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Author Topic: In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood  (Read 101873 times)
Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #120 on: April 07, 2006, 07:54:14 AM »

Cross-bedded sandstone.  Sand layers had the greatest water content, because sand grains are somewhat rounded, leaving relatively large gaps for water between the particles. Therefore, sand layers were the most fluid during the massive liquefaction that accompanied the compression event. Deceleration forced the sand forward, displacing the water backward. Horizontally compressed sand layers would have tipped, buckled, and beveled individual layers and blocks of layers, forming what is known as cross-bedded sandstone.  [See Figure 97.]

Figure 98: Formation of Liquefaction Plumes and Mounds. (a) During the flood phase, global liquefaction sorted water-saturated sediments into nearly horizontal layers. (b) During the compression event, massive liquefaction caused less dense sand/water mixtures to float up, as plumes, through denser overlying layers. (Figure 57 on page 114 shows a similar phenomenon.) Later, if the surface layers were not cemented as well as the sandstone plume, the surface layers could erode away leaving the plume exposed. (c) If a plume spilled out on the ground, a mound would form.

Liquefaction Plumes and Mounds.  The large water content of liquefied sand layers would have made them quite buoyant. Whenever a low-density, fluid layer (such as a water-sand mixture) underlies a denser, liquefied layer, the lighter fluid, if shaken, will float up in plumes through the denser fluid. Sand plumes that penetrated overlying layers are seen in many places on earth. [See Figures 98–100.]

Figure 99: Liquefaction Plume 1. A hundred of these plumes are found in Kodachrome Basin State Reserve in south-central Utah, 10 miles east of Bryce Canyon National Park. I am standing at the bottom left of this tall plume.

Figure 100: Liquefaction Plume 2. This plume can be traced down several hundred feet through the large rock in the bottom half of the picture. The plume grew up from a known horizontal sandstone layer that has identical chemical characteristics.23 After the plume pushed upward, cementing took place, with the sandstone plume becoming harder than the material it penetrated. The plume penetrated softer layers that later eroded away, leaving the plume exposed. [See Figure 98b.] Notice the person waving at the bottom left of this plume.

Some plumes, especially those rising from thick, laterally extensive sand layers, spilled onto the earth’s surface. This spilling-out resembled volcanic action, except water-saturated sand erupted, not lava. Small liquefaction mounds, as they will be called, appear when liquefaction occurs during earthquakes.24 [See Levin’s description on page 158.] Australia’s Ayers Rock (Figure 101) is a large example of this. As with liquefaction plumes, Ayers Rock also connects to a thick sandstone layer far below ground. Hundreds of smaller, but similar, mounds are found throughout the southwestern United States.

Figure 101: Ayers Rock. This popular tourist attraction in central Australia, is 225 miles southwest of Alice Springs. Ayers Rock rises 1,140 feet from the desert floor and has a perimeter of 5.6 miles. Geologists who try to explain the origin of Ayers Rock say its sand came from the Musgrave mountain range 60 miles to the north and was dumped by water at its present spot. Later, they say, erosion carved out its present shape. However, most geologists admit they do not know the origin of Ayers Rock.

Ayers Rock is a huge liquefaction mound. Many large water vents, through which the water in the liquefied sediments drained out of the mound, are found in the sides of Ayers Rock. These vents resemble shallow caves.

Figure 102: Small Water Vents. These water vents are smaller than a pebble; others, such as those in Ayers Rock, are larger than a car. Water vents are quite different from the shallow and smooth bowl-like depressions frequently found on the tops of liquefaction mounds. Wind and rain erosion produced those depressions.

Figure 103: Medium-Size Water Vents. If these holes were places where rock was weakly cemented, similar holes should be on the tops of mounds. Instead, the tops are smooth. Cementing in mounds and cross-bedded sandstone is remarkably uniform and hard, showing that the cement was uniformly dissolved throughout water that saturated the sand.

Liquefaction mounds have holes in their sides showing where water escaped soon after the mounds “erupted.” The channels from which water exited have collapsed except near the mound’s surface where there was much less collapsing stress. Those holes now look like pock marks. Some have claimed they are erosion features from wind and rain. Obviously, wind and rain would smooth out pock marks, not make them. Besides, these “pock marks,” which will be called water vents, are found only in the sides of mounds, not the tops, where they should be if outside erosion formed them.

Long after the flood, water would drain out of mountains and cliffs. Caves would be carved by outward flowing water. New inhabitants to an area would naturally seek out and settle around these plentiful sources of drinking water. (Thus, many ancient cultures believed that water originated in mountains and issued out of caves.)25 Years later, as water sources dwindled, communities would be forced to leave. Prosperous cultures, such as the Anasazi and many cliff-dwellers, would suddenly disappear from an area, causing anthropologists to wonder if disease, war, famine, or drought destroyed those ancient communities.
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« Reply #121 on: April 07, 2006, 07:55:48 AM »

Figure 104: White Cliffs. An extensive layer of limestone is exposed on both sides of the English Channel: in the cliffs of Normandy, France (top) and the White Cliffs of Dover, England (bottom). This 600–1,000-foot layer extends under the Channel and into England and France. Was this region, and others like it, a shallow sea that slowly accumulated limestone or did the limestone come from subterranean water chambers? Answering this question will provide insight on the geologic history of the entire earth.

The Origin of Limestone

SUMMARY: Too much limestone exists on earth to have been formed, as evolutionists claim, by present processes such as from shelled creatures and corals. Most limestone was deposited as the subterranean water violently escaped to the earth’s surface during the flood. Simultaneously, fresh carbon, needed to rapidly reestablish plant life buried during the flood, was released into the biosphere.

Limestone,1 sometimes called calcium carbonate (CaCO3), accounts for 10–15% of all sedimentary rock.2 Any satisfactory explanation for sedimentary layers and the world’s fossils they contain must also explain the enclosed limestone layers and limestone cement. This requires answering two questions—rarely asked and perhaps never before answered.

    * What is the origin of the earth’s limestone? Remarkably, earth’s limestone holds a thousand times more calcium and carbon than today’s atmosphere, oceans, coal, oil, and living matter combined. A simple, visual examination of limestone grains shows that few are ground-up sea shells or corals, as some believe.
    * How were sediments cemented to form rocks? Specifically, how were large quantities of cementing agents (usually limestone and silica) produced, transported, and deposited, often quite uniformly, between sedimentary grains worldwide?

