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Petrified Opal Tree Trunk Situated In Arizona Its About 225 Million Years Old

Petrified Opal Tree Trunk Situated In Arizona Its About 225 Million Years Old

What happened to the wood that made it that way in the beautiful petrified trees in the forests of Arizona? They believe that petrified wood is so old that in the prehistoric period it has emerged. But do you know how petrified wood was made? This guide will show you how. What is petrified wood and how is it formed?

Fossil wood is considered to have grown when the material of the plant is buried by sediment. When the wood is buried deep in the muck, it is protected from decay caused by exposure to oxygen and organisms.

Because the wood is stored in deep water, the minerals in the groundwater flow through the sediment, replacing the original plant material such as silica, calcite, and pyrite.

Even very expensive minerals can infiltrate wood-like opal. The result is a fossil made from the original woody material, which often shows preserved details of tree bark, wood, and cellular structures.

This is probably the most popular petrified park in the world. The Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook in northeastern Arizona has established millions of years ago. About 225 million years ago, this was simply a lowland with a tropical climate with a dense forest.

Rivers made by tropical rainstorms washed mud and other sediments. This was where you would find giant coniferous trees 9 feet in diameter and towering 200 feet lived and died.

Fallen trees and broken branches from these trees were buried by rich river sediments. Meanwhile, volcanoes nearby erupted numerous times and the ash and silica from these eruptions buried the area.

Eruptions caused large dense clouds of ash that buried the area and this quick cover prevented anything from escaping and of course, nothing can also move in, even oxygen and insects. In time, the soluble ash was dissolved by groundwater through the sediments. The dissolved ash became the source of silica that replaced the plant debris.

This silication process creates petrified wood. Aside from silica, trace amounts of iron, manganese and other minerals also penetrated the wood and this gave petrified wood a variety of colors. This is how the lovely Chinle Formation was made.

So how was this area discovered? Millions of years after the Chinle Formation were created, the entire area was dug and the rocks found on top of Chinle have eroded away.

What was discovered was wood here was much harder and resistant to weathering compared to the mudrocks and ash deposits in Chinle. Wood that was taken from the ground surface as nearby mudrocks and ash layers washed away.

Petrified Forest National Park is another world-class tourist site in the area, straddling Interstate 10 about 70 or 80 miles east of Meteor Crater.

The park covers 146 square miles.   It’s dry and often windy, but the elevation of 5400 feet means that it’s not as hot as desert areas at lower altitudes, and it’s mostly covered in the grass rather than cacti and other desert plants.

Of course, the big attraction here is the petrified trees, which grew here about 225 million years ago when this part of Arizona was at a much lower elevation near the shores of a large sea to the west.

As well as the trees, many fossilized animals such as clams, freshwater snails, giant amphibians, crocodile-like reptiles, and early dinosaurs have been found here.

At times volcanic ash was deposited on fallen trees in the forest here, and silica in the ash was dissolved by water and entered the trees, fossilizing them.

The silica in the logs crystallized into quartz, but often iron oxide and other minerals were mixed in, producing extraordinarily beautiful kaleidoscopic patterns and colors.

The petrified trees are often so attractive that a whole industry grew up around hauling them out from where they lay and cutting them up to make decorative furniture, wall displays, bookends, and other items. Theft from the park has always been a problem, and it’s estimated that around 12 tons of fossilized wood are stolen each year.

The Lost City Of Heracleion Discovered Deep Underwater After 1,200 Years

The Lost City Of Heracleion Discovered Deep Underwater After 1,200 Years

For centuries, the ‘ lost city of Atlantis has eluded explorers and is almost certainly the stuff of myth. Staggeringly, though, an ancient city that is Atlantis in all but name has emerged from under the sea near Alexandria — and now the lost world of Heracleion is giving up its treasures.

