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.
Maybe it’s not so often that their carcasses are found preserved in a block of ice, but that’s exactly what happened with the fox that a hunter found in Germany. The same hunter that stumbled upon this poor fox claims he’s also found a couple of other animals in similar situations, including a deer.
Now, the fox block is displayed like some twisted statue outside of a hotel in Germany. For some, maybe it’s considered art. Or perhaps it stays there to remind other animals (and humans) what can happen to them if they wander off in the freezing wilderness? Either way, it’s pretty creepy and off-putting, right?
The Yukon Ice Patches
In 1997, an entire series of these ice patches were found, starting with the one that was discovered on Mount Thandlät. Since then, they’ve created entire teams of cryologists and archaeologists to study these particular areas, since they seem to be a hotspot for finding artifacts.
As they can’t gain the necessary mass to slide downwards, they stay put. Most of the artifacts that have been found in the Yukon ice patches are over 9,000 years old. They’ve discovered everything from dart shafts to a piece of a 19th-century musket. All-in-all, scientists have found over 200 artifacts within the ice patches since the year they were discovered.
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.
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.