While the cause of the Ice Age still remains a mystery for mainstream scientists, the frozen mammoth carcasses found in Siberia have also challenged our imagination for centuries. These carcasses sometimes come with skin, hair, and internal organs including the heart intact with blood inside
Reports of these discoveries intrigue everyone, for different reasons. One island in the New Siberian Islands, off the Arctic Ocean coast, is described as mostly mammoth bones. Over the years, a lucrative ivory trade developed as thousands of tons of ivory tusks have been unearthed and exported from Siberia. Scientists struggle to understand why these animals lived in Siberia and how they died. We are fascinated with the stories of frozen carcasses with meat fresh enough to eat.
Many questions arise as a result of these strange discoveries. Why would the woolly mammoth, bison, woolly rhinoceros, and horse be attracted to Siberia? Today, Siberia is a barren, blizzard-scourged wilderness. How could the animals have endured the extremely cold winters? What would they eat? Where would the beasts locate the prodigious quantities of water they require when the land is imprisoned in snow and ice? Even the rivers are covered with several feet of ice every winter. Most puzzling of all is how did the mammoths and their companions die en masse and how could they have become encased in the permafrost?
Over time, various clues about the environment at the time of their death have been discovered and studied. Scientists found partially preserved stomach vegetation in some of the carcasses and so could identify the woolly mammoth’s last meal. Solving one mystery just leads to another. They wondered how the stomach contents remained half decayed while the animals froze? This is a problem since it takes a long time to freeze an animal as large as an elephant. A quick freeze came to mind.
A few years ago, Birds Eye Frozen Foods Company ran the calculations to match this idea with reality, and came up with a staggering -150°F (-100°C). Once again, the scientists were puzzled. How could such temperatures be reached on earth, especially when apparently they were in a fairly temperate environment before the quick freeze?
Many theories have been speculated. One of the most popular is that the hairy elephants were peacefully grazing on grass and buttercups and were suddenly struck by a huge freezing storm blowing from the Arctic Ocean. Millions of them froze instantly. This kind of quick freeze has never been observed, so some special and imaginative ideas have been proposed. One question seems to always lead to another.