Like in the classical tale, Heracleion was once a wealthy, prosperous place, around 1500 years before it was swallowed up by the sea. It was grand enough to be mentioned by the Greek writer Herodotus, the 5th-century BC historian.

He told the fabulous story of Helen of Troy, the most beautiful woman in the world — she of the face that launched a thousand ships — travelling to Heracleion, then a port of ‘great wealth’, with her glamorous Trojan lover, Paris.

French marine archaeologist Frank Goddio explains text on the stele of Heracleion
Franck Goddio and divers from his team inspect the statue of a pharaoh

But no physical evidence of such a grand settlement appeared until 2001 when a group led by French marine archaeologist Franck Goddio stumbled upon some relics that led them to one of the greatest finds of the 21st century.

Goddio was in search of Napoleon’s warships from the 1798 Battle of the Nile, when he was defeated by Nelson in these very waters, but came upon this much more significant discovery. Goddio’s team has since been joined by the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology and the Department of Antiquities of Egypt to produce a wealth of dazzling finds.

The archaeologists first faced the mammoth task of reassembling massive stone fragments on the seabed before they could haul them to the surface. Twelve years on, their fabulous finds have been exposed to public view for the first time after more than a millennium spent beneath the silt and water of Aboukir Bay, 20 miles north-east of Alexandria.

Among the discoveries are colossal statues of the Egyptian goddess Isis, the god Hapi, and an unidentified Egyptian pharaoh — all preserved in immaculate condition by their muddy burial shroud. Along with these 16ft statues, there are hundreds of smaller statues of Egyptian gods — among them the figures that guarded the temple where Cleopatra was inaugurated as Queen of the Nile.

It seems the Amun-Gereb temple at Heracleion was the Egyptian equivalent of Westminster Abbey, where our own Queen was crowned 60 years ago. Dozens of sarcophagi have been found, containing the bodies of mummified animals sacrificed to Amun-Gereb, the supreme god of the Egyptians. Many amulets, or religious charms, have been unearthed, too, showing gods such as Isis, Osiris and Horus.

These were made not just for the Egyptians but for visiting traders, who incorporated them into their own religions and also, one imagines, kept them as trinkets to remind them of their far-flung journeys. The importance of Heracleion has been further proved by the discovery of 64 ships — the largest number of ancient vessels ever found in one place — and a mind-boggling 700 anchors.

Other finds illustrate how crucial Heracleion was to the economy of the ancient world. Gold coins and lead, bronze and stone weights from Athens (used to measure the value of goods and to calculate the tax owed) show that Heracleion was a lucrative Mediterranean trading post.

In the ancient world, the Mediterranean Sea was their equivalent of a superfast motorway. All their greatest cities, including Constantinople, Rome and Athens, were either on the coast or on rivers with easy access to it.

And now Heracleion can be added to their number as Egypt’s most important port during the time of the later pharaohs. It was, if you like, a major motorway junction — the spot where the Nile, Egypt’s lifeline, met the Med. Archaeologists have determined that as well as having a naturally navigable channel next to its ancient harbour, a further artificial channel appears to have been dug to expedite trade.

The Heracleion finds will add tremendous depth to our understanding of the ancient world — not least because, among the discoveries, there are perfectly preserved steles (inscribed pillars) decorated with hieroglyphics. Translated, they will reveal much about the religious and political life in this corner of ancient Egypt.

It was a similar inscription on the Rosetta Stone — discovered in the Nile Delta town of Rosetta in 1799 by a French soldier, and now in the British Museum — that cracked the code of hieroglyphics in the first place.

And like the Rosetta Stone, those steles found beneath the waters of Aboukir Bay are inscribed in Greek and Egyptian, too. Who knows how many more archaeological gems will be uncovered at Heracleion?

The very name of the city is taken from that most famous of Greek heroes, Heracles — aka Hercules — whose 12 labours, from killing the  Hydra to capturing Cerberus, the multi-headed hellhound that guarded the gates of the Underworld, captivated the ancient world.

