WHILE WE WEREN'T LOOKING

What a year it's been, huh? A rollercoaster in every sense of the word. There were sanctions and nuclear threats and discussions about refugees. Paris celebrated its victory at being awarded the 2024 Olympics, while we mourned the news that we won't be hosting a certain World Cup.

But you know what? A lot of things went almost unnoticed while we had our eyes fixed on Brexit and an orange president who doesn't know when to stop tweeting. (Not to mention another president who threw in the towel after 37 years.)

While all this was happening, most of us didn't even notice that other pretty amazing things were happening. While we had our eyes on Twitter and Trump, others used their eyes to make some incredible discoveries.

Such as... a new species of orangutan was discovered in Indonesia this year. They say it was the first new ape species to be discovered in over a century. I don't know how they found it, but there it is.

And if the discovery of a new orangutan is something special, how about the discovery of a whole new continent?! Yup, a new continent (which is mostly underwater) was discovered this year in the South Pacific. It's called Zealandia, and word is it'll soon be officially recognised as earth's eighth continent. So while we had our eyes on an assortment of Kardashians, someone was busy discovering a whole new land mass.

And we all heard about the total solar eclipse in 2017. But did we know it was also the year of the first observed collision of two neutron stars? (Okay, I have no idea what that means but it sounds like a big deal. I mean, I'm always impressed with firsts and this sounds like a good one...)

Archaeologists in Western Australia discovered the world's largest dinosaur footprint, clocking in at 1.7 metres. Meanwhile, the Cassiopeia jellyfish was discovered to be the first brainless animal that sleeps. (I don't know exactly how they knew it was sleeping, but kind of a big deal anyway, right?)

A jellyfish isn't the kind of thing that makes headlines, especially when British princes are getting engaged. But isn't it great to know that someone out there is keeping their eyes peeled for new kinds of jellyfish and orangutans and who knows what else?

So there you go. It wasn't just a year of terror and nuclear. While we had our eyes on the shocking headlines, other people were using their eyes to discover amazing things. On that note, happy holidays and Happy New Year. Let's see what we can see in 2018.

By the way, please remember to get your eyes checked. Otherwise you might pull a Warren Beatty/Faye Dunaway and read out the wrong winner on Oscar night. And hey, no one wants to be the biggest scandal of the year.

LEARNING TO SEE
HOW ACCURATELY DO WE SEE OURSELVES?