Scientists find many items when digging in frozen parts of the world. Their work helps us understand our past and some of the creatures that came before us. Now more than ever, we know more about life before us than ever before.
There are thousands of years to explore in our seas and oceans. Strangely, some of these scientists have discovered some truly weird things while digging around in ice. Let’s take a look at some of the most mysterious things scientists have found.
Perhaps one of the strangest things to appear out of the ice is the brains of this wooly mammoth. Scientists came across these massive horns and a pile of remains when exploring the Laptev Sea coast.
It is expected that these particular items are more than 39,000 years old. Scientists estimate that the horns belonged to a mammoth that was approximately 6-9 years old, which is significantly shorter than a usual life expectancy. Normally, Wooly Mammoths lived to around 60.
It’s not just nature that is victim to icy weather. In 1952, passersby saw this wreckage from a plane crash off the coast of Anchorage, Alaska. Immediately, they notified authorities and tried to get more information on the flight to see if there were any answers.
It turns out, this was a military plane that crashed and killed 41 passengers and 11 crew members. Upon its initial crash, authorities couldn’t reach it because of the snow. It took 50 years until it melted and was accessible.
We all know about the Woolly Mammoth, but how much do you know about the Woolly Rhino? These old animals had an incredible amount of fur and fat – making them a worthy capture by cavemen.
Scientists have recently found this guy in amazing condition. Thought to be around 18 months old, he was found in Sakha, Russia, and died around 10,000 years ago. It is an amazing way to find out more about life from then.
Glaciers are capable of crushing anything that comes into their path. When they move, they often pick up rocks and debris – a process called moraine. This can act as a protective cushion that survive some of the ice that travels.
Instead of destroying this natural site, Moraine causes life to exist underneath a massive bed of ice, allowing life to carry on as normal. Amazingly, we can see pictures of life that continues as normal underneath a bed of aggressive ice.
What do you find if you walk onto an old Chilean ritual site? If you find yourself near the Andes Mountains, you might stumble upon the bones of young children who were sacrificed by the ancient tribe.
Thankfully, nothing like this happens in modern times, but it doesn’t mean we’re not exposed to some of their remains. One of these peaks, resting at 15,000 feet, has around 110 different burial sites. These were largely untouched until 1954.
Long Ago Man
Ice gives us the opportunity to travel back in time, thousands of years into the past. As well as the Inca people, scientists are also finding our ancestors of other species and tribes. Recently, they found a body that was 300 years old – and a direct relation to the First Nations people.
The named him ‘Long Ago Man’, and found along with him a walking stick, fur coat, and pelts for shooting. It is believed he died after falling from a frozen glacier.
A Human Woman (But Like Actually)
Take a look at this woman. Does she look any different to someone alive today? Amazingly, she is actually 1,000 years old! This Incan mummy was discovered 20,000 above sea level next to a volcano.
She looks exactly the same as someone alive and well today. Amazingly, she was preserved in the ice like this for thousands of years and can now be examined by scientists. Who knows what we can learn from her?
We’ve seen some of the items that are associated with Woolly Mammoths, but sometimes scientists find entire creates in the ice. In places like Alaska and Siberia, Woolly Mammoths used to roam the land where it was cold before dying out and freezing. These are said to be around 39,000 years old.
One particular Woolly Mammoth was resting in the Novosibirsk Islands and is said to be the best-preserved frozen artifacts in the world. It even had muscle tissue on it – opening the possibility of cloning.
Of course, it’s a lot more likely that we would find tangible and inanimate objects rather than human remains. In Yellowstone, scientists were amazed when they found these spears dating back 10,000 years.
In its time, spears like this one were used to hunt and kill for food and clothing. What’s most amazing about this is their location: it confirms that humans were living in places like Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana all those years ago. How did they battle the cold?
These fellas also go by the name Cave Lions, just in case you’ve heard both terms flying around. These animals were made famous in the wildly successful Ice Age film franchise. Recently, scientists found the frozen remains of one in Yakutia, Siberia.
Like many animals from the ice age, Sabretooth Tigers died out around 10,000 years ago. Many believe it was due to the over-hunting from humans for their fur and meat. Creatures like this help us learn more about our previous ages.
Here is a drawing of how scientists believe humans used Atlatl darts. Pronounced ‘at-latel’, these sharp spears were used by our ancestors to catch and kill creatures. It is one of the oldest, and therefore first, types of weaponry ever created.
Atlatl darts were made with a handle and a notch at the end that would hold a spear. Generally, these spears would be four-six feet long. Their size depended on the person, meaning many of them were custom-made.
Not all the things we can find in ice are living creatures, as we’ve already seen. This arrowhead was discovered by historians who were fascinated by its existence. It suggests that people have been making weapons and fighting for thousands of years.
Of course, we know warfare is nothing new. But still, it’s interesting to see how weapons have evolved in recent years. Can you imagine what cavemen would think of our weapons today? We would rather not think about it.
Speaking of Vikings, here is some evidence to give us a better understanding of their lives. Located in Juvenna, Norway, this man found a bunch of Viking equipment deep down in the ice from centuries ago.
Most of the stuff they found was roughly 3,400 years old – wow! Among some of the materials, they found weapons, sticks, reindeer traps, and instruments. It is understood that they used to attract animals with their music and then capture them for dinner. Nicely done, Vikings.
Here is a picture of Otzi Man, one of the most famous men to ever be discovered in the ice. Believed to be around 5,300 years old, he was discovered in the Alps between Italy and Austria. It is understood that he is a direct ancestor to some of the folks living in the region today.
