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A tiny dino, a lost uniform and other wonderful discoveries

Posted at 11:02 PM, Feb 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-04 14:27:41-05

Have you ever learned something so fascinating, so truly wild and cool you had to immediately tell all of your friends? For me, it was when I learned the inventor of Pringles had some of his ashes buried in a Pringles can. This week was full of brag-worthy discoveries and brain-tickling finds that’ll surely earn a spot in your Sunday brunch conversation. After all, knowledge is best when shared — and mixed with a little orange juice.

Our favorites this week

Get going with some of our most popular good news stories of the week

You haven’t seen the last of this guy!

We bet you thought the Fernandina Giant Tortoise was extinct and gone, never to return. Think again! The species of tortoise, which is native to the Galapagos island of Fernandina, was last seen in 1906. Conservationists assumed they just died out. So imagine their surprise when a beautiful scaly (and very alive) specimen was spotted shuffling around the island. Even better? There’s reason to believe she’s not alone. We love a good comeback story.

Speaking of, scientists were also thrilled this week when a Wallace giant bee was discovered in Indonesia. These critters are the largest bees in the world, and were also thought to be extinct. This is great news for science, but not so much for people who don’t like bees. Because, guys, this is a very giant bee. We didn’t include the photo, because we don’t want to scare anyone. We respected your bee-related fears.

A perfectly-tailored reunion

This one combines three of our favorite things: veterans, good people and antique shopping. Xenos Lopez lost his Army Greens uniform during a move three years ago. He thinks someone may have stolen the garment bag amid all of the moving chaos. Last Saturday, he and his wife were enjoying a nice weekend of antique shopping in Bakersfield, California, when, lo and behold, they saw Lopez’ uniform for sale on a hanger. The couple explained the situation to the shop’s owner, showed proof it was Lopez’s and offered to buy it. Of course, the shop owner said no. “He was super kind,” Lopez said of the owner. “He said, ‘It’s yours, you earned it. Take it!’

A tino dino

We told you there were a lot of fun discoveries afoot! A fossil found in Utah is shaking up what we know about the king of the dinosaurs. The fossil is of a small tyrannosaur that stood about three or four feet tall and was an early ancestor of the bigger, badder T-Rexes we know and fear. This discovery helps fill in the tyrannosaur timeline and shows that, for a long time, the tyrannosaurs roaming the earth were much more, well, manageable than “Jurassic Park” led us to believe. The new tiny dino is being called Moros intrepidus, which means “harbinger of doom.” Adorable!

Raise a glass to…

Kelly Stewart, a Taco Bell employee in Syracuse, New York. Stewart writes sweet little notes and slips them into drive-through orders. Sometimes it’s an inspirational quote, and sometimes it’s something simple, like “Keep smiling.” Which, well, you’re about to eat a burrito. So there’s no reason not to.

You gotta see this

No, this isn’t lava overtaking a waterfall in Yosemite National Park. It’s the Yosemite Firefall in California, a natural magic trick that appears for only a short time in February every year. The setting sun hits the Horsetail Fall juuust right, and the water glows bright orange.

Wanna get away?

Wow, imagine spending a few relaxing moments in this gorgeous church in Ipiales, Colombia. Las Lajas Sanctuary sits on a bridge over the Guáitara River, and this stunning shot is one of CNN Travel’s favorite photos of the year so far.

Hear, hear!

“Share my wildlife with me. Because humans want to save the things that they love.”

Steve Irwin, known as “The Crocodile Hunter.” The legendary conservationist and all-around pure human being would have been 57 this week.

Who knew?

Have you ever wondered where fake movie money comes from? It’s actually serious business, and prop companies that make faux dollars have to abide by strict federal rules. The closer you look at the prop bills above, the more ridiculous they get: Instead of “United States Federal Reserve” they say “Unreal Fake Currency Reserve.” And the two Treasury signatures? “Not Real Currency” and “Ima Not Real.”

Tell us something good

When is a microwave not just a microwave? When it’s purchased by some kind firefighters for an elderly woman in their community. The woman pressed her Life Alert button by accident, and when the crew from the High Springs Fire Department in Florida arrived, they noticed she didn’t have a microwave to heat up the frozen food she receives from Meals on Wheels. No surprise, this photo’s getting a lot of love on Facebook. “In Small Town USA, neighbors help neighbors,” the department said.

Shameless animal video

There’s always time for cute animal videos. That time is now.

A researcher in Antarctica left a camera unattended for a minute, and these curious Emperor penguins wasted no time finding their most flattering angles.