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.
so whales engaged in mass strandings back then, too. reckon that means that the mass strandings we see nowadays might not have that much to do with human activity....
NO! Couldn't be!
Don't worry, some anti-creationist will come up with some "rescuing device" like the "Oort cloud" to explain how this could happen without validating a biblical historical account.
Right...they neatly lined themselves up and committed mass suicide. I think these scientists are nuts!! No common sense.....just a lot of blubber.
The whales got caught up in some religious cult led by a crazy unicorn and committed mass suicide.
Bacon. Bacon can clog your arteries.
And if the whales are diabetic, sugars and starches. Whale diabetes is no joke.
Yes. We all know that whales can’t swim.
Is there anything that enhances the flavor of food quite like bacon and ranch dressing?
If the whales were trapped in a inland lagoon, the water would have dried up and left them stranded,......just as the Ark was stranded on a mountain. There IS evidence everywhere of a worldwide flood. There is more evidence of a flood than there is whales growing legs to become modern day cows.
The water recedes in the creek that flows throw our valley ever summer. Every summer, the birds feed on the fish that died because they did not go back to the lake.
That one will work!
On articles like this one, wouldn’t you think the journalist would include at least one photo of the skeletons, especially since 20 of them are intact?
How many places like this are there? This is the third one I have heard of.
I smell Marshall Applewhite and the Hale-Bopp comet in here somewhere.
Easily overcome. Certainly, the world being completely covered by water would cause chaos. The water may not have been able to sustain much life for whatever reason. The whales may have been trapped after the water settled in the oceans, the whales my have been trapped. Look a the geological history of most regions and you’ll find that it was all covered by “an expansive inland sea.” Lake Lahontan, which covered most of Nevada, would certainly have trapped large amounts of marine life. It’s probably the whales got there when the earth was flooded 4,400 years ago. It’s also possible people carried the whales or bones to the desert.
Never seen fish stranded in pools when a river/tide/flood subsides? I have, not an infrequent occurance. Think fish getting trapped in a pool as the water recedes on a BIG, whale-scale.
Like this: There is a valley, it gets flooded and the flood also covers the mountain range that seperates the valley from the ocean (Great Central Valley of Calif). As the flood waters subside, the whales are still frolicking in this new place they’ve never seen before, and don’t notice that the tops of the mountains are above the water, cutting off their route to the oceean. Time paases, water keeps dropping and the whales all colllect in the deepest part...which eventually becomes their graveyard.
Twixt 2 to 7 million years ago, there would have been few to zero human beings around to in any way interpret such a thing. More likely the Great Flood stories are tied to the opening of the Black Sea some 7,000 to 8,000 years ago.
What is geologically interesting is that this Chilean event demonstrates a remarkable rate of uplift along the Andes cordillera.
Wait... there are some opposing views on the “cows/whales” evolution.
Did the cows go back in the water and become whales,
or did the whales venture up on the land and grow legs?
Chicken wing sauce.
The receding of the waters after the Flood could indeed explain this. If the waters had gone over a ridge, and the whales are doing OK in a deep enough pool, but then the waters recede and the ridge traps them in a now diminishing pool—yes, that would fit the case perfectly. I’m not saying that IS the explanation, but it is a realistic possibility. It could have been THE Flood, or perhaps another flood of sufficient size. An analogy would be when the tide comes in and then things are trapped in the tidal pools when the tide goes out.
“Whales live in the ocean. They would not have been killed by a food. When the waters receded, the whaleswhich were floating in the waterwould have receded along with the water.”
The area they were in might have been deep enough but their escape routes might have become too shallow when the waters retreated. It’s like how some sea life gets caught in little pools in the rocks when the tide goes out, only on a larger scale.
All the water being suddenly put on the earth would have caused all kinds of problems. Some parts of the crust would have sunk and some parts would have risen. This would have happened very quickly and all over the place. The whales got stuck.
How about bacon ranch whale wings?
Dolphin with Tusks?
Flipper the Ripper
PETA has demanded that the highway project be canceled and a Whale Memorial be erected with the surrounding12 million square miles be set aside for the study of the whale’s culture.
Yeah, the only possible explanation is a global flood.
Only a global flood would line up dead whales neatly in a row.
All other explanations are satanic.
Spoken like a "actual" scientist.
With just that hint of chocolate.
Makes sense...whales not being able to survive a flood.
If only Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherds existed between 2 and 7 million years ago.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.