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17 Facts The World Learned In April

Featuring two new places to look for alien life, a new spot on Jupiter, and an artificial womb.

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1. There's probably hydrothermal activity going on at the bottom of the ocean on Saturn's moon Enceladus – meaning it has all the ingredients for some sort of life.

2. There's a rocky planet, six times the size of Earth, orbiting a red dwarf star 40 light years away.

3. There's a bunch of streams, rivers, ponds, and waterfalls, all over Antarctica, that we didn't know about before.

4. It's possible to keep premature lambs alive for four weeks in an artificial womb scientists have created.

5. There are at least two archbishops of Canterbury buried under a former church in Lambeth, London, in a secret crypt that was only just discovered during building works.

6. There's a newly discovered ocean garbage patch in the Arctic.

7. Volcanoes have killed a lot of penguins in the Antarctic over the last few thousand years, according to a study that tracked penguin populations over time using their poo.

8. There's a Great Cold Spot in Jupiter's upper atmosphere.

9. Britain separated, geologically, from Europe 450,000 years ago in a process involving a vast flood separating Kent from northern France.

10. There's a caterpillar called Galleria mellonella (commonly known as the wax moth) that can break down plastic.

11. Naked mole rats can survive for up to 18 minutes without oxygen by using fructose, instead of glucose, to make energy.

12. There's a chemical in the skin of South Indian frogs that can kill some strains of the flu virus.

13. A species of termite-hunting ant called Megaponera analis rescues its injured friends and takes them back to the nest.

14. Mandrills, a type of monkey found in African rainforests, sniff each other's poo to figure out who's got parasites.

15. There's a newly discovered type of pistol shrimp in the eastern Pacific that's been named Synalpheus pinkfloydi (after Pink Floyd).

16. Humpback whale calves talk really quietly to their mums so other nearby whales can't hear them.

17. One of the earliest known relatives of the dinosaurs walked on four legs, like a crocodile.


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Kelly Oakes is science editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.

Contact Kelly Oakes at kelly.oakes@buzzfeed.com.

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