You’d think that with global warming unearthing all of these fantastic ancient artifacts, all of the available archaeologists would be out there digging around. Unfortunately, most of these areas are located deep within mountainous areas with extremely rugged terrain – making them very difficult to navigate.
One archaeologist named Tom Andrews made it his life’s mission to explore these ice patches. So, he started raising the necessary money it was going to take him to make his dreams a reality. Finally, in 2000, he had the funds he needed and embarked on a journey to the southern Yukon via helicopter. What he found made all of the money spent worth it – a 340-year-old bow made of willow bark.
Polar Bears Foraging Through Whale Bones
As the sun sets on Barter Island Kaktovik, Alaska, polar bears dig in the snow and sit on the pile of whale bones. It's a truly chilling sight. This photo was taken in the North Slope Borough in Alaska. In this cold part of the world, close to the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic Ocean, polar bears freely roam in their natural habitat.
Licensed researchers can see the beauty of these awesome creatures in this remote location as they play in the snow and look for food. We must do everything we can to protect these wonderful animals as their ecosystem becomes more and more vulnerable.
In the same way that scientists find fossils in rocky areas, they can still happen to wander right into a dinosaur that’s been preserved in the ice. How cool would it be to find the actual entire body of a dino? This particular specimen has been called the best that they’ve found.
An oil worker stumbled upon the mummified Noctosaur back in 2011. Scientists say they believe the animal probably got carried out to sea in some type of flood, sank, and was then preserved when the waters froze, and it just stayed intact over time. The dinosaur weighs over 2,500 pounds and is coated in spikes, which was one of its methods of self-defense.
More Caribou Poo
Caribou, which are also known as reindeer, if you didn’t know, are a common theme in these ice-patch archaeological discoveries. But as odd and, well, gross as it might seem, reindeer feces can actually tell scientists a lot about history. Through extensive testing on the droppings, we can find out a lot about the animals that walked the Earth before our time – what they ate, where they lived, and what their daily activities were.
In fact, not only can animal droppings reveal the dietary choices of animals. Scientists have recently discovered how to test for certain types of hormone levels to determine whether or not the creatures lived stressful life.
Ice Patch Archaeology
With the constant melting of the glaciers, more and more ice patches have been revealing themselves. This phenomenon is especially prevalent in The Yukon, where scientists have discovered an entire series of ice patches full of artifacts. First discovered in the 1990s, the area has become so popular with researchers that they created a name for the study: ice patch archaeology.
Also known as “The Yukon Ice Patch Project,” so many scientists have gotten involved in it that it is still going on today. Teams of archaeologists get together and fly into the area, staying for days to months at a time to search for anything interesting trapped under the ice. Others exist in areas of Alaska, Colorado, Norway, and British Columbia.