Category Archives: ARGENTINA

A Two-Headed Giant has been discovered in Patagonia

A Two-Headed Giant has been discovered in Patagonia

Kap Dwa is a two-headed giant cryptid allegedly discovered by Spanish sailors off the coast of Argentina in the 17th century. The accounts of its capture vary, but afterwards, its mummified remains were brought to England, and in the 19th century if circulated between various circuses and sideshows.

Drawing representing the giant Kap Dwa

The Kap Dwa is considered to be a hoax produced through taxidermy

Etymology

The name “Kap Dwa” literally means “Two Heads” in the language of the Malay people. It’s important to note that the Malay people are not from South America, where the cryptid was allegedly discovered.

The Malay are an Austronesian ethnic group found in modern-day Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore. This incongruity with the cultural origin of the name of the creature and the location it was allegedly discovered may also indicate its hoax status.

Capture

There are two competing accounts for how this creature was allegedly captured. In one account, the Spanish sailors captured the creature alive.

The Spaniards lashed him to the mainmast, but he broke free (being a giant) and during the ensuing battle suffered a fatal injury; they skewered him through the chest with a pike.

In another account, the sailors merely discovered the body of the giant with a spear already puncturing its chest.

England and the United States

Record of what happened next to the dead body of the creature is unclear, but its mummified remains were eventually brought to England, where the remains entered the Edwardian Horror Circuit.

Over the years the remains passed from one showman to another. Eventually, in 1914, the Kap Dwa ended up displayed at the Birnbeck Pier, North Somerset England, where it would stay for forty-five years.

In 1959, the remains were purchased by an alleged lord by the name of Thomas Howard. From Howard, the remains passed again from owner to owner until arriving at its current location, Bob’s Side Show at Antique Man Ltd. in Baltimore, Maryland.

Similar Sightings

Sebalt de Weert (May 2, 1567 – May 30 or June 1603) was a Dutch captain associated with the exploration of the coasts of South America and the Falkland Islands south of Argentina.

De Weert and several crew claimed to have seen members of a “race of giants” while there. De Weert described a particular incident when he was with his men in boats rowing to an island in the Magellan Strait.

The Dutch claimed to have seen seven odd-looking boats approaching with were full of naked giants. These giants supposedly had long hair and reddish-brown skin and were aggressive towards the crew.

Medical Knowledge vs the Legend

For Kap Dwa to be genuine, we would have to suppose two very unlikely scenarios at once. We would have to presume that dicephalic parapagus twins were born who had yet another rare and lifespan-reducing disorder, gigantism, and they were somehow able to overcome all the health problems related to both conditions and become full-fledged adults that were strong and healthy enough to engage in combat with a band of sailors.

While this is not out of the question, it does make the story much more unlikely and in need of considerably more evidence.

The body was allegedly examined by physicians in the 1960s who said that it showed no obvious signs of being fake. No other experts appear to have examined the body either to determine if it is genuine or if it had the internal anatomic requirements to be likely to survive as a set of dicephalic parapagus twins.

193-million-year-old nesting ground with more than 100 dinosaur eggs offers evidence that they lived in herds

193-million-year-old nesting ground with more than 100 dinosaur eggs offers evidence that they lived in herds

A 193-million-year-old nesting ground containing more than 100 dinosaurs eggs is upending paleontologists’ understanding of an early dinosaur species. Research published Thursday describes a collection of eggs and juvenile and adult skeletons from a dinosaur called Mussaurus patagonicus, which were found in Patagonia, Argentina.

An artist’s reconstruction of a Mussaurus patagonicus nest.

The dino is an ancestor of long-necked herbivores called sauropods, such as Brachiosaurus. Most of the chicken-sized eggs were discovered in clusters of eight to 30, suggesting they resided in nests as part of a common breeding ground.

Scientists also found Mussaurus skeletons of similar sizes and ages buried together. Combined, these patterns offer evidence that the dinosaurs lived in herds.

“I went to this site aiming to find at least one nice dinosaur skeleton. We ended up with 80 skeletons and more than 100 eggs (some with embryos preserved inside!)” Diego Pol, a researcher with the Egidio Feruglio paleontology museum in Patagonia and the lead author of the new study, told Insider via email.

He called the site “one of a kind.”

Before this discovery, researchers thought herding behavior was restricted to dinosaurs that came much later, in the very late Jurassic and early Cretaceous periods. That’s because the earliest fossil evidence of sauropod herds only dates back 150 million years. This nesting ground, however, pushes that timeline back more than 40 million years. It’s the earliest known evidence of social groups among dinosaurs, the study authors said.

X-rays offer a peek into fossilized dinosaur eggs

193-million-year-old nesting ground with more than 100 dinosaur eggs offers evidence that they lived in herds
A fossilized Mussaurus egg that’s more than 190 million years old, found in southern Patagonia, Argentina.

Argentine paleontologists discovered the first Mussaurus skeletons at this Patagonian site in the late 1970s. The dinosaurs they found were no more than 6 inches long. Unaware that they’d uncovered newborns, the researchers named the creature “mouse lizard” because of the skeletons’ tiny size.

Pol decided to reexplore the area starting in 2002, and by 2013, he’d helped find the first adult Mussaurus fossils there. Those bones revealed that full-grown versions of these “mouse lizards” were closer in size to modern-day hippos. They grew to weigh about 1.5 tons, reaching lengths of 26 feet from nose to tail tip. But infants could fit in the palm of a human hand.

A screen shot from a video showing how scientists like Diego Pol used high-energy X-rays to peek inside a Mussaurus egg without destroying it.