Answering these questions in the context of the hydroplate theory will answer another question: What was the source of the carbon dioxide (CO2) needed to reestablish vegetation after the flood? Remember, preflood vegetation was buried during the flood, most of it becoming our coal, oil, and methane deposits.

Limestone Chemistry. Limestone, often difficult to identify by sight, is quickly identified with the “acid test.” If a drop of any acid, such as vinegar, is placed on limestone or a rock containing limestone, it will fizz. The acid combines with the limestone to release fizzing bubbles of CO2 gas. As you will see, limestone and CO2 gas are intimately related.

Another common chemical reaction involving limestone begins when CO2 dissolves in water, forming a weak acid (carbonic acid). If that slightly acidic solution seeps through ground containing limestone, limestone will dissolve until the excess CO2 is consumed. If that solution then seeps into a cave, evaporation and loss of CO2 will reverse the reaction and precipitate limestone, often forming spectacular stalactites and stalagmites.

A third example of this basic reaction is “acid rain.” With the increase in atmospheric CO2 in recent decades, especially downwind from coal-burning power plants, CO2 dissolves in rain forming “acid rain.” Acid rain can harm vegetation and a region’s ecology if not neutralized, for example by coming in contact with limestone.

Finally, limestone sometimes precipitates along the coasts of some eastern Caribbean islands, making their normally clear coastal waters suddenly cloudy white. Studies of this phenomenon have shown that limestone precipitates when CO2 suddenly escapes from carbonate-saturated ground water near the beach.3

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« Reply #122 on: April 07, 2006, 07:56:28 AM »

To summarize, when liquid water [H2O (l)] containing dissolved (or aqueous) CO2 [CO2(aq)] comes in contact with solid limestone [CaCO3(s)], the limestone dissolves and the chemical reaction moves to the right. Conversely, for every 44 grams of CO2 that escape the solution, 100 grams of limestone precipitate and the reaction moves back to the left. Little temperature change occurs with either reaction.4

A Scenario. Let’s suppose that before the flood the subterranean chamber contained some CO2 and a large amount of limestone, perhaps lining the chamber’s walls. Any gaseous CO2 was quickly “squeezed” into solution by the great pressure from the weight of the crust above the chamber. The subterranean water therefore was acidic, and some of the solid limestone dissolved until the available CO2 was consumed in the reaction written above.

As this subterranean water escaped to the earth’s surface during the flood, the water’s pressure dropped drastically, so CO2 gas and microscopic, milky-white particles of limestone came out of solution. The escaping water scoured out the relatively soft limestone. Considerable CO2 entered the atmosphere, and tiny limestone particles spread throughout the flood waters.

Superimposed on this general pressure decrease were extreme pressure fluctuations from waves and water-hammer action. [See page 222.] Within each tiny volume of liquid, limestone could precipitate as the pressure dropped. An instant later, a nearby pressure jump dissolved even solid chunks of limestone brought up from the subterranean chamber. The turbulent conditions caused carbon to jump back and forth from one side of the above equation to the other. Therefore, fine particles of limestone were precipitated throughout the escaping flood waters.

Limestone’s solubility in the escaping water also decreased, because the water’s pressure dropped enormously. Therefore, some limestone precipitated without releasing CO2. Later, liquefaction sorted all precipitated particles into more uniform layers of limestone. [See pages 158–168.]

Surface waters, especially oceans, are huge reservoirs of CO2. Oceans, lakes, rivers, and ground water hold 50 times more CO2 than our atmosphere. Any excess CO2 entering the atmosphere eventually causes CO2 elsewhere to dissolve in surface waters. In other words, a steady-state equilibrium (i.e., an approximate balance) exists between the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and in surface waters.

Sediments, eroded during the initial stages of the flood, settled through the flood waters all over the earth. After most of these waters drained into the newly formed ocean basins, limy (alkaline) water filled and slowly migrated through pore spaces between sedimentary particles.

Plentiful amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere after the flood provided the necessary “food” to help reestablish earth’s plants, including forests. As plants grew and removed CO2 from the atmosphere, surface waters released additional CO2, thereby precipitating more limestone. Limestone that precipitated between loose sedimentary grains cemented them together into rocks.

Tiny particles of precipitated limestone are excellent cementing agents when near-saturation conditions exist. Smaller and more irregular particles of limestone readily dissolve; larger particles grow, sealing cracks and gaps. Precipitation within a closely packed bed of sediments (cementation) occurs more readily than precipitation outside the bed.


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« Reply #123 on: April 07, 2006, 07:57:20 AM »

Nine observations explained by this scenario:

1. Volcanic Gases.  Approximately 20% of all volcanic gases, by volume, is CO2, and 70% is steam.5 This water and CO2 are probably remnants of the subterranean water. If not, what could possibly be the source of the carbon? Carbon is rarely found in basement or igneous rocks.

2. Carbon Distribution. Could today’s surface waters have always been at the earth’s surface while the earth’s limestone slowly precipitated? Not based on the surprising distribution of carbon on earth. Table 6 shows that much more carbon exists in limestone than in all other sources combined.

Here is the problem. The chemical equation on page 170 shows that for every carbon atom precipitated in limestone, a carbon atom is released in CO2. Had all limestone slowly precipitated in surface waters, as much carbon would have been released into the atmosphere as CO2 as was precipitated as limestone. Limestone contains more than 60,000,000 x 1015 grams of carbon. That amount of carbon in the atmosphere and seas would have made them toxic thousand of times over. Today, the atmosphere and seas contain only (720 + 37,400) x 1015 grams of carbon.

How did all of today’s limestone get here? As each molecule of CO2 was released into the escaping flood waters, a molecule of limestone precipitated. That CO2 molecule, driven by large, rapid pressure fluctuations, cycled many times between dissolving and precipitating limestone. Much of the solid limestone in the subterranean chamber before the flood was dissolved and precipitated as the water escaped. In the end, the atmosphere gained enough CO2 to bring the total carbon in the biosphere up to today’s level of (720 + 2,000 + 37,400) x 1015 grams.

