Directorate-General for Research & Innovation logo Horizon: the EU Research & Innovation magazine | European Commission logo
Receive our editor’s picks

Twenty surprising scientific facts we learned in 2020

We still have much to learn from bats and their evolutionary tricks. Image credit - Vlad Kutepov/Unsplash

From corals bunkering down in deeper waters to wait out climate change stress, to how vaccines can boost our immune system beyond a specific disease – here are the 20 most surprising scientific facts that we discovered this year. 

Image credit - Vlad Kutepov/Unsplash

Read: Five things you need to know about bats, disease and coronavirus 

 

Image credit - Vlad Panov/Unsplash

Read: We are starting to crack the mystery of how lightning and thunderstorms work 

 

Image credit - Gal Eyal

Read: Understudied deeper water reefs could teach us how to better conserve corals 

 

Image credit - Nikolay  Kondev/pxhere

Read: 'Four times more toxic': How wildfire smoke ages over time 

 

Image credit - Felineora/Wikimedia

Read: Bats have different song cultures and chatter about food, sleep, sex and other bats 

 

Image credit - National Cancer Institute/Unsplash

Read: Q&A: How vaccines can strengthen immune response beyond a specific disease 

 

Image credit - pxhere

Read: Q&A: Why clouds are still 'one of the biggest uncertainties' in climate change 

 

Image credit - pxhere

Read: Bees use shark 'supersense' to help find food

 

Image credit - pxhere

Read: How Stone Age humans unlocked the glucose in plants 

 

Image credit - Birger Schmitz

Read: Space dust fossils are providing a new window onto Earth's past 

 

Image credit - grebmot/Pixabay

Read: How life on Earth could help us find life on Mars 

 

Image credit - Ramon Kagie/Unsplash

Read: How hybrid electric and fuel aircraft could green air travel 

 

Image credit - sarangib/Pixabay

Read: We can programme plants to grow biomolecules. Is farming the future of vaccines? 

 

Image credit - Sarah Kaehlert

Read: Q&A: The curious case of male pregnancy in seahorses and pipefishes 

 

Image credit - pxhere

Read: The science of tickling: why the brain won't let us tickle ourselves 

 

Image credit - Boudhayan Bardhan/Unsplash

Read: Plants can detect insect attacks by 'sniffing' each other's aromas 

 

Image credit - pxhere

Read: Cloud shapes and formations impact global warming - but we still don't understand them 

 

Image credit - Preclinics, Potsdam

Read: Alpacas and antibodies: How scientists hope to stop coronavirus in its tracks 

 

Image credit - Pikist

Read: How speech recognition techniques are helping to predict volcanoes' behaviour 

 

Image credit - Matthäus Rest

Read: Solving an ancient dairy mystery could help cure modern food ills