Heraklion, Crete’s capital and largest city, is also named after Heracles, as was Herculaneum, the ancient Roman town that was buried under ash when Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD.

It appears that Heracleion faded in importance in the later classical period, eclipsed by its neighbouring city of Alexandria, which became the capital of Egypt in 312BC.

Still, Heracleion lingered on, later under Roman control, until it slipped into its watery grave some time in the 6th or 7th century AD. What a thrilling discovery we have on our hands now that the sea has, 1,500 years later, giving up one of its greatest secrets.

Liquid Blood Extracted From 42,000-Year-Old Foal Found Frozen in Siberia

Scientists Extracted Liquid Blood From 42,000-Year-Old Foal Found in Siberian Permafrost

On an expedition to the Batagaika crater in Siberia a team of Mammoth tusk hunters uncovered the nearly preserved remains of a 42,000-year-old foal.

Instead, the young foal showed no signs of external damage, retaining its fur, tail and hooves and the hair on its leg and head, has preserved by the permafrost of the region or permanently frozen ground.

The Siberian Times reports that Russia’s North-Eastern Federal University and the Biotech sooam researcher in South Korea extracted blood and urine from the specimen, paving the way for further analysis aimed at cloning the long-dead horse and resurrecting the extinct Lenskaya lineage to which it belongs.

Scientists will take viable cells from the blood samples and grow them in the laboratory in order to clone the animal.

Over the past month, scientists have made more than 20 unsuccessful attempts to extract viable cells from the foal’s tissue (Semyon Grigoryev/North-Eastern Federal University)

This task is harder said than done. More than 20 attempts to grow cells from foal’s tissue have been made by the team over the past month, but they were all unsuccessful, according to a recent report from the Siberian Times. Russian researcher Lena Grigoryeva said that the participants remain “positive about the outcome.”

The fact that the horse still has hair makes it one of the most well-preserved Ice Age animals ever found, Grigoryev tells CNN’s Gianluca Mezzofiore, adding, “Now we can say what color was the wool of the extinct horses of the Pleistocene era.”

In life, the foal boasted a bay-colored body and a black tail and mane. Aged just one to two weeks old at the time of his death, the young Lenskaya, or Lena horse, met the same untimely demise as many similarly intact animals trapped in permafrost for millennia.

The scientists extracted liquid blood samples from the 42,000-year-old animal’s heart vessels (Semyon Grigoryev/North-Eastern Federal University)

The foal likely drowned in a “natural trap” of sorts—namely, mud that later froze into permafrost, Semyon Grigoryev of Yakutia’s Mammoth Museum told Russian news agency TASS, as reported by the Siberian Times.

“A lot of mud and silt which the foal gulped during the last seconds of the foal’s life were found inside its gastrointestinal tract,” Grigoryev says.

Researchers collect liquid blood from the ice age foal found frozen in Siberian permafrost.

This is only the second time researchers have extracted liquid blood from the remains of prehistoric creatures. In 2013, a group of Russian scientists accomplished the same feat using the body of a 15,000-year-old female woolly mammoth discovered by Grigoryev and his colleagues in 2013, as George Dvorsky reports for Gizmodo.

(It’s worth noting that the team studying the foal has also expressed hopes of cloning a woolly mammoth.) Significantly, the foal’s blood is a staggering 27,000 years older than this previous sample.

The NEFU and South Korean scientists behind the new research are so confident of their success that they have already begun searching for a surrogate mare to carry the cloned Lena horse and, in the words of the Siberian Times, fulfill “the historic role of giving birth to the comeback species.”

It’s worth noting, however, that any acclaim is premature and, as Dvorsky writes, indicative of the “typical unbridled enthusiasm” seen in the Russian news outlet’s reports.

Speaking with CNN’s Mezzofiore, Grigoryev himself expressed doubts about the researcher’s chances, explaining, “I think that even the unique preservation of blood is absolutely hopeless for cloning purposes since the main blood cells … do not have nuclei with DNA.”

