Skip to comments.Incredible Discoveries Made in Remote Caves
Posted on 08/02/2008 2:58:56 AM PDT by Fred Nerks
Scientists exploring caves in the bone-dry and mostly barren Atacama Desert in Chile stumbled upon a totally unexpected discovery this week: water.
They also found hundreds of thousands of animal bones in a cave, possibly evidence of some prehistoric human activity.
The findings are preliminary and have not been analyzed.
The expedition is designed to learn how to spot caves on Mars by studying the thermal signatures of caves and non-cave features in hot, dry places here on Earth. Scientists think Martian caves, some of which may already have been spotted from space, could be good places to look for life.
No hot place on Earth is drier than the Atacama Desert. Many parts of the high-plateau desert have never received rain that anyone can remember. Average rainfall across the region is just 1 millimeter per year. (Parts of Antarctica are considered the driest places on Earth, however.)
So nobody was looking for water.
The research team was exploring Cueva Chulacao, the largest known cave in the Cordillera de la Sal. Naturally curious, they took note of things they saw while conducting their primary research. Other than a single black hair that was likely from an indigenous person, this cave was pristine, virgin territory, explained J. Judson Wynne, a cave expert with the SETI Institute and Northern Arizona University.
"There were no footprints where we were going, and I only saw the slightest evidence of human use," Wynne told LiveScience by email Monday night as the day's work was sinking in.
Wynne and his colleagues moved carefully through the cave to place a sensor along the wall, part of their NASA-funded research.
"Much to my surprise, as we moved about halfway through this passage, my foot completely sunk into the soil," Wynne said. "It was mud! ...
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
Image of ungulate bones observed in the walls of Cuevita de Huesos. The team found "hundreds of thousands of bones and skulls eroding out of the cave walls." Credit: J. Wynne et al. Advertisement
Not very specific is it? Are we talking horses, pigs, cattle, goats, deer, camels, or what?
I suspect that cave detection technology would be useful in other places right here on earth... like the western territories of Pakistan for example.
All of them. Which leads us again to #2.
On site report images:
The Adventures of J. Judson Wynne
ungulate bones/ Dino found.
Shueee! Don’t tell Al Gore. He might want to add this to his slide show:
What Causes Deserts?
Atacama Desert in Chile
One reason is that the high atmospheric pressure in this region over the Andes can cause dry, cold air from the upper altitudes to compress and come down to earth. This dry air has almost no water vapor so it can be easily heated by the sun, causing high ground temperatures with very low humidity.
Drill Atacama. Drill now.
An EXCELLENT IDEA!!! Maybe you should forward the info to the CIA.
Thanks Fred Nerks.
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i don’t understand what’s so “incredible” about finding water in caves.
dry caves, in deserts often have water.
in fact, i’m not a geologist, but having hiked a lot in socal and arizona
i notice water seeping out of cracks of rocks even on the outside of mountains.
very slow. who knows how long it takes water to move under the pressure from the weight of rocks.
......who knows how long it takes water to move under the pressure from the weight of rocks.....
If you believe Tony Hillerman, and I do, the Hopi know. They mark the seeps as shrines and monitor them.
In one of his novels involving an air plane crash near Second Mesa, on land disputed by Hopi and Navajo, Jim Chee investigated the sabotage of a new wind mill. The sabotage was by a Hopi who observed the decrease in seepage from an ancient nearby seep.
Maybe they used the cave for drinking water, lived out their lives near the cave, and died there.
If these bones were somehow flushed into the cave by water, wouldn’t this mean we’ve found the sewage terminus for South America comparable to New Jersey in North America?
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