Despite the fact that the entire internet has gone into major 2016 hater mode, there have actually been a lot of positive things to come out of this year. No, I’m not talking about the Game Of Thrones season seven plot leak. I’m talking about a bunch of incredible discoveries from the world of science.
Of the seven scientific discoveries in this list, some are mind blowing, some are adorable, and some are downright terrifying. One thing they all have in common, however, is their ability to change the course of human history, for better or worse. So if you’re ready to hear about some notable 2016 moments that don’t involve whining on about Brexit, Trump and celebrity deaths, all you need to do is keep reading.
1. The ninth planet exists
No, sadly Pluto is not the ninth planet anymore. In 2016, Caltech astronomers Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown discovered the existence of a different ninth planet, one that’s larger than Neptune and very, very cold.
2. Sloth poop
Every time sloths poop (which is about once a week), they come incredibly close to death. No wonder they’re so lazy for the rest of the week…
3. Rocket achieves vertical landing
Thanks to TV and film, you’d be forgiven for thinking that rockets land vertically all the time. In reality, it’s actually very difficult to do. However, on April 8, private company SpaceX successfully completed a rare vertical landing. Their success means future space missions could be completed in a much more eco-friendly and cost effective way, because rockets can easily be reused.
4. Prime Time
In January, mathematicians discovered a brand new prime number. It’s 2^74,207,281 – 1, just incase you were wondering.
Did you know that adorable baby ducklings somehow found their way onto the list of 2016’s greatest scientific achievements? Head over to the next page to find out how.
5. Clever little ducks
Ducklings can recognise the concepts of “same” and “different.” It was previously thought that only highly intelligent animals such as apes, crows and parrots could do this.
6. Gravitational waves are real
In February, scientists announced that they had finally detected gravitational waves, almost exactly a century after Albert Einstein first theorised their existence back in 1916.
7. The planet is melting
Planet Earth lost enough sea ice this year to cover the entire land mass of India. Despite this, Donald Trump still hasn’t made it clear if he believes in global warming.
Now, this one might not exactly be the most scientific discovery ever, but it looks like 2016 also brought with it an answer to one of the world’s most famous mysteries: who and/or what is the Loch Ness Monster?