He continued, “We are trying to find intact cells in muscle tissue and internal organs that are also very well-preserved.”

What the Siberian Times fails to address are the manifold “ethical and technological” questions raised by reviving long-gone species. Among other concerns, according to Dvorsky, scientists have cited the clone’s diminished quality of life, issues of genetic diversity and inbreeding, and the absence of an adequate Ice Age habitat.

It remains to be seen whether the Russian-South Korean team can actually deliver on its ambitious goal. Still, if the purported July 2018 resurrection of two similarly aged 40,000-year-old roundworms “defrosted” after millennia in the Arctic permafrost is any indication, the revival of ancient animals is becoming an increasingly realistic possibility.

Rabbit hole leads to incredible 700-year-old Knights Templar cave complex

Rabbit hole leads to incredible 700-year-old Knights Templar cave complex

An outstanding discovery was made when a 700-year-old Knights Templar cave was found beneath a farmer’s field in Shropshire, England, in a complex known as the Caynton Caves network.

The Knights Templar was a major catholic order which was popular during the Crusades and their name comes from Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The Knights Templar were first created in 1129 according to the order of the Pope, and it was their first duty to help religious pilgrims who visited the Holy Land and Jerusalem.

The photographer Michael Scott, from Birmingham, saw a video of the 700-year-old Knights Templar cave in Shropshire and decided to visit the Caynton Caves network to witness them for himself.

Some of Scott’s photographs of the cave have been published, including those in The Mirror, and these show an exotic candlelit labyrinth which Fox News note looks extremely similar to scenes straight out of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Templars at Pope Francis’ weekly audience in Rome on November 26, 2014. A secret cave used by the Knights Templar 700 years ago has been found in Shropshire.

Michael Scott explained that as you walk through the farmer’s field in Shropshire, you would have no idea that there was a Knights Templar cave directly beneath it if you didn’t know it existed in the first place, which would have made it the perfect meeting place in the past.

“I traipsed over a field to find it, but if you didn’t know it was there you would just walk right past it. I had to crouch down and once I was in it was completely silent.”

The inside of the cave
The untouched caves, in Shropshire, apparently date back 700 years when they were used by the Knights Templar

The Knights Templar cave was carved out of sandstone, and the Caynton Caves network is found in woodland by Shifnal, and the entrances to the caves are so small they could almost be mistaken for rabbit holes.

Some of the chambers of the caves are also so narrow that visitors have to get on their hands and knees to move around inside of them.

The history of the Knights Templar is such that once the Holy Land was lost, the influence that the Knights Templar once held waned, although they remained extremely wealthy.

In 1307, King Philip IV of France decided that he wanted to expunge the debts that he owed to the order and plotted to bring about the end of the Knights Templar.

He did this by accusing members of many false things like heresy and had them locked up or burned at the stake. In 1312, Pope Clement V made the decision to permanently disband the Knights Templar.

The Caynton Caves network in Shropshire where the Knights Templar cave is also has a darker history, and it is alleged that there were once ceremonies involving Black Magic here, the Birmingham Mail reported. 

The Shropshire Star note that at one point the caves were filled with graffiti, rubbish and other debris and because of this, the owners of the caves sealed off the entrance in 2012.

The Knights Templar cave, along with the entire Caynton Caves network, is said to be extremely popular with Pagans and Druids and is also frequently visited during times like Halloween and the Winter and Summer Solstices.

There is much history to be found in this part of Shropshire, and the Knights Templar cave isn’t the only place in this area that is linked to the Templar.

For instance, the Norman temple inside Ludlow Castle may have also been used by the Knights Templar.

There is also Penkridge Hall in Leebotwood, where Lydley Preceptory once stood. This was used by the Templars in 1158 and shut down in 1308 at the end of their order.