Some limestone must also have come from shallow, preflood sea bottoms, because today limestone deposits often contain abundant fossils of corals, crinoids, bryozoans, and foraminifers. These shallow-water animals must have lived before the flood in the presence of limestone. During the flood, that limestone was eroded, transported, and deposited with those animals entombed.

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« Reply #124 on: April 07, 2006, 07:58:12 AM »

Figure 105: Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico. “... one of the most controversial points is how long it takes for a cave such as S.P. [Kartchner Caverns in Arizona] to form. What geologists used to believe was fact, in terms of dating a cave, now is speculation, [cave expert, Jerry] Trout says. ... From 1924 to 1988, there was a visitor’s sign above the entrance to Carlsbad Caverns that said Carlsbad was at least 260 million years old. ...  In 1988, the sign was changed to read 7 to 10 million years old. Then, for a little while, the sign read that it was 2 million years old. Now the sign is gone. In short, he says, geologists don’t know how long cave development takes. And, while some believe that cave decorations such as S.P.’s beautiful icicle-looking stalactites take years to form, Trout says that through photo-monitoring, he has watched a stalactite grow several inches in a matter of days.” 7

3. Rapid Stalactite and Stalagmite Formation.  Frequently the claim is made that stalactites and stalagmites required millions of years to form. More and more people recognize that this conclusion assumes these limestone formations always grew at today’s extremely slow rate. [See Figure 27 on page 32 and Figure 105.] Under favorable physical and chemical conditions common after the flood, huge stalactites and stalagmites can grow rapidly.

Acidic ground water, more plentiful than ever in the centuries after the flood, frequently seeped into cracks in limestone rocks, dissolved limestone, and formed underground caverns. As ventilation in caverns improved and plant growth removed CO2 from the atmosphere, CO2 escaped from this ground water. Large quantities of limestone precipitated, rapidly forming stalactites and stalagmites worldwide.

4. Organic Limestone.  Shallow-water organisms, such as corals, shelled creatures, and some types of algae, remove dissolved limestone from seawater to build hard body parts. (The more abundant the dissolved limestone, the faster the growth rates. Thus, coral growth rates were much higher after the flood.) Because some organisms produce limestone, evolutionists conclude that almost all limestone came from organisms, and hundreds of millions of years are needed to explain thick deposits of limestone. Instead, organic limestone is a result of inorganic limestone, not its cause. Inorganic limestone precipitated rapidly from the subterranean water released during the flood. Surface waters could not have held the 60,000,000 x 1015 grams of carbon needed to produce today’s limestone without making them hundreds of times too toxic for sea life to exist.

We can reject in two other ways the common belief that most limestone has an organic origin. Wave action and predators can fragment shells and other hard parts of marine organisms. However, as fragments become smaller, it is more difficult to break them into smaller pieces. With increasingly smaller pieces, the forces required to break them again become unreasonably large before the pieces reach the size of typical limestone grains.

Finally, organic limestone is structurally different and more intricate than inorganic limestone. Organic limestone crystals are more uniformly sized, oriented, and packaged—characteristics now detectable with high magnification.8 Earth’s vast limestone layers are overwhelmingly inorganic.

In summary, immense amounts of limestone precipitated rapidly during the flood. Seawater contains dissolved inorganic limestone. Corals and shelled creatures take in these dissolved chemicals and produce intricate organic limestone.

Figure 106: Redwall Limestone Exposed in and around the Grand Canyon. Stained red from iron oxide impurities, the 400-feet-thick Redwall Limestone extends over most of northern Arizona. If it formed in a shallow sea (25–50 feet deep), how did such great thicknesses develop? How could another famous limestone formation, the 6-mile-thick Bahamas Bank, form?


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« Reply #125 on: April 07, 2006, 07:58:32 AM »

5. Thick Limestone Banks. Scattered off the east coast of the United States are thick limestone deposits. Most dramatic is the Bahamas Bank, an area 250 by 800 miles, where “seismic evidence suggests that carbonate strata may extend down as far as 10 kilometers [6 miles].”9

If limestone formed organically in shallow seas (the prevailing view), why would the seafloor slowly subside almost 6 miles to allow these accumulations? Subsidence rates would have to be just right for the millions of years needed for organisms to grow and accumulate to such depths. Besides, the seafloor cannot subside unless the rock below it gets out of the way.  That rock would have nowhere to go.

Apparently, the flood waters escaping from under the eastern edge of the North American hydroplate dumped limestone there.10 Similarly, waters escaping from under the western edge of the European hydroplate may have dumped the soft, fine-grained type of limestone known as chalk. Most famous are the exposed layers in England’s White Cliffs of Dover and France’s coast of Normandy. [See Figure 104 on page 169.] While chalk contains a few organic remains, most of it is inorganic.11

6. Dolomite.  If a microscopic limestone crystal grows in a magnesium-rich solution, magnesium ions will, under certain conditions, occupy or replace exactly half the calcium ion locations in limestone, forming a common mineral called dolomite.

Geologists frequently refer to “the dolomite problem.” Why is it a problem? Dolomite is not secreted by any known organism. If organisms deposited almost all limestone over hundreds of millions of years, how did dolomite form?

Dolomite is frequently found in contact with limestone and is strangely distributed on earth. It has hardly ever formed in recent times.12 Therefore, magnesium-rich solutions must have been much more abundant when older rocks were deposited.[See Table 7.]

Some geologists reject precipitation of dolomite, because of “the great thicknesses of dolomite rock that are found in the geologic record.”13 Others say that a lot of magnesium-rich water trickled through limestone, but that raises even more problems. How did it trickle so uniformly through such great depths? Why would this “trickling” happen so often near limestone—and primarily in the ancient past?  What was the source of the magnesium?

Magnesium ions may have been in the subterranean water, or dolomite and other minerals containing magnesium may have been in the subterranean chamber. Another possibility is that the magnesium came from the chamber floor itself, because basalt contains large amounts of magnesium. In any of these cases, the presence of dolomite near limestone and the even distribution of magnesium throughout what would otherwise be limestone becomes easily understood.

