Gross Pools: 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including a surprising find about elephant sleep
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2017 5:47 AM CST
Gross Pools: 5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week
   (Getty /George Peters)

An alarming find related to urine in pools tops this week's list of the most interesting discoveries:

  • Scientists Confirm Worst Fears About Pee in Pools: Attention swimmers: Researchers have finally figured out how much pee is in our pools, and the results are a little gross. A team testing 31 pools and hot tubs in Canada found evidence of urine in every single one of them. On average, there were 8 gallons of urine in a 110,000-gallon pool, and the news is even worse for hot tubs.
  • Why It's Rare to Spot an Elephant Sleeping: Researchers curious about the sleeping patterns of elephants tracked two wild African elephant matriarchs in Botswana's Chobe National Park for 35 days—and found the creatures averaged just two hours of sleep daily, "the shortest ... of any mammal recorded to date." They tend to be on the move a lot, and the reason for that is a troubling one.

  • Scientists Claim Discovery of World's Oldest Life: Researchers say they've found fossilized bacteria that may date back to shortly after the formation of the Earth. The rocks were collected in 2008 from the Nuvvuagittuq geological formation in Canada, and they are estimated to have formed near a hydrothermal vent on the seafloor between 3.77 billion and 4.22 billion years ago. If the fossils are what researchers say they are—and not everyone is convinced—they would push the date of earliest known life back billions of years.
  • Colorectal Cancer on the Rise—in Millennials: Colonoscopies are a rite of passage for 50-year-olds—could that one day be true for 30-year-olds? Researchers from the American Cancer Society have identified a sharp rise in colon and rectal cancer rates among millennials and GenXers after reviewing some 500,000 cases dating to 1974. Scientists don't know why that is, but they do point to a handful of risk factors.
  • Mosquitoes Don't Care About Your Citronella Candles: Scientists set out to test which of 11 types of repellents actually keep mosquitoes at bay, and those of you who light citronella candles might take heed. The upshot is pretty simple: Only products with DEET work well. As for those candles, the results were surprisingly bad.
Click to read about more discoveries. (More discoveries stories.)

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