.

Nobel award recipients are overwhelmingly white, male, and American, and this year was no exception.

No Nobel Prizes in Science Went to Women This Year, Widening the Awards' Gender Gap

Fewer than three percent of Nobel science winners are women, and only one woman of color has ever received the award

Now named a new species, Wallace's sphinx moth (top) of Madagascar displays its world's longest tongue next Morgan's sphinx moth, which is found on the African mainland.

With a Nearly Foot-Long Proboscis, This New Moth Species Holds Record for Longest Insect Tongue

DNA testing shows island moth from Madagascar is distinctly different from similar varieties found on the African mainland

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Benjamin List and David W.C. MacMillan for their independent work that revolutionized the construction of molecules.

Innovation for Good

Scientists Behind 'Ingenious' Molecule-Building Tool Win Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Researchers Benjamin List and David MacMillan independently discovered cheaper, greener ways to create new molecules

The Nobel Committee in Physics was awarded to Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann, and Giorgio Parisi earlier today.

Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded to Scientists Who Warned the World of Climate Change

Their groundbreaking research answered fundamental questions about our universe and Earth’s complex climate

The Nobel committee announced the winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian, earlier today.

Scientists Studied Spicy Chili Peppers and Cool Menthol for Their Nobel Prize–Winning Research on Heat and Touch

Their independent discoveries answer fundamental questions about how we sense our environment and could lead to breakthrough pain relief treatments

The stone seats are inscribed with Latin names in Greek letters.

Inscribed VIP Seats Unearthed at Roman Amphitheater in Turkey

Pergamon's elite watched gladiator and animal fights, public executions, and naval reenactments at the ancient arena

Beneath the ruins of the Bubasteion temple, archaeologists discovered “megatombs” crammed with burials. The coffins pictured date to more than 2,000 years ago.

Inside the Tombs of Saqqara

Dramatic new discoveries in the ancient Egytptian burial ground. A special report produced with Smithsonian Channel

Combining carbon dioxide and calcium creates calcium carbonate rocks such as limestone.

To Combat Climate Change, Researchers Want to Pull Carbon Dioxide From the Ocean and Turn It Into Rock

Running seawater through an ocean carbon capture plant could chemically convert carbon dioxide to limestone on a grand scale

Smithsonian ecologist Andy Boyce reported the rediscovery and photographed the elusive Bornean subspecies of the Rajah scops owl, Otus brookii brookii, in the mountainous forests of Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia.

Rare Owl With Bright Orange Eyes Seen for the First Time in More Than 125 Years

The elusive Bornean Rajah scops owl is inspiring scientists and researchers after its brief rediscovery

Rome's Basilica dei Santi Apostoli has housed bones said to belong to St. James and St. Philip since the sixth century A.D.

Bones Venerated as St. James the Younger's Don't Belong to the Apostle, Study Suggests

Researchers dated the femur fragments to between 214 and 340 A.D.—at least 160 years after the saint's lifetime

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