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« Reply #126 on: April 07, 2006, 08:00:56 AM »

7. Worldwide Cement. Evolutionists believe that most limestone was produced organically in shallow seas, because corals and shelled creatures live in shallow seas, which are generally warmer and have higher evaporation rates. With greater evaporation, the remaining solution is more likely to reach concentrations whereby organisms can produce shells and other forms of limestone.

Organic limestone is primarily produced within 30 degrees of the equator. However, limestone layers and cement are not concentrated near the equator. Rocks are just as likely to be held together with limestone cement at all latitudes. Obviously, whatever produced limestone was global in scope.

8. Silica.  After limestone, silica (SiO2) is the second most common cementing agent in rocks. Derived from quartz, silica dissolves only 6 parts per million in pure water at 77°F (25°C). As temperatures rise, more silica goes into solution. At 300°F (150°C), silica concentrations reach 140 parts per million. If a silica-rich solution occupied the pore space between sand grains, silica would precipitate on their solid surfaces as the water cooled, cementing loose grains into rocks.

Only under high pressure can water reach such high temperatures. The hydroplate theory shows how both high temperature and pressure conditions existed at various locations and times during the flood. Frictional sliding of deep rock surfaces generated enormous heat which melted rock, forming magma. These hot surfaces heated deep, high-pressure water containing abundant quartz grains.

Sediments often fell through silica-rich water. Therefore, the cementing solution was frequently in place between deposited sedimentary particles. It is difficult to imagine another scenario in which so much superheated liquid water could dissolve silica, distribute silica-rich solutions worldwide, and then, before they cooled, force them down into sediments where cementing could occur.

Figure 107: Broken Logs in Arizona’s Petrified Forest. How could a petrified log break this way? To petrify, a log must be saturated with silica-rich solutions, probably in a large lake. For a log to snap this cleanly, it must have been petrified before it broke. Being petrified and dense, it would have rested on the lake floor before it broke. For the log to break into many pieces that later reorient themselves, a sharp, powerful blow must have acted on the entire log.

A heavy, petrified log lying on a lake floor seems unlikely to break into many pieces that are later reoriented. However, if the boundary of a large lake were breached, like the collapse of a dam, the lake’s waters would rush out in a torrent, carrying even sunken petrified logs for some distance. As a rapidly moving petrified (brittle) log “crashed” back onto the lake bottom, it would break up, much as an aircraft crashing in a field. Details of this event, which also formed the nearby Grand Canyon, are on page 119.

9. Petrified Forests.  As the flood waters drained off the continents, continental basins became lakes. Trees floating in warm postflood lakes sometimes became saturated with silica-rich solutions. Petrification occurred as the water cooled and silica precipitated on cellulose surfaces. Petrification has been duplicated in the laboratory when silica concentrations reach 140 parts per million.15 Arizona’s famous Petrified Forest lies in the center of what was Hopi Lake, while the petrified logs in Utah’s Escalante Petrified Forest and along the Green River both lie in what was Grand Lake. (The sudden emptying of both lakes eroded the Grand Canyon.)

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« Reply #127 on: April 07, 2006, 08:01:38 AM »

Final Thoughts

We have seen the consequences of the flood at the earth’s surface and below. In this chapter, we saw that earth’s vast limestone deposits are not adequately explained by evolutionary scenarios, but are best explained by the hydroplate theory.

In the next few chapters, we will look far above and see in many ways that the fountains of the great deep—powerful beyond description—expelled muddy water and rocks far into outer space. Some of those rocks, called meteorites, have since fallen back to earth. Those that were in contact with the subterranean water before the flood contain traces of the substances dissolved in that water. Some even contain small quantities of the liquid water and limestone.  [See “Meteorites Return Home” on page 249.]

Up until the last few years, meteorites were mishandled in the laboratory, so these traces were lost. Sadly, meteorites were cut open using saws lubricated and cooled by water. The water redissolved the chemical traces in the meteorite and carried them down the drain.

In 2000, a meteorite was discovered containing traces of many salts found in our oceans. As one authority stated, “The salts we found mimic the salts in Earth’s ocean fairly closely.”16 Actually, there was one big difference; limestone traces were a hundred times more abundant than expected.17 Again, this shows that most limestone came from the subterranean water chamber.

Incidentally, some claim this meteorite was from Mars. Before you accept that assertion, please read “Are Some Meteorites from Mars?” on page 248. The so-called “Martian meteorites” all “show evidence of being subjected to liquid water containing carbonate, sulfate, and chloride ...”18 Therefore, rather than coming from Mars, they may have been part of the rock in direct contact with the subterranean water before the flood.

Communications with Dr. C. Stuart Patterson (Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus) have been extremely helpful in developing many ideas in this chapter.

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« Reply #128 on: April 07, 2006, 08:04:01 AM »

Figure 108: Berezovka Mammoth. This is the most famous of all mammoths, the frozen Berezovka mammoth. He is displayed in the Zoological Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, in the struggling position in which he was found near Siberia’s Berezovka River, just inside the Arctic Circle. His trunk and much of his head, reconstructed in this display, had been eaten by predators before scientists arrived in 1901. After a month of excavation, ten pony-drawn sleds hauled most of his cut-up carcass more than 2,000 miles south to the Trans-Siberian Railroad. From there he was taken to St. Petersburg’s Zoological Museum, today’s leading institution for studying frozen mammoths. The handle (extreme bottom center) of the shovel used in the excavation provides the scale. Inches above the handle is Berezovka’s gotcha10, flattened like a long tail of a beaver. While in the museum, I saw this reproductive organ’s condition and realized it helps explain how Berezovka and other frozen mammoths died.


Figure 109: Dima, Baby Mammoth. In 1977, the first of two complete baby mammoths was found—a 6–12-month-old male named “Dima.” His flattened, emaciated, but well-preserved body was enclosed in a lens of ice, 6 feet below the surface of a gentle mountainous slope.1 “Portions of the ice were clear and others quite brownish yellow with mineral and organic particles.”2 Silt, clay, and small particles of gravel were found throughout his digestive and respiratory tracts (trachea, bronchi, and lungs). These details are important clues in understanding frozen mammoths.

