1556 in science
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Astronomy and earth sciences
- January 23 – Shaanxi earthquake in China.
- February – Great Comet of 1556 becomes visible in Europe.
- Publication of Georgius Agricola's textbook on metal mining and processing, De re metallica (posthumously, at Basel).
- Minas de Ríotinto in Huelva, Andalusia, rediscovered.
- Publication in Rome of Juan Valverde de Amusco's Historia de la composicion del cuerpo humano, including Realdo Colombo's discovery of pulmonary circulation.
- Publication of the standard reference work on marine animals, Libri de piscibus marinis in quibus verae piscium effigies expressae sunt by Guillaume Rondelet, Chancellor of the University of Montpellier; his anatomical drawing of a sea urchin is the earliest extant depiction of an invertebrate. Rondelet's Methodus de materia medicinali et compositione medicamentorum Palavii is also published.
- Cholera outbreak in Oran.
- February 21 – Sethus Calvisius, German musician and astronomer (died 1615)
- August 24 – Sophia Brahe, Danish astronomer (died 1643)
- November 10 – Richard Chancellor, English Arctic explorer (drowned at sea) (born c. 1521)
- 'Denis Zachaire', French alchemist (born 1520)
- International Association of Engineering Geology International Congress (1990). Proceedings. ISBN 90-6191-664-X.
- Seargent, David (2009). The Greatest Comets in History: Broom Stars and Celestial Scimitars. New York: Springer Science+Business Media. ISBN 978-0-387-09512-7.
- Grun, Bernard (1991). The Timetables of History (3rd ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 245. ISBN 0-671-74919-6.
- Charton, Barbara (2003). A to Z of marine scientists. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8160-4767-3.