Skip to comments.(How's This For Strange?) Mysterious Mass Whale Graveyard Unearthed in the Chilean Desert
Posted on 12/11/2012 7:22:44 AM PST by lbryce
While working on a highway-widening project in the middle of South America's Atacama Desert, Chilean workers unearthed an eerie scene that had no business being more than a kilometer away from the ocean: a mass fossil graveyard containing more than 75 ancient whales, reports MSNBC.
Finding whale bones in the middle of the desert is strange enough, but scientists were quick to notice a deeper mystery. The fossils ended up right next to one another some mere meters apart as if to suggest that the whales all died at once, possibly during some cataclysmic tragedy. What could have happened?
"That's the top question," said Mario Suarez, director of the Paleontological Museum in the nearby town of Caldera.
According to Nicholas Pyenson, curator of fossil marine mammals at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, the whales probably died between 2 million and 7 million years ago, during a time when the area would have been a "lagoon-like environment," much different than the desert landscape it is today. The real mystery, then, has less to do with how the whales got there, and more to do with why they died.
Could they have beached themselves after becoming disoriented in the shallows? Perhaps the lagoon had become separated from the sea by a landslide, earthquake or storm, trapping the whales within? Maybe there was something else about this lagoon that made it a whale trap. Right now, scientists aren't sure.
"There are many ways that whales could die, and we're still testing all those different hypotheses," said Pyenson. But, he added: "I think they died more or less at the same time."
Of the 75 whales that have been discovered so far, 20 of them represent perfectly intact skeletons, making the site one of the best preserved fossil beds from that time period along the west coast of South America. Most of the fossils are baleen whales that measure about 25 feet long, and one startling fossilized scene depicts two adult whales with a juvenile between them, a possible family group.
Researchers have also discovered fossils of other unusual creatures at the site, including a now-extinct dolphin that had two walrus-like tusks, an extinct aquatic sloth and an ancient seabird with a 17-foot wingspan. All in all, the site represents a remarkable snapshot of the ecosystem millions of years ago.
Although officials have asked that fossils that rest along the path of the widened Pan American Highway be moved out of the way, the Chilean government has declared the site a protected area.
"We have a unique opportunity to develop a great scientific project and make a great contribution to science," said Suarez. \
“as if to suggest that the whales all died at once, possibly during some cataclysmic tragedy”, Like a Worldwide FLOOD!
The great white whale prophecy.
A leader will emerge riding a great white whale and save America, but he’ll be brought down by Earth worshipers (environmentalist) before he can complete his mission.
Globull warming caused by CFCs and automobiles.
Yes, this finding is consistent with the biblical account of a global flood.
“as if to suggest that the whales all died at once, possibly during some cataclysmic tragedy. What could have happened?”
I don’t know. Maybe a really big flood?
“as if to suggest that the whales all died at once, possibly during some cataclysmic tragedy, Like a Worldwide FLOOD!”
There seems to be a small, logical hole in your premise.
a dolphin with tusks? that would be a strange sight.
Did all the fish die in the flood?
Since they keep telling us how smart the whales and dolphins are, maybe the whales really have cemeteries and hold funeral ceremonies. What surprises me is there are no grave markers there. Maybe “they” are covering it up.
Wasn’t there a Farside cartoonw here the fish mafia were tying balloons to another fish and sending him to sleep with the humans?
Note, if anyone finds it, don’t post it.
It’s on the list of do not post things.
You are suggesting what? That 40 days of rain would kill whales who live in the ocean?
Whales live in the ocean. They would not have been killed by a food.
When the waters receded, the whales—which were floating in the water—would have receded along with the water.
Not this hunk of man candy.
Before man killed off the mammoths, they killed off the whales...
Ok, then I'll post this one....
Obviously a whale factory that went out of business. Geeeeez....
Sea Shepherds did it.
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