By Stuart Harrold
There are extreme conditions for finding woolly mammoth in Siberian Russia, just as there are extreme conditions for finding mammoth in the USA. In Russia's Siberian arctic, like the recent find on the Lyakhovsky islands, of a mammoth, with preserved blood, found incased in Siberian ice and snow. In The U.S. mammoths have been found in 125 ft and over 200ft and 300ft of water in the springs of northern Florida. The recent find in Russia in the extreme conditions, made the discoverers speculate on whether a mammoth could be cloned from the still frozen blood that was present at the find. The underwater finds can be just as extreme in Florida.
In Silver Springs Florida, a very popular state park, in the early 1950's hosted underwater divers and paleontologists. Silver Springs is one of the largest springs on the earth and it pumps out over 500 million gallons of fresh water a day. In over 200 feet of water, professional divers found tusks, teeth, and bone fragments of mastodon on the bottom of an underwater cave. It was speculated if the cave at silver springs was ever dry and inhabited by early man. Several spear points and bone points have been found. Six Tarzan movies, Sea hunt, and Wild Kingdom were filmed there due to the clear water.
Even more interesting is Wakulla springs. It is the widest spring in America over 200 feet. It is the longest underwater cave system in America. In 1850, a settler, Sarah Smith (Wikipedia) noticed the mammoth bones in 125 ft of water. In the 1920's glass bottom boats viewed the mammoth bones and spring area. In 1930 the mammoth bones were excavated and placed in the Florida museum. In recent years more mammoth bones were found in 190 feet of water. They are still there today. A cave opening, about 300 feet in, produced mammoth bones at 250 feet of water. You can only stay down 10 minutes diving that deep. They have found fire pits at the bottom of Wakulla Springs. They have found Clovis spear points. They have found saber tooth tiger bones. It is believed that 12,000 years ago, the ocean levels were lower, and the cave system formed by the ocean, was dry. Three Tarzan movies were made and The Creature of the Black Lagoon at Wakulla Springs. Today, the mammoth bones are found in tons of deep water under extreme conditions.
Back in Russia, in May of 2007 a perfectly preserved baby mammoth was found that caused a worldwide sensation. Once again, the mammoth was found in the remote Siberian arctic region of Yamalo-Nenetsh, in as usual-extreme conditions. The baby mammoth was reportedly sticking out of the permafrost still encased in ice. The baby mammoth was such a curiosity as it was so well preserved. She would eventually be shipped to Japan to be studied there also. Photo can be found on Google under Russian baby mammoth.
Russia and America do have something in common. Both have woolly mammoths. In both countries, the mammoths are found in extreme conditions. In Russia they are found in ice and snow, and several have been found in far Siberia. In America, the mammoths are found, some in almost inaccessible springs in Florida, so deep, under tons of water, at depths almost too deep to dive as extreme conditions. Both Russia and America have mammoths that are found in the most extreme locations. It is something that Russia and America have in common, a fascination with the rarity of the mammoth and what extremes it is to find them.