Because most mammoths were fat and well fed, Dima may have suffered before death from one of the many problems common to baby elephants. Within their first year of life, 5–36% of elephants die.3

Frozen Mammoths

SUMMARY:  Muddy water from the fountains of the great deep went above the atmosphere where it froze into extremely cold hail. Within hours, mammoths, that cannot live in Arctic climates or at Arctic latitudes, were buried alive and quickly frozen as this muddy hail fell back to earth in a gigantic hail storm.  (As Endnote 53 on page 128 explains, latitudes changed at the end of the flood.) Past attempts to explain the frozen mammoths ignore many established facts.

For centuries, stories have been told of frozen carcasses of huge, elephant-like animals called mammoths,4 buried in the tundra of northeastern Siberia.5 These mammoths, with curved tusks sometimes more than 13 feet long, were so fresh-looking that many believed they were simply large moles living underground. Some called them “ice-rats.”6 People thought that when mammoths surfaced and saw daylight, they died. Dr. Leopold von Schrenck, Chief of the Imperial Academy of Sciences at Petrograd (today’s St. Petersburg, Russia), published the following account in 1869: “The mammoth ... is a gigantic beast which lives in the depths of the earth, where it digs for itself dark pathways, and feeds on earth ... They account for its corpse being found so fresh and well preserved on the ground that the animal is still a living one.”7 Some even thought rapid tunneling by mammoths produced earthquakes.8

This was an early explanation for the frozen mammoths. As people learned other strange details, theories multiplied. Unfortunately, theories that explained some details could not explain others. Some proposed explanations, such as the one above, appear ludicrous today.

To learn what froze the mammoths, we must first understand much of what is known about them. This is summarized immediately below. From this summary we will distill the key details requiring an explanation. Then we will examine nine proposed theories. Initially, many may seem plausible, but their flaws will become apparent when we systematically compare how effectively they explain each detail. We will see that the hydroplate theory, summarized on pages 102–131, best explains all details.

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« Reply #129 on: April 07, 2006, 08:06:55 AM »

General Description

What is Found.  Since 1800, at least 11 scientific expeditions have excavated fleshy remains of extinct mammoths.9 Most fleshy remains were buried in the permafrost of northern Siberia, inside the Arctic Circle. Six were found in Alaska. Only a few complete carcasses have been discovered. Usually, wild animals had eaten the exposed parts before scientists arrived.


If we look in the same region for frozen soft tissue of other animals, we learn that several rhinoceroses have been found, some remarkably preserved. (Table 8 on page 179 summarizes 58 reported mammoth and rhinoceros discoveries.) Other fleshy remains come from a horse,10 a young musk ox,11 a wolverine,12 voles,13 squirrels, a bison,14 a rabbit, and a lynx.15   


If we now look for the bones and ivory of mammoths, not just preserved flesh, the number of discoveries becomes enormous, especially in Siberia and Alaska. Nikolai Vereshchagin, Chairman of the Russian Academy of Science’s Committee for the Study of Mammoths, estimated that more than half a million tons of mammoth tusks were buried along a 600 mile stretch of the Arctic coast.16 Because the typical tusk weighs 100 pounds, this implies that more than 5 million mammoths lived in this small region. Even if this estimate is high or represents thousands of years of accumulation, we can see that large herds of mammoths must have thrived along what is now the Arctic coast. Mammoth bones and ivory are also found throughout Europe, North and Central Asia, and in North America, as far south as Mexico City.

Dense concentrations of mammoth bones, tusks, and teeth are also found on remote Arctic islands. Obviously, today’s water barriers were not always there. Many have described these mammoth remains as the main substance of the islands.25 What could account for any concentration of bones and ivory on barren islands well inside the Arctic Circle? Also, more than 200 mammoth molars were dredged up with oysters from the Dogger Bank in the North Sea.26

Throughout northern Europe, Asia, and parts of North America, we see bones of many other animals along with those of mammoths. A partial listing includes: tiger,27 antelope,28 camel, horse, reindeer, giant beaver, giant ox, musk sheep, musk ox, donkey, badger, ibex, woolly rhinoceros, fox, giant bison, lynx, leopard, wolverine, Arctic hare, lion, elk, giant wolf, ground squirrel, cave hyena, bear, and many types of birds. Friend and foe, as well as young and old, are found together. Carnivores are sometimes buried with herbivores. Were their deaths related? Rarely are animal bones preserved. Preservation of so many different types of animal bones suggests a common explanation.

Finally, corings, 100 feet into Siberia’s permafrost, have recovered sediments mixed with ancient DNA of mammoths, bison, horses, other temperate animals, and the lush vegetation they require. Nearer the surface, these types of DNA are absent, but DNA of meager plants able to live there today are present.29 The climate must have suddenly and permanently changed to what it is today.

Mammoth Characteristics and Environment. The common misconception that mammoths lived in areas of extreme cold comes primarily from popular drawings of mammoths living comfortably in snowy, Arctic regions. The artists, in turn, were influenced by earlier opinions based on the mammoth’s hairy coat, thick skin, and a 3.5-inch layer of fat under the skin. However, animals with these characteristics do not necessarily live in cold climates. Let’s examine these characteristics more closely.

Hair.  The mammoth’s hairy coat no more implies an Arctic adaptation than a woolly coat does for a sheep. The mammoth lacked erector muscles that fluff up an animal’s fur and create insulating air pockets. Neuville, who conducted the most detailed study of mammoth skin and hair, wrote: “It appears to me impossible to find, in the anatomical examination of the skin and [hair], any argument in favor of adaptation to the cold.”30 Long hair on a mammoth’s legs hung to its toes.31 Had it walked in snow, snow and ice would have caked on its hairy “ankles.” Each step into and out of snow would have pulled or worn away the “ankle” hair. All hoofed animals living in the Arctic, including the musk ox, have fur, not hair, on their legs.32 Fur, especially oily fur, holds a thick layer of stagnant air (an excellent insulator) between the snow and skin. With the mammoth’s greaseless hair, much more snow would touch the skin, melt, and increase the heat transfer 10–100 fold. Later refreezing would seriously harm the animal.

