Antarctica is known for some pretty wild environmental and geological discoveries. This area of the continent has become known as “Blood Falls,” and displays a trippy phenomenon that makes the water run red like blood.
There are a few natural explanations as to why water can turn this color, including massive amounts of iron from a subglacial pool deep underneath the surface. The discovery was made back in 1911, by an Australian geologist named Griffith Taylor – hence why the area is now known as “Taylor Valley.” The scene is truly spectacular – a must-see for anyone who is able to make the journey out to Antarctica.
The Best Areas for Discovery
With ice patches, scientists are able to study one spot for longer periods of time due to the fact that they don’t move on their own accord, as glaciers do. Artifacts found within ice patches can illustrate what our ancestors were doing in those particular areas, at least.
These alpine and sub-alpine patches are being discovered more and more as the ice continues to melt. One particular archaeologist has studied these areas in 16 forests across America alone, not including all of the areas up North. In fact, Canada has some of the most active areas, including over 43 ice patches in the Yukon. Scientists have found over 200 artifacts and 1,700 sets of remains.
The Copper Arrow
A couple of years ago, an archaeologist working on a frozen lake in Canada saw something shiny protruding from beneath. Upon closer examination, he found that it was an arrowhead! Of course, arrows are still used today, so at first glance, they didn’t know just how special their find would turn out to be.
After studying the weapon, however, they discovered that it was made out of over 99% copper, and it was held together with barbed wire. The fact that it was made out of such a pure amount of copper led them to believe it was from the area where it was originally found. Scientists dated the arrow back to over 1,000 years when indigenous tribes inhabited the land.
These fluffy, warm-blooded animals were someone’s responsibility. After all, donkeys are often kept as pets and used for things like transporting different items across long distances in arctic areas. But whoever was in charge of taking care of them completely dropped the ball and allowed them to freeze to death.
The animals, who should have had some type of shelter to protect them from the icy cold, were left outside. They were found still standing up, with icicles forming all over their bodies. Luckily these days, many areas are implementing strict animal abuse and neglect laws and prosecuting those that are responsible for tragedies like this.
Ice Mummification: How it Works
It may be pretty hard to imagine how ice can preserve bodies from thousands of years ago and keep them intact. So, how does it work? Well, in the same way, ice prevents our food from going bad: it slows down particles, including bacteria, that eat away at things and eventually cause decay.
No moving particles = no breaking down, hence why things that get literally frozen solid within ice can stay intact for thousands upon thousands of years. This is also the reason why if someone accidentally loses a finger or toe, the first thing that’s recommended is to put it on ice and hightail it to the emergency room.