Category Archive 'Siberia'

06 Sep 2016

Fossil Ivory Rush

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FossilMammothIvory
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports on the fossil mammoth ivory rush currently underway in Siberia.

With the sale of elephant tusks under close scrutiny, “ethical ivory” from the extinct woolly mammoth is now feeding an insatiable market in China. This rush on mammoth ivory is luring a fresh breed of miner – the tusker – into the Russian wilderness and creating dollar millionaires in some of the poorest villages of Siberia.

On condition that he not reveal names or exact locations, RFE/RL photographer Amos Chapple gained exclusive access to one site where between bouts of vodka-fueled chaos and days spent evading police patrols, teams of men are using illegal new methods in the hunt for what remains of Siberia’s lost giants.

Whole story.

20 Jun 2016

Russian Town Had Too Many Bears

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Luchegorsk
Unwelcome guest in Luchegorsk

Last year, dozens of hungry bears besieged Luchegorsk, a city of 21,000 in Eastern Siberia. A shortage of nuts and berries in the Primorsky region apparently caused hungry bears to enter the town opportunistically looking for food.

Outside:

Dubitsky had gone only two steps when he felt that something was amiss. He turned and saw the bear in midleap. Dubitsky was knocked to the ground. The bear swiped at his throat. Dubitsky put his arm in front of his face. The bear bit into him. He heard people shouting and felt a claw rip into his groin. He passed out. A taxi driver pulled up to the building and honked, startling the bear. It jumped off Dubitsky and ran. Passersby rushed to his aid. Neighbors threw first aid from their balconies, bottles of rubbing alcohol and bundles of gauze that ribboned to the bloody ground. Nikolai and his neighbor came back outside, surveyed the scene, and decided that they needed a drink.

10 Mar 2016

Scientists May Someday Clone Extinct Cave Lions

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Cave-Lions

Scientists are looking into the possibility of eventually being able to clone some 12,000-year-old extinct Pleistoscene cave-lion cubs found recently in Siberia. Wouldn’t you?

Siberian Times

Ancient Origins

12 May 2015

40,000-Year-Old Bracelet Made by Different Hominid Species Found in Siberia

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DenisovianBracelet

Digital Journal:

[S]cientists have confirmed that a bracelet found in Siberia is 40,000 years old. This makes it the oldest piece of jewelry ever discovered, and archeologists have been taken aback by the level of its sophistication.

The bracelet was discovered in a site called the Denisova Cave in Siberia, close to Russia’s border with China and Mongolia. It was found next to the bones of extinct animals, such as the wooly mammoth, and other artifacts dating back 125,000 years.

The cave is named after the Denisovan people — a mysterious species of hominins from the Homo genus, who are genetically different from both Homo sapiens and Neanderthals.

19 Jul 2014

Helicopter Look at Siberian Crater

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IFL Science:

Russian scientists got their first look inside the mysterious crater in Yamal, Siberia on Wednesday, July 16, while the Siberian Times took a helicopter ride to get another look down into the hole.

Based off of the original video of the crater, it was estimated that the crater could have been up to 80 meters wide. However, Andrey Plekhanov of the State Scientific Centre of Arctic Research told The Siberian Times that the hole is about 30 meters wide and the outer portion that includes the soil emission is around 60 meters in diameter. The researchers were also able to get their first look at the icy lake that exists at the bottom of the 70-meters-deep hole. Soil, air, and water samples have been taken in order to help determine the cause.

Preliminary results indicate that the hole was formed within the last two years and satellite data is being examined to try and identify exactly when it first appeared. Plekhanov told the Siberian Times that it was an ejection from within the permafrost, but it was not an explosion as there was not a release of heat.

Some had initially speculated that natural gas had been trapped underground in ice, as the area had been locked in permafrost for thousands of years. However, as the ground thawed and the gas became warmer, the increased pressure may have ejected outward and caused the hole. The summers of 2012 and 2013 were especially warm in the region, but the researchers still have more work to do before naming a specific cause.

I think you can see by the ground coloration that this crater occurred along an underground watercourse.

30 Jan 2013

Lost in the Taiga

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Smithsonian describes how, in 1978, Russian geologists discovered a family of six Old Believers who were living in the most primitive conditions in complete isolation in a remote, and totally unexplored, region of Siberia, and who had been completely out of contact with the rest of humanity for 40 years. They had never heard of WWII.

When the warm days do arrive, though, the taiga blooms, and for a few short months it can seem almost welcoming. It is then that man can see most clearly into this hidden world—not on land, for the taiga can swallow whole armies of explorers, but from the air. Siberia is the source of most of Russia’s oil and mineral resources, and, over the years, even its most distant parts have been overflown by oil prospectors and surveyors on their way to backwoods camps where the work of extracting wealth is carried on.

Karp Lykov and his daughter Agafia, wearing clothes donated by Soviet geologists not long after their family was rediscovered.

Thus it was in the remote south of the forest in the summer of 1978. A helicopter sent to find a safe spot to land a party of geologists was skimming the treeline a hundred or so miles from the Mongolian border when it dropped into the thickly wooded valley of an unnamed tributary of the Abakan, a seething ribbon of water rushing through dangerous terrain. The valley walls were narrow, with sides that were close to vertical in places, and the skinny pine and birch trees swaying in the rotors’ downdraft were so thickly clustered that there was no chance of finding a spot to set the aircraft down. But, peering intently through his windscreen in search of a landing place, the pilot saw something that should not have been there. It was a clearing, 6,000 feet up a mountainside, wedged between the pine and larch and scored with what looked like long, dark furrows. The baffled helicopter crew made several passes before reluctantly concluding that this was evidence of human habitation—a garden that, from the size and shape of the clearing, must have been there for a long time.

It was an astounding discovery. The mountain was more than 150 miles from the nearest settlement, in a spot that had never been explored. The Soviet authorities had no records of anyone living in the district.

Hat tip to Vanderleun.


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