Skin.  Mammoth and elephant skin are similar in thickness and structure.33 Both lack oil glands, making them vulnerable to cold, damp climates. Arctic mammals have both oil glands and erector muscles—equipment absent in mammoths.34

Fat.  Some animals living in temperate zones, such as the rhinoceros, have thick layers of fat, while many Arctic animals, such as reindeer and caribou, have little fat. Thick layers of fat under the skin simply show that food was plentiful. Abundant food implies a temperate climate.

Elephants.  The elephant—a close approximation to the mammoth35—lives in tropical or temperate regions, not the Arctic. It requires “a climate that ranges from warm to very hot,” and “it gets a stomach ache if the temperature drops close to freezing.”36 Newborn elephants are susceptible to pneumonia and must be kept warm and dry.37 Hannibal, who crossed the Alps with 37 elephants, lost all but one due to cold weather.38

Water.  If mammoths lived in an Arctic climate, their drinking water in the winter must have come from eating snow or ice. A wild elephant requires 30–60 gallons of water each day.39 The heat needed to melt snow or ice and warm it to body temperature would consume about half a typical elephant’s calories. Unlike other Arctic animals, the trunk would bear much of this thermal stress. Nursing elephants require about 25% more water.

Salt.  How would a mammoth living in an Arctic climate satisfy its large salt appetite? Elephants dig for salt using their sharp tusks.40 In rock-hard permafrost this would be almost impossible, summer or winter, especially with the curved tusks of the mammoth.

Nearby Plants and Animals.  The easiest and most accurate way to determine an extinct animal’s or plant’s environment is to identify familiar animals and plants buried nearby. For the mammoth, this includes rhinoceroses, tigers, bison, horses, antelope,41 and temperate species of grasses. All live in warm climates. Some burrowing animals are frozen, such as voles, who would not burrow in rock-hard permafrost. Even larvae of the warble fly have been found in a frozen mammoth’s intestine—larvae identical to those found in tropical elephants today.42 No one argues that animals and plants buried near the mammoths were adapted to the Arctic.  Why do so for mammoths?

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« Reply #130 on: April 07, 2006, 08:08:22 AM »

Temperature.  The average January temperature in northeastern Siberia is about -28°F, 60°F below freezing! During the Ice Age, it was colder. The long, slender trunk of the mammoth was particularly vulnerable to cold weather. A six-foot-long nose could not survive even one cold night, let alone an eight-month-long Siberian winter. For the more slender trunk of a young mammoth, the heat loss would be deadly. An elephant usually dies if its trunk is seriously injured.43

Cold temperatures today are one problem, but six months of little sunlight during Arctic winters is quite another. While some claim that mammoths were adapted to the cold environment of Alaska and Siberia, vegetation, adapted or not, does not grow during the months-long Arctic night. In those regions today, vegetation is covered by snow and ice ten months each year. Mammoths had to eat—voraciously. Elephants in the wild spend about 16 hours a day foraging for food in relatively lush environments, summer and winter.45

Sudden Freezing and Rapid Burial.  Before examining other facts, we can see three curious problems. First, northern Siberia today is cold, dry, and desolate. How could millions of mammoths and many other animals feed themselves? But if their surroundings were more temperate and moist, why did the climate change?

Second, the well-preserved mammoths and rhinoceroses must have been completely frozen soon after death or their soft internal parts would have quickly decomposed. Guthrie has written that an unopened animal continues to decompose long after a fresh kill, even in very cold temperatures, because its internal heat can sustain microbial and enzyme activity as long as the carcass is completely covered with an insulating pelt.46 Because mammoths had such large reservoirs of body heat, the freezing temperatures must have been extremely low.

Finally, their bodies were buried and protected from predators, including birds and insects. Such burials could not have occurred if the ground were perpetually frozen as it is today. Again, this implies a major climate change, but now we can see that it must have changed dramatically and suddenly. How were these huge animals quickly frozen and buried—almost exclusively in muck, a dark soil containing decomposed animal and vegetable matter?

Muck.  Muck is a major geological mystery. It covers one-seventh of the earth’s land surface—all surrounding the Arctic Ocean. Muck occupies treeless, generally flat terrain, with no surrounding mountains from which the muck could have eroded. Russian geologists have in some places drilled through 4,000 feet of muck without hitting solid rock. Where did so much eroded material come from?  What eroded it?

Oil prospectors, drilling through Alaskan muck, have “brought up an 18-inch-long chunk of tree trunk from almost 1,000 feet below the surface. It wasn’t petrified—just frozen.”47 The nearest forests are hundreds of miles away.  Williams describes similar discoveries in Alaska:

Though the ground is frozen for 1,900 feet down from the surface at Prudhoe Bay, everywhere the oil companies drilled around this area they discovered an ancient tropical forest. It was in frozen state, not in petrified state. It is between 1,100 and 1,700 feet down. There are palm trees, pine trees, and tropical foliage in great profusion. In fact, they found them lapped all over each other, just as though they had fallen in that position.48

How were trees buried under a thousand feet of hard, frozen ground? We are faced with the same series of questions we first saw with the frozen mammoths. Again, it seems there was a sudden and dramatic change in climate accompanied by rapid burial in muck, now frozen solid.


Figure 111: Fossil Forest, New Siberian Islands. Vast, floating remains of forests have washed up on the New Siberian Islands, well inside the Arctic Circle and thousands of miles from comparable forests today. This driftwood was washed ashore on Bolshoi Lyakhov Island, one of the New Siberian Islands. The wood was probably buried under the muck that covers northern Siberia. North flowing Siberian rivers, during early summer flooding, eroded the muck, releasing the buried forests. “Fossil wood,” as it is called, is a main source of fuel and building material for many Siberians.

Figure 112: Fossil Forest, Kolyma River. Here, driftwood is at the mouth of the Kolyma River, on the northern coast of Siberia. Today, no trees of this size grow along the Kolyma. Leaves, and even fruit (plums), have been found on such floating trees.44 One would not expect to see leaves and fruit if these trees had been carried far by rivers.

