For the first time, scientists retrieved a human genome from volcanic ash–encrusted remains found in the ancient city Pompeii. They identified the individual as a man in his 30s, with markers for spinal tuberculosis, and they also analyzed the bones of an accompanying woman over 50.


New analysis of a space rock found in the desert in 1996 suggests it was forged in a rare “type Ia” supernova explosion inside a giant dust cloud. The violent event led to the dust eventually solidifying on the outskirts of our solar system, most likely some 4.6 billion years ago.*


A species of Pyralidae moth last recorded in 1912 was discovered in a passenger’s luggage in the Detroit airport. Several moth larvae had apparently stowed away in a bag of medicinal tea, which the traveler purchased in the Philippines.


NASA satellite imaging captured activity indicating multiple eruptions from the underwater volcano Kavachi. In addition to being geologically active, the site is home to a thriving shark population—earning it the superb nickname “sharkcano.”


Cambodian environmental officials have asked the public to stop picking carnivorous, distinctively shaped “penis plants.” These rare, insect-consuming plants are found only in shallow, nutrient-poor soils in some of the country’s remote mountain regions.


Although the annual monarch butterfly migration has been in decline for three decades, entomologists confirmed that eastern monarchs’ wintering grounds in Mexico increased in area by 35 percent since last year. The insects may be adapting to climate change, experts suggest.


Using lidar, a laser-based remote sensing technology, archaeologists uncovered traces of 11 Indigenous villages from 1,500 years ago. These settlements were connected by a complex series of roads and bridges to two large, previously known cities called Landivar and Cotoca.

*Editor’s Note (8/3/22): This paragraph was edited after posting to correct the description of the supernova.