When scientists opened him up, they found that he was full of diseases. He had gallstones, gum disease, hardened arteries, and worms. His shoulder was damaged by an arrow, which perhaps explains how he died.
All is fair in love and war – at least, that’s what they say. During WWII, many soldiers would take battles up to the mountains so their opponent would have a hard time attacking them. Both sides believed they have the best equipment to protect themselves from the frozen cold.
This arms and battle race ended badly for almost everyone involved. Interestingly, some of the human and army remains still rest atop the Alps frozen in ice. Historians are still learning about the war to this day.
One of the most significant findings from scientists in recent years has been bacteria in ice. Some specimens can be dated back to around 250,000 years old. This gives us an amazing view and what life was life back then.
The discovery of ancient bacteria can help us understand animals, disease, agriculture, and more. That’s an amazing thing, considering how it can teach us about our present, too. Who knew bacteria from 250,000 years ago could be so helpful in 2019?
Willow Bows and Artwork
As well as spears, scientists have found willow bows trapped in ice for thousands of years. What’s more, there have been sightings of artwork written in red markings that demonstrate how they were used.
The frozen ice trapped these sketches on the rocks and kept them safe for thousands of years. Today, we can clearly see artwork that has survived for millennia. Now, we are able to look at these pictures for the first time properly. Very ‘cool’ if you ask us!
Human Sacrifices (Again)
As we’ve already seen, the Inca people were pretty keen on human sacrifice. Generally, their sacrifices were a way to respect and honor the Sun God, Into. At the time, they thought that the higher they went, the closer they would be to the God.
After the sacrifice, the cold temperatures allowed scientists to discover the remains thousands of years later. They found one young boy, aged around eight, who they believed had a high social standing in the society.
What’s more amazing than finding a Wooly Mammoth in the ice? Only a full-blown Dinosaur! As we can see here, this scientist found something right out of Game of Thrones. It basically looks like a dragon that once roamed the skies with the Vikings.
Technically, this is called a Nodosaur and can be dated back to 110 million years ago! This places him in the Cretaceous period – a very vicious time for animals. To survive, they had to learn to fight or flight. Judging by his spikes, we’re guessing he fought!
Photos of the Past
Sometimes, the artifacts found frozen in ice aren’t just nature’s creatures. Sometimes, they are prized possessions of those lost at sea. Here, we can see an old photo unearthed. Discovered in 2013, the image shows a man lost at sea.
This is just one of the several images that were discovered in a box frozen in the ice near the Arctic. According to other artifacts, this man was called Earnest Shackleton and he was the captain of a ship. Once they crashed into an iceberg, they had to abandon ship.
It’s All In The Poop
Squeamish people may not like the sound of this: many artifacts can be found in human and animal poop! In some instances, scientists found droppings of animals that contained human weapons like small spears and darts.
While it sounds gross (and uncomfortable!), it’s actually very informative. These droppings can tell us a lot about how these creatures moved around. If weapons were found hundreds of miles from human remains, we can understand the migration of animals better.
We would never have imagined that we would one day look at a photo of a frozen volcano, but here we are! Ok, we’re only joking. But here is an example of how ice and changing climates can have a physical effect on the earth around it.
Here, we can see water fill a space after it rained, and then freezing when the temperature dropped. The result is a frozen cover that looks like a volcano. We were almost fooled!
Many people believe that crop circles appear when aliens come and visit us from outer space. Well, those people might just say the same about this! Uncovered in Utah, USA, we can see this bizarre pattern in the ice. Is it a message from our alien friends?
They look like they could be frozen eggs from a foreign species. Who knows when they could hatch and infiltrate our Earth? Most likely, they’re from here – but we can’t help but feel imaginative.
How Does It Work?
Today, we use ice to preserve many things at home. Think of our freezers: they help keep food around for months longer than possible. This is how scientists are capable of exploring life from thousands of years ago.
For example, the Arctic is so cold that bacteria cannot decompose properly. This means things aren’t broken down as fast as normal and why we can still see ancient things today. We’re more likely to find artifacts in a tundra than a desert!
Scene of the Crime
Who knows what really happens in Antarctica? Since it is uninhabitable, we rarely see much about what goes on way down south. Sadly, we can assume that a flow of red liquid is not decorative. As we can see here, this spooky flow of red water looks like blood. You would be right for assuming an animal battle just took place.
Thankfully, you’d be wrong! This is actually just water full of iron, giving it an unusual red glow. This is similar to the red look that Mars has due to the same element.
What’s beyond retro? Yes, vintage. Some frozen bacteria can be dated back way past 250,000 years. In fact, some germs can be dated back to more than one million years. These bacteria attached to the bodies of dead animals and fossilized.
Unfortunately, these aren’t some of the good bacteria that can help us with scientific research today. There have been some cases in Siberia of plagues brought on from ancient bacteria. Make sure to stay safe!
Clothes For The Cold
Uncovered in August 2011, here we can see a shirt fashioned 7,600 years ago! We are unsure of what the material is, but it’s clearly something that was used to keep the Vikings safe. It was found in a part of Norway which has been melting over time.
There were other items found nearby, such as spears and drawings. This is one of the oldest sartorial items found in the ice as an artifact and look in our past.
A Frozen Lighthouse
Sometimes, cold weather gets so bad that it freezes surrounding buildings. This is actually a common occurrence in Michigan, USA. This lighthouse is just one of the buildings in the freezing region to succumb to the cold climate.
As we can see, its spiral staircase is frozen – hopefully not trapping someone up there! Over time, the lighthouse eventually warmed up and the ice dripped off. However, these months in Michigan can be tough for everyone.