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« Reply #131 on: April 07, 2006, 08:09:35 AM »

Some Specifics

We cannot minimize the frozen-mammoth mystery by saying, “Only a few complete mammoths have been reported.” One good case would be enough. Undoubtedly, hundreds of past discoveries went unreported, because many Siberians believed that looking at a mammoth’s face brought death or misfortune. Fear of being forced by scientists to dig a mammoth out of frozen ground suppressed other discoveries. Also, Siberia and Alaska are sparsely populated and relatively unexplored. Flowing rivers are the primary excavators, so man has seen only a small sample of what is buried. Siberian geologists report that “work at the gold mines uncovers frozen mammoths every year, but because the arrival of scientists can delay and complicate the mining, most [frozen mammoths] are lost to science.”49

Widespread freezing and rapid burial are also inferred when commercial grade ivory is found. Ivory tusks, unless frozen and protected from the weather, dry out, lose their animal matter and elasticity, crumble, crack, and become useless for carving.50 Since at least 1611, trade in mammoth ivory has prospered over a wide geographical region, yielding an estimated 96,000 mammoth tusks.51 Therefore, the extent of freezing and burial is wider than most people have imagined.


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« Reply #132 on: April 07, 2006, 08:09:59 AM »

The Benkendorf Mammoth.52 In May 1846, a surveyor named Benkendorf and his party camped along Siberia’s Indigirka River. The spring thaw and unusually heavy rains caused the swollen river to erode a new channel. Benkendorf noticed a large object bobbing slowly in the water. As the “black, horrible, giantlike mass was thrust out of the water [they] beheld a colossal elephant’s head, armed with mighty tusks, with its long trunk moving in an unearthly manner, as though seeking something lost therein.” They tried to pull the mammoth to shore with ropes and chains but soon realized that its hind legs were anchored, actually frozen, in the river bottom in a standing position.

Twenty-four hours later, the river bottom thawed and eroded, freeing the mammoth. A team of 50 men and their horses pulled the mammoth onto dry land, 12 feet from shore. The 13-foot-tall, 15-foot-long beast was fat and perfectly preserved. Its “widely opened eyes gave the animal an appearance of life, as though it might move in a moment and destroy [them] with a roar.” They removed the tusks and opened its full stomach containing “young shoots of the fir and pine; and a quantity of young fir cones, also in a chewed state ...” Hours later and without warning, the river bank collapsed, because the river had slowly undercut the bank. The mammoth was carried off toward the Arctic Ocean, never to be seen again.

The Berezovka Mammoth.  The most famous, accessible, and studied mammoth is a 50-year-old53 male, found in a freshly eroded bank, 100 feet above Siberia’s Berezovka River in 1900. A year later an expedition, led by Dr. Otto F. Herz, painstakingly excavated the frozen body and transported it to the Zoological Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.54  [See Figure 108 on page 177.]

Berezovka was upright, although his back was excessively humped and his straightened hind legs were rotated forward at the hips into an almost horizontal position. This strange, contorted position was further exaggerated by his raised and spread front legs. Several ribs, a shoulder blade, and pelvis were broken.55 Amazingly, the long bone in his right foreleg was crushed into about a dozen pieces, without noticeably damaging surrounding tissue.56 His shaggy, wirelike hair, some of it 20 inches long, was largely intact.57 His erect gotcha10 was horizontally flattened.58 (This organ in an elephant is round, S-shaped, and never horizontal.)59

What can we conclude from these unusual details? To crush a slender rod, which the long leg bones resemble, requires axial compression while the rod (or bone) is encased in some material that prevents bending and snapping. To demonstrate this, place a long, straight stick vertically on a table and see how difficult it is to compress and break it into a dozen or so pieces. Instead, it will snap at the weakest point. If the stick has a slight bend, as do the long leg bones, crushing becomes almost impossible. Something must prevent the stick or bone from bending as the compressive load is applied. Evidently, Berezovka’s leg bone was severely compressed along its length while encased in some fairly rigid medium.60

Slow suffocation of males can produce penile erection.61 Tolmachoff concluded that, “The death [of Berezovka] by suffocation is proved by the erected male genital, a condition inexplicable in any other way.”62 But why was the gotcha10 horizontally flattened? It had to be pressed between two horizontal surfaces, one of which was probably his abdomen. Again, considerable vertical compression must have acted throughout some medium that encased the entire body.

Suffocation is also implied with four other frozen giants in this region. Vollosovitch (Table Cool concluded that his second buried mammoth, found with a penile erection on Bolshoi Lyakhov Island, also suffocated.63 A third example is provided by Dima, whose “pulmonary alveoli suggested death by asphyxia” after “great exertion just before death.”64 The Pallas rhinoceros also showed symptoms of asphyxiation.

The blood-vessels and even the fine capillaries were seen to be filled with brown coagulated blood, which, in many places still preserved its red colour. This is exactly the kind of evidence we look for when we want to know whether an animal has been drowned or suffocated. Asphyxia is always accompanied by the gorging of the capillaries with blood.65

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« Reply #133 on: April 07, 2006, 08:10:37 AM »

Von Schrenck’s rhinoceros was found with expanded nostrils and an open mouth. Investigators concluded, “that the animal died from suffocation, which it tried to avoid by keeping the nostrils wide asunder.”66 In all, three mammoths and two rhinoceroses apparently suffocated. No other cause of death has been shown for the remaining frozen giants.67

Sanderson describes another strange aspect of Berezovka.

Much of the head, which was sticking out of the bank, had been eaten down to the bone by local wolves and other animals, but most of the rest was perfect. Most important, however, was that the lips, the lining of the mouth and the tongue were preserved. Upon the last, as well as between the teeth, were portions of the animal’s last meal, which for some almost incomprehensible reason it had not had time to swallow. The meal proved to have been composed of delicate sedges and grasses ...68

Another account states that the mammoth’s “mouth was filled with grass, which had been cropped, but not chewed and swallowed.”69 The grass froze so rapidly that it still had “the imprint of the animal’s molars.”70 Hapgood’s translation of a Russian report mentions eight well-preserved bean pods and five beans found in its mouth.71

Twenty-four pounds of undigested vegetation were removed from the Berezovka mammoth and analyzed by Russian scientist, V. N. Sukachev. He identified more than 40 different species of plants: herbs, grasses, mosses, shrubs, and tree leaves. Many no longer grow that far north; others grow both in Siberia and as far south as Mexico. Dillow draws several conclusions from these remains:

