Amsterdam’s train tunnels reveal surprising windows into the past

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Scientists have long believed that our planet is built on four layers of rocks, minerals and magma deposited over millions of years.

But researchers now think the earth has five major layers after discovering a previously undetectable 400-mile-wide ball of iron within Earth’s inner core. The revelation could help experts understand more about the origins of the place we call home.

And then there are the hidden layers of history beneath our feet — roads, cities and ways of life that have been covered and forgotten by time.

As we dig down into those lost chapters, stories have a way of coming back to life.

Thousands of artifacts were recovered during the construction of a train tunnel in Amsterdam.

When engineers tunneled under Amsterdam’s centuries-old architecture to build the North-South metro line, it was like stepping back in time.

The painstaking 15-year operation resulted in an underground train system – and an underground museum filled with 10,000 artefacts unearthed during the process.

The archaeologists sorted through the mud displaced during the project and found numerous objects, including 115,000-year-old shells, medieval relics and even vintage mobile phones.

Visitors can see items on display at the Rokin station, where many of the artefacts depicting Amsterdam’s history were found.

A bell fungus that has been used by humans as a fire starter for centuries could now be useful in the fight against the climate crisis.

The hardy organism, known as “tinder fungus,” could one day replace plastics somewhere.

Some of the fungus has strength like plywood or leather, but weighs less than either.

Scientists think the fungus could end up being used as shock absorbers in sports equipment and other consumer goods.

For ideas on how to minimize your role in the climate crisis, sign up for a limited edition of CNN’s Life, But Greener newsletter.

An artist's illustration shows a large planet in the foreground orbiting a small red star.

Astronomers have spotted a “forbidden” planet outside our solar system.

The exoplanet, known as TOI 5205b, is about the size of Jupiter, Earth’s largest planetary neighbor. The unusual world was discovered orbiting a small, cool star with only a fraction of the light, size and heat of our sun.

Researchers do not understand how such a large planet came to exist around the minuscule star, so its existence is forbidden. But the gas giant is causing scientists to question what they know about how planets form.

Meanwhile, scientists have discovered an ancient riverbed in the world’s oldest and driest desert that resembles Jezero Crater on Mars.

The tomb of two brothers who lived during the Bronze Age more than 3,000 years ago may help shed some light on some of history’s medical mysteries.

The brothers, probably of high status, lived in the city of Megiddo in what is Israel now. Both men had debilitating chronic diseases, according to a new analysis of their remains.

Some time after the young man died, his older sister underwent an operation. A square hole was cut in his skull, and he died not long after. Now, a A research team is debunking ancient brain surgery and why the skull pieces were placed in the grave.

In a discovery further back in time, archaeologists excavating a cave in southern France found the oldest evidence of bow and arrow use by early modern humans outside of Africa.

African penguins protect their eggs inside artificial nests.

The little white huts that pop up on the beaches of South Africa and its coastal islands are few and far between for holidaymakers – but the abodes are right for another kind of keen trader.

The domes have many selling points – they are well ventilated and offer a great view of the sea. And above all, the structures provide a safe place for breeding penguins to mate and protect their eggs.

Human activity and the climate crisis have caused the penguin population in Africa to collapse. That’s why conservationists with the African Penguin Nest Project have brought in artificial nests.

The project started in 2018. Within minutes, the endangered penguins ran right inside their new homes.

These stories have to be seen to be believed:

— The latest James Webb Space Telescope image includes six distant giant galaxies that are changing how scientists understand the beginning of the universe.

— A photographer dived into the murky depths of Tasmania’s Derwent River and captured stunning images of fish that walk on their “hands.”

– A 2,400-year-old mechanism uncovered among the ruins of an ancient palace in Xi’an, China, may be the world’s oldest flushing toilet.

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