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?
Ah, that’s just the Montauk Beast.
They could have walked into a cave that is the void of a year-round watering hole in a desert-savannah ecosystem of a different age, watering hole that became a sinkhole that regularly trapped animals looking for water supplies.
Well, I’ll reply to your post because it’s the last one on this interesting thread, and your supposition is as good as several others. bmflr.
Watched a documentary recently, scientists took a group of miners to Alaska, to dig into the side of a reef by a riverbed. All the bones they uncovered were smashed to pieces...the entire reef was nothing but consolidated bones and sand...
"The great problem for geological theories to explain is that amazing phenomenon, the mingling of the remains of animals of different species and climates, discovered in exhaustless quantities in the interior parts of the earth so that the exuviae of those genera which no longer exist at all, are found confusedly mixed together in the soils of the most northerly latitudes. . . . The bones of those animals which can live only in the torrid zone are buried in the frozen soil of the polar regions.
And to quote one more contemporary, George Fairholme, who described similar evidence in Italy from the Arno River Valley:
In this sandy matrix bones were found at every depth from that of a few feet to a hundred feet or more. From the large and more apparent bones of the elephant, the rhinoceros, the megatherium, the elk, the buffalo, the stag, and so forth, naturalists were led by the elaborate studies of Cuvier and other comparative anatomists to the remains of the now living bear, tiger, wolf, hyena, rabbit, and finally the more minute remains even of the water rat and the mouse.
In some places so complete was the confusion . . . that the bones of many different elephants were brought into contact, and on some of them even oyster shells were matted"...... Catastrophe and Reconstitution Doorway Papers, by Arthur Custance
Cataclysm!: Compelling Evidence of a Cosmic Catastrophe in 9500 B.C. by D.S. Allan and J.B. Delair
This book documents these caves filled with smashed bones all over the world.
I meant to ping you to my post #25 as well. I have read this book by two British scientists. It is crammed with footnoted references to articles published in scientific journals, often 300-400 per chapter.
Llama, alpaca, guanaco, vicuna, camels.
The researchers had to climb about 13 feet up to find a walkable passage. "This is where we found all the bones mixed in with tree branches," Wynne wrote. It's not clear if the animals were dumped into the cave by prehistoric people or if perhaps they were trapped by a flood.Yeah, mixed with tree branches. I'm sure the animals must have been dumped by people. ;') Thanks Fred for that excerpt.
Not unless these scientists find piles of syringes.
At perhaps 1 mm per year of rain in the driest desert on Earth, caves won’t fill up with tree branches or bones of 100s of 1000s of animals, because there aren’t any on the surface. Caves and abandoned mines fill up with water when there is rainfall, and due to aquifers, but in the Atacama, even aquifers are rare.
Whoops, thanks djf for the ping. :’)
i have no idea. as i said above, i’m not a geologist.
but i hike the deserts and mountains a lot; i see seepage of various amounts from mountains. obviously the american southwest is not atacama.
also, there are underground rivers here in the southwest that most people don’t know about.
I defer to your expertise!
I seem to recall a segment years ago on “Unsolved Mysteries” regarding an underground river in Nevada.
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.
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