10 science records broken in 2020

This year was filled with record-breaking scientific discoveries. Some earned the title of “oldest,” including the 7 billion-year-old stardust found to be the oldest material on our planet and a 31,000-year-old burial that held the remains of the oldest-ever found identical twins. Others earned the title of “longest,” including a bird that traveled for 11 days straight from Alaska to New Zealand and a lightning bolt that stretched for more than 440 miles (700 kilometers).

Here are 10 times science broke records in 2020.

Longest bird flight

Bar-tailed godwits are impressive flyers, scaling thousands of miles without stopping. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

A loud, long-beaked, rust-colored bird broke the world record for longest nonstop flight this fall. On Sept. 16, a male bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica) known as “4BBRW” set off from southwest Alaska and flew for 11 days straight to New Zealand, traveling a distance of about 7,581 miles (12,200 km), taking rounding errors  into consideration. The previous record was held by a female bar-tailed godwit that flew around 7,145 miles (11,500 km) over nine days in 2007. Bar-tailed godwits are known to be impressive flyers, but 4BBRW’s journey — prolonged by easterly winds — was extra impressive.

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