2019 Plant Discoveries Include a Cancer-Fighting Fungus and More

102 plants and eight fungi were officially named by experts at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 2019 (roughly 2,000 new species are named worldwide every year). Among the roster of the recently identified are a few additions with remarkable attributes, including a bamboo fungus from Yunnan that can fight cancer; a “miracle” berry, from the Chimanimani Mountains, that tricks tastebuds; and a rubbery shrub, …

Researchers Discover Impossible Giant Planet

Contradicting theories on how planets form, a massive planet (GJ 3512b) found 31 light-years from Earth orbits a tiny red dwarf star (GJ 3512) and according to astronomers “shouldn’t exist.” While the type of star is common, this combination of small star and super-sized plant rarely appears. In fact, many astronomers had queried whether such large planets were able to form around such small stars. …

Opalized Bones Alter Australia’s Prehistoric History

Beginning with an excavation in 1984, an opal mine in Lightning Ridge (in rural New South Wales, Australia) suddenly became a hotbed for fossilized—and subsequently opalized—dinosaur bones. While the original team assumed the abnormally large and centralized collection of bones came from one body, researchers are now learning they are bones from multiple dinosaurs and an entirely new species—implying that a herd, which is now …