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The Biggest Science Stories Of 2015: Water On Mars, Proof Of Parallel Universe And 'End Of Times' Clouds In Costa Rica

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As far as scientific breakthroughs are concerned, 2015 is set to go down as one of the most productive in recent years.

Scientists from different disciplines have made milestone achievements both in the laboratory and out on the field, which could very well shape the future of human civilization.

NASA Finds Evidence of Water on Mars

The year has seen its fair share of landmark discoveries, not the least of which are the traces of liquid water found on Mars by members of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) project.

Scientists believe the new discovery reinforces the possibility of alien life on Mars as well as the potential of the planet to become a future home for humans.

Mars Curiosity Rover Captures Images of Giant Mouse and Floating Spoon

NASA's exploration of Mars has also yielded other valuable information on the distant world, including images of Martian rocks that look like a giant mouse and floating spoon.

These strange photographs were sent back by the Mars Curiosity Rover, which is currently conducting surveys of the Red Planet's surface.

Alien Megastructures Form Around KIC 8462852 Star System 

Interest in alien civilizations grew even further when researchers at the American space agency spotted strange celestial objects surrounding the distant star KIC 8462852 using the Kepler Space Telescope. NASA scientists said the objects are neither comets nor debris from an asteroid impact, but rather alien megastructures.

Caltech Researcher Discovers Proof of Parallel Universe 

On Earth, a researcher from Caltech discovered evidence of alternate and parallel universes in the form of an irregularly colored blob found on the map of the cosmic microwave background, the light that was created from the remnants of the universe's birth.

Cosmologist Ranga-Ram Chary said the presence of this anomaly can only be explained using the multiverse theory.

Snakes' Ability to Grow Limbs Embedded in Their Genome

Experts from the University of Georgia were able to identify factors in the genomes of certain species of snakes that allow the animals to develop limbs despite not having arms or legs. The research provides scientists with data that they can use in studying limb and genitalia development issues in humans.

Panama Disease Threatens to Drive World Banana Crops to Extinction 

An untreatable fungal disease known as the Panama disease has been found to threaten banana crops in Asia and other parts of the world. The disease has caused many varieties of the world's most favorite fruit to lose its taste and could even lead to the extinction of the fruit altogether.

Scientists Warn of True Impact of Global Warming Stoppage in the Pacific

Significant changes in the world's climate have also occurred, including the possibility that the impact of global warming could have abated this year.

Despite finding evidence that the Pacific Ocean is cooling down, climatologists believe the trend could only be a false pause or slowdown and not a complete stoppage of global warming.

200 Countries Agree to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Climate Change Deal

The much-awaited Paris climate conference has come and passed with 200 world leaders committing their countries to a climate change agreement that will have them reduce their greenhouse gas emissions "as soon as possible."

The new deal, however, is met with criticism from various groups, with one side arguing that the climate change agreement is not ambitious enough to stop global warming and another claiming that there is not enough evidence to prove that climate change is a result of human action.

Appearance of Mysterious Rainbow Clouds Frighten Residents in Costa Rica

The sudden appearance of mysterious iridescent clouds in the skies above Costa Rica caused panic among the locals, who considered the event to be a sign of the end times.

NASA experts, however, explained that these rainbow clouds were only the result of water droplets diffracting the light of the sun.

Photos:

Lauro Roger McAllister | Flickr 

Ian Ransley | Flickr 

Courtney Collison | Flickr 

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