Because of such technological marvels as Google Maps (and the many volumes of Where’s Waldo?), you’d think that every inch of planet Earth has been thoroughly documented by this point. But the truth is, science pulls mind-blowing finds out of its cavernous, all-knowing ass more or less every 15 minutes. Here are four amazing discoveries that just occurred while the rest of civilization was bingeing on Teen Mom and waffle tacos.
#4. NASA Finds the World’s Longest Canyon Beneath Greenland
Even if you didn’t sleep through your elementary school geography lessons, you probably have an inkling that Greenland is 75 percent covered in ice. But what you didn’t know was that tucked underneath all that ice sits the longest canyon in the world.
J. Bamber, University Bristol
“Oh honey, size isn’t everything. You’re still ‘grand’ to me.” -Grand Canyon’s wife
NASA discovered the 460-mile-long canyon while sending special radar signals through Greenland’s ice, probably in hopes of finding something green so we could justify that stupid name. The longer it took the signals to bounce back, the deeper the canyon — and scientists aren’t even done measuring it yet.
The best part of the whole story is that the longest canyon in the world has been playing hide-and-seek with us since before humanity existed. You win this round, awe-inspiring geological formation, but you’ll get yours when we finally go extinct.
#3. Archaeologists Discover Priceless Secret Tomb, Excavate It in Secret
Among the many details The Goonies got right was the notion that once a secret treasure is found, everyone will want to get their grubby hands all over it. So archaeologists from the University of Warsaw probably had visions of Mama Fratelli pinballing through their skulls when they discovered an untouched Peruvian tomb full of gold, badass artifacts, and sultry lady mummies.
The tomb belonged to the predecessors of the Incas, the Wari, and — evidence of human sacrifices notwithstanding — these guys seemed hilarious.
We’re assuming this is a whoopee cushion.
Furthermore, the researchers who found this 1,300-year-old tomb managed to keep the whole dig a secret for months. Why didn’t they make a huge announcement to the world the second they found the first set of gold earrings? Because Goonies — they knew everyone would come and raid the artifacts. Instead, they waited until their pockets were lined with treasure and body parts before issuing a press release months later.
The press release consisted solely of this photo, published full page in Grave Robbers Monthly.
#2. Geologists Discover 2.6-Billion-Year-Old Water, Drink It
Deep in the recesses of a Canadian mine, scientists found a pool of water believed to be between 1.5 billion and 2.6 billion years old. This water is so old that researchers think it’s from back when that section of Canada was the actual ocean floor. And after theorizing that there may be lifeforms thriving within the water that are capable of living for billions of years independent of the sun, the geologists proceeded to drink that shit. One taster described the water as “very salty and bitter.”
“I added a sprinkle of anise seed to round out the flavor.”
It’s unclear what exact kind of eldritch horror the research team is destined to evolve into, but we’ll get a better idea once their ventral polyps sprout up.
#1. Scientists Find One of the Largest Volcanoes in the Solar System Next to Japan
In a recent scientific discovery that could possibly explain the existence of Godzilla, scientists have found that the biggest volcano on Earth and one of the biggest volcanoes in the solar system has been hiding on the seafloor a thousand miles east of Japan.
“Well, men, this thing is filled with either radioactive lizard eggs or Kinder egg toys. We’re praying for the toys.”
For the last 20 years, researchers have been stumped as to whether the huge lumpy underwater mass was a group of volcanoes or just one big mama volcano. Turns out that at 120,000 square miles, the world’s biggest zit is the latter. This thing is the size of New Mexico, and the nearest competition is all the way out on Mars. This thing is so big and wide that if you stood on its side, you wouldn’t be able to tell which way was downhill. Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, which is Earth’s largest active volcano, would only take up 2 percent of this thing if you could magically smoosh them together.
So on the one hand, we’ve got this massive secret geological treasure that we’re just now finding, which is exciting. On the other hand, we’ve only got about five minutes before Japan figures out a way to fetishize it.