26 August 2019

"Mammoth" amounts of ivory in the arctic

Strange as these facts are we have now to examine something still more remarkable, and to consider the extraordinary phenomenon of the occurrence of enormous masses of elephants’ bones in desolate islands of the Arctic Ocean.

In the icy waters of the Polar Sea to the north of Siberia, there lie islands which are enclosed in ice for the greater portion of the year.

Nevertheless the soil of these desolate islands is absolutely packed full of the bones of elephants and rhinoceroses in such astonishing numbers, that no places in the whole world contain such quantities of elephants’ remains, as do these icy islands in the Arctic Sea...

Such was the enormous quantity of mammoths’ remains, that it seemed to Chwoinoff that the island was actually composed of the bones and tusks of elephants, cemented together by icy sand.

The horns of buffaloes (or rather of musk-oxen) and rhinoceroses were also wonderfully abundant.

The sandy shores and slopes were full of mammoths’ tusks, and when the ice cementing the cliffs was thawed by the heat of the sun, the sand fell down in great quantities, bringing with it great numbers of elephants’ tusks, of which these cliffs seemed to be full...
“And I myself found near bones of a mammoth, pieces of hide and hair, mixed together with earth, and hanging in tufts from the frozen wall of earth. In the bones there was still marrow, which the dogs ate; it looked chalky...
With a hat tip to reader Peter Hendry, who located the source article.


  1. Ay, Ay, Ay, that's probably where god dumped his muck ups, you know, when he was going through his 'evolutionary' phase. Dem bones will be covered in godDna, because he never watched 'C.S.I - Arctic Chill'.

  2. The masses of bones & Ivory were said to be deposited at the end of the last ice age when melting ice dams broke sending millions of gallons of water from glacial lakes that swept the steplands clean of everything in their path (one sentence!). Similar floods are recorded in Washington in the Columbia river sediments. A glacier lake in Missoula Montana drained regularly about every 200 yrs scouring off everything between Spokane and the pacific ocean. As far as I know, this info is about 15 yrs old.

  3. My Dad worked for the state of Alaska. On one of his assignments, a native man let my Dad's team know that if they had an extra day, he could take them to a recently discovered wooly mammoth grave. The team finished their assignments early and tagged the remains. The tusks of the creature is now on exhibit in the otherwise small museum in Kotzebue.

    1. Very cool. I bet there's a lot of stuff appearing up there as the ice retreats.


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