A Secret Body: Week's 5 Most Incredible Discoveries

From a face in a cliff to a secret body in a coffin
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2015 5:26 AM CDT
Updated Jun 27, 2015 5:30 AM CDT

An extra body tucked into a centuries-old coffin and an overly well-endowed Greek god make the list of the week's most incredible discoveries:

  • Under Remarkable 17th-Century Corpse: a Secret Body: Peder Winstrup is remarkably well-preserved for a man who died in 1679, and while researchers expected the mummified corpse of the former bishop of Lund would yield fascinating information on the 17th century, they didn't expect a CT scan to reveal another body. But when his coffin was removed from the Swedish city's cathedral, scientists were amazed to discover a tiny body had been concealed at his feet.
  • Medical Marijuana May Not Be as Medical as You Think: Just because medical marijuana is approved to treat conditions like anxiety and sleep disorders doesn't mean it actually provides any benefit. That's the takeaway from a new assessment of 79 studies that found little evidence the drug helps patients, including those suffering from depression and glaucoma. But there was an exception.

  • Greek God's Big Feature Reveals Medical Issue: A Greek god portrayed in one of Pompeii's best-known frescoes has quite the prominent feature—for better and for worse, apparently. The painting of fertility god Priapus, which survived the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, depicts a man whose phallus extends nearly to his knees and the fruit basket sitting beside him. But this symbol of procreative energy also contains evidence of a medical condition.
  • Man's 2-Year Quest Leads Him to Face in Cliffside: Searching for a face in a crowd is hard enough. Searching for a face etched in a Canadian cliff is apparently a two-year endeavor. After a kayaker from Washington state reported seeing a face on a cliff while exploring the Broken Group Islands in British Columbia in 2008, Parks Canada sent an archaeologist to investigate.
  • Mass Extinction Underway, Will Kill Off Humans: Perhaps we buried the lede by putting this one last, but we didn't want to scare you away right off the bat. But basically, the story is that Planet Earth is undergoing a sixth mass extinction that will likely annihilate the human race unless we can curb the trend, according to scientists. There are ways we can reportedly avert this crisis, though.
Click to read about more discoveries. (More discoveries stories.)

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