Mystery Object Helped Make A Crater On The Moon, Dozens Of Ancient Statues Have Arisen From Mud, And Much More This Week

All the biggest science news stories of the week.


Charlie Haigh


Charlie Haigh

Marketing Coordinator & Writer

Charlie is the Marketing Coordinator and Writer for IFLScience, she’s currently completing a undergraduate degree in Forensic Psychology.

Marketing Coordinator & Writer

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This week the world’s oldest weapon factory reveals some pretty nasty munitions, the secret of why gold explodes purple is solved, and we discovered what made a curious double crater on the Moon last year but the mystery doesn’t end there. Plus, did you know the universe has an average color, and it sounds delicious? 

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400-Year-Old Alchemical Mystery Solved: Why Does Gold Explode Purple?

Good news for the turning lead-into-gold crowd, after 400 years of advancements in chemistry and physics, we’ve finally solved the mystery of why fulminating gold – the world’s first known high explosive – creates purple smoke when it detonates. Read the full story here



Two Parents May Not Be Enough, Study Into Hunter-Gatherer Communities Suggests

In Western societies, we are used to the idea that a typical family unit consists of two parents and their children. This is the nuclear family model which has predominated family standards since the 1950s. However, new research shows that this pressure on two parents may be out of sync with our evolutionary history. Read the full story here


Dozens Of Statues Were Buried In A Mud Bath For 2,300 Years, Preserving Them Perfectly

Like a time capsule waiting to be opened, archaeologists working on an ancient thermal baths excavation in Italy finally started uncovering the treasures lying beneath the mud. Initially, it was just small things – a coin, or some minor part of a statue – but soon, they found themselves face to face with what experts hailed as one of the most significant finds in the history of the region. And when we say “face to face,” we mean it literally. Read the full story here


Chinese Rocket That Crashed Into The Moon Was Carrying A Mystery Object

On March 4, 2022, a mysterious object crashed into the lunar surface, leaving behind an unusually shaped double-crater. While it was initially suspected to be part of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, later evidence suggested it was a Chinese booster rocket – curiously, with an unknown object attached to it. Read the full story here


World’s Oldest War Weapons Factory Existed 7,200 Years Ago In Israel

What appears to be the earliest known factory for the production of standardized war weaponry has been discovered in Israel dating to the early Copper Age. Based on hundreds of stone projectiles recovered from two archaeological sites, scientists concluded the items were mass-produced, indicating the highly organized arming of warriors in preparation for battle around 7,200 years ago. Read the full story here

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Feature of the week:

The Average Color Of The Universe Is A Morning Wake-up Call

Who knew the universe has an average color, and it sounds so delicious? Turns out, you can debate all you like whether tea or coffee is better, the universe has chosen sides. Read the full story here


More content:

Have you seen our free e-magazine, CURIOUS? Issue 16 November 2023 is OUT NOW. Check it out for exclusive interviews, book excerpts, long reads, and more.

PLUS, check out season 3 of IFLScience's The Big Questions Podcast, in which we asked:

Is Jurassic Park Possible?


How Is Climate Change Affecting Polar Bear Populations?

Why Is Space Junk Such A Big Deal?

Can We Save A Species On The Very Brink Of Extinction?

How Does A Quantum Computer Work And How Will They Change The World?


What Is Space Weather And How Does It Affect Us?

What Can Ancient Ice Tell Us About The Future?

Are E-Fuels The Future Of Aviation?

How Are Glaciers Changing In A Warming World?


Are We Ready For The Next Massive Solar Flare?


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