What is the difference between ‘discover’ and ‘uncover’?
One generally "discovers" something that is unknown (or at least, unknown to the demographic being referred to), but they "uncover" something that has been deliberately hidden.
Essentially, to dis-cover something is to make it no longer covered. To un-cover something it to remove a cover that was intentionally placed.
"uncover" emphasizes the preexistence of the truth, while "discover" does the creative work of the one who discovers. The old truth unveils itself according to its own time, while a creative scientist disovers a new truth. Thus,"uncover" attributes its credit to the truth itself, while "discover" does its credit to the work of man.
"Discover" is to find new objects or new information yourself, whereas "uncover" is to reveal something that has been hidden or unknown for long periods of time, often to the public.
I discovered that he had been having an affair. (I found out somehow)
I uncovered that he had been having an affair. (I looked into it and found out, and I have exposed/will expose it to others)
"Discover" is more likely to go with words like "island" "path" "species of animals" "galaxy" or something concrete and finite.
"Uncover" is more likely to go with words like "mystery" "history" "scandal" "truth" or something that is abstract containing further detail.