    * The presence of so many varieties [of plants] that generally grow much to the south indicates that the climate of the region was milder than that of today.
    * The discovery of the ripe fruits of sedges, grasses, and other plants suggests that the mammoth died during the second half of July or the beginning of August.
    * The mammoth must have been overwhelmed suddenly with a rapid deep freeze and instant death. The sudden death is proved by the unchewed bean pods still containing the beans that were found between its teeth, and the deep freeze is suggested by the well-preserved state of the stomach contents and the presence of edible meat [for wolves and dogs].72

At normal body temperatures, stomach acids and enzymes break down vegetable material within an hour. What inhibited this process? The only plausible explanation is for the stomach to cool to about 40°F in ten hours or less.73 But because the stomach is protected inside a warm body (96.6°F for elephants), how cold must the outside air become to drop the stomach’s temperature to 40°F? Experiments have shown that the outer layers of skin would have had to drop suddenly to at least -175°F!74

Independently, Sanderson concluded, “The flesh of many of the animals found in the muck must have been very rapidly and deeply frozen, for its cells [had] not burst75 ... Frozen-food experts have explained that to do this, starting with a healthy, live specimen, you must suddenly drop the temperature of the air surrounding it down to a point well below minus 150 degrees Fahrenheit.”76

The ice layer directly under the Berezovka mammoth contained some hair still attached to his body. Below his right forefoot was “the end of a very hairy tail ... of a bovine animal, probably [a] bison.”77 Also under the body were “the right forefoot and left hind foot of a reindeer ... The whole landslide on the Berezovka [River] was the richest imaginable storehouse of prehistoric remains.”78 In the surrounding, loamy soil was an antelope skull,79 “the perfectly preserved upper skull of a prehistoric horse to which fragments of muscular fibre still adhered,”80 tree trunks, tree fragments, and roots.81 This vegetation differed from the amazingly well-preserved plants in the mammoth’s mouth and stomach.

Geographical Extent.  We should also notice the broad geographical extent over which these strange events occurred. [See map on page 178.] They were probably not separate, unrelated events.  As Sir Henry Howorth stated:

The instances of the soft parts of the great pachyderms being preserved are not mere local and sporadic ones, but they form a long chain of examples along the whole length of Siberia, from the Urals to the land of the Chukchis [the Bering Strait], so that we have to do here with a condition of things which prevails, and with meteorological conditions that extend over a continent.

     When we find such a series ranging so widely preserved in the same perfect way, and all evidencing a sudden change of climate from a comparatively temperate one to one of great rigour, we cannot help concluding that they all bear witness to a common event. We cannot postulate a separate climate cataclysm for each individual case and each individual locality, but we are forced to the conclusion that the now permanently frozen zone in Asia became frozen at the same time from the same cause.82

Actually, northern portions of Asia, Europe, and North America contain “the remains of extinct species of the elephant [mammoth] and rhinoceros, together with those of horses, oxen, deer, and other large quadrupeds.”83  So the event may have been even more widespread than Howorth believed.

Rock Ice.  In Alaska and Siberia, scientists have found a strange type of massive ice in and under the muck containing mammoth remains.84 Tolmachoff called it rock ice.85 Rock ice often has a yellow-tinge and contains round or elongated bubbles. Some bubbles are connected, while others, an inch or so long, are vertically streaked.86 When exposed to the Sun, rock ice, showed “a polyhedral, granular structure at the surface, and these granules could usually be easily rubbed off with the finger.”87 It looked “like compacted hail.”88 Mammoth remains have been found above, below, beside, partially in,89 and, in one case, within90 rock ice.

Horizontal layers of rock ice are most easily seen in bluffs along the Arctic coast and nearby rivers.91 Some subsurface ice layers are more than 2 miles long and 150 feet thick.92 A several-foot-thick layer of structureless clay or silt is sometimes above the rock ice. How was this clay or silt deposited? If it settled out of a lake or stream, as normally happens, it should have many thin layers, but it does not. Furthermore, the slow settling of clay and silt through water should provide enough time for the water to melt all the ice below. Sometimes rock ice contains plant particles93 and thin layers of sand or clay. Had the water frozen in a normal way, the dirt would have settled out and the vegetable matter would have floated upward. Obviously, this rock ice froze rapidly and was never part of a lake or stream.
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« Reply #134 on: April 07, 2006, 08:11:38 AM »

Several feet beneath the Berezovka mammoth was a layer of rock ice, sloping more than 180 feet down to the river. Herz and Pfizenmayer,94 after digging into it, reported perhaps the strangest characteristic of rock ice.

Deeper down in the cliff the ice becomes more solid and transparent, in some places entirely white and brittle. After remaining exposed to the air even for a short time this ice again assumes a yellowish-brown color and then looks like the old ice.95

Obviously, something in the air (probably oxygen) reacted chemically with something in the ice. Why was air (primarily oxygen and nitrogen) not already dissolved in the ice? Just as liquid water dissolves table salt, sugar, and many other solids, water also dissolves gases in contact with it. For example, virtually all water and ice on earth are nearly saturated with air. Had air been dissolved in Herz’s rock ice before it suddenly turned yellowish-brown, the chemical reaction would have already occurred.

Table 9 compares the characteristics of rock ice with those of the three generic types of ice. A careful study of this table suggests that rock ice is a Type 3 ice. Because such thick layers of rock ice still exist, an enormous amount of water probably froze while moving through cold air or outer space.

Yedomas and Loess.  In Siberia, frozen mammoths are frequently found in strange hills, 30–260 feet high, which Russian geologists call yedomas. For example, the mammoth cemetery, containing remains of 156 mammoths, was in a yedoma.96 [See line 49, Table 8, page 179.] It is known that these hills were formed under cold, windy conditions, because they are composed of a powdery, homogeneous soil, honeycombed with thick veins of ice. Sometimes the ice, which several Russian geologists have concluded was formed simultaneously with the soil, accounts for 90% of the yedoma’s volume.97 Some yedomas contain many broken trees “in the wildest disorder.”98 The natives call them “wood hills” and the buried trees “Noah’s wood.”99Yedoma soil is similar to muck.100 It contains tiny plant remains, is high in salt and carbonate,101 and has more than two and a half times the carbon that is in all the world’s tropical forests!102 The Berezovka mammoth was found in a similar soil.103

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