Since then, Pol’s team has also uncovered and studied the contents of the nesting ground, which measures just under half a square mile. In 2017, he took 30 of the eggs to a lab in France, and his group then used X-ray technology to peek inside and confirm the species of the embryos without breaking the shells.

By analyzing the sizes and types of bones in the nesting ground, the researchers determined that the animals were buried near counterparts of a similar age. Some clusters had juveniles less than a year old, others consisted of individuals that were slightly older but not yet fully grown, and finally, there were smatterings of adults that had died solo or in pairs.

That type of age segregation, the researchers said, is a key sign of herds: Juveniles hung out with others their age while adults looked for food and protected the community.

“They were resting together and likely died during a drought,” Pol said. “This is compatible with a herd that stays together during many years and within which the animals get close to each other to rest, or to forage, or do other daily activities.”

Another strong indication of herd behavior is a nesting ground itself: If Mussaurus lived as a community, it would make sense that they’d lay eggs in a common area.

Living in herds may have helped Mussaurus survive

Nest with Mussaurus eggs dated to more than 190 million years ago, found in Patagonia. Diego Pol

To figure out the fossils’ ages, researchers examined minerals in volcanic ash that was scattered around the eggs and skeletons, and determined that the fossils were about 193 million years old.

Previously, scientists thought this type of dinosaur lived during the late Triassic period, about 221 million to 205 million years ago. But the new date suggests instead that Mussaurus thrived during the early Jurassic period. That, in turn, is evidence that Mussaurus’ ancestors survived a mass extinction event 200 million years ago.

The key to that survival, the study suggests, may have been their herding behavior.

READ ALSO: RESEARCHERS DISCOVER FOUR DINOSAURS IN MONTANA

“These were social animals and we think this may be an important factor to explain their success,” Pol said.

An artist’s depiction of the nesting ground of a Mussaurus herd of in what is now Argentina.

Communal living likely helped Mussaurus find enough food, perhaps by making it easier for them to forage over larger areas. Mussaurus of the same size would likely “group together to coordinate their activities,” Pol said, given that larger adults and tinier juveniles moved at different speeds.

He added that given the size difference between newborns and adults, it probably took these dinosaurs many years to reach full size. So young Mussaurus might have been vulnerable to predation.

By staying in herds, adults could better protect their young.

Dinosaur fossils found in Argentina could belong to the largest creature ever to have walked the Earth

Dinosaur fossils found in Argentina could belong to the largest creature ever to have walked the Earth

A team of researchers with Naturales y Museo, Universidad de Zaragoza and Universidad Nacional del Comahue has found evidence that suggests the remains of a dinosaur discovered in Argentina in 2012 may represent a creature that was the largest ever to walk the Earth.

Dinosaur fossils found in Argentina could belong to the largest creature ever to have walked the Earth
Argentinosaurus huinculensis reconstruction at Museo Municipal Carmen Funes, Plaza Huincul, Neuquén, Argentina. Credit: William Irvin Sellers, Lee Margetts, Rodolfo Aníbal Coria, Phillip Lars Manning, PLoS ONE (2013)

In their paper published in the journal Cretaceous Research, the group describes the fossilized remains that have been found so far and what they have revealed.

The largest creature ever to live is believed to be the blue whale—the largest of which grow to 33.6 meters long.

The biggest land creatures are believed to have been the dinosaurs—of them, the titanosaur (as their name suggests) is believed to be the largest.

And of those, Argentinosaurus represents the largest that left enough evidence for it to be classified the heaviest—at approximately 36.5 meters in length and weighing in at a hundred tons, it would have dwarfed today’s land animals by a considerable amount.

Researchers studying Patagotitan fossils (another titanosaur found in Patagonia) have suggested some of them might have broken the record for the largest, but there was insufficient fossil evidence to prove it.

In either case, the researchers studying the new remains have begun to believe that they have found an even bigger titanosaur.

Thus far, the dinosaur has been dated back to 98 million years ago (putting it in the Late Jurassic to the early Cretaceous).

The fossils found include 24 vertebrae, all belonging to a giant tail, parts of a pelvis and a pectoral girdle.

The huge size of each suggests the dinosaur was a very large titanosaur—one that might be bigger than Argentinosaurus. That claim cannot be confirmed, however, until leg bones are found. Their size will allow the researchers to make estimates of the animals’ body weight.

A handout picture released on January 20, 2021, by the CTyS-UNLaM Science Outreach Agency showing a palaeontologist during an excavation in which 98 million-year-old fossils were found, at the Candeleros Formation in the Neuquen River Valley, Argentina.

Titanosaurs belong to the sauropod family, which means they were herbivores, had massive bodies and long necks and tails.

Such dinosaurs would have had few worries from meat-eating enemies if they managed to grow to full size.

Their fossils have been found on all continents except Antarctica. The researchers conclude by noting that more digging in the area will likely reveal more fossils from the same dinosaur and perhaps evidence of its true size.

Giants and beings of unknown origin were recorded by the ancients

Giants and beings of unknown origin were recorded by the ancients

Found in many regions of the world, cave paintings have been a valuable source of information for understanding the lifestyle and beliefs of early humans. Some depict scenarios that are fairly simple to understand, such as men hunting or entire families in a village.

Giants and beings of unknown origin were recorded by the ancients
Cave paintings in Tassili n’Ajjer.

The cave paintings discovered on the Tassili n’Ajjer plateau in southern Algeria, are a major conundrum for scholars.

They sketched what they observed, assuming that ancient humans did not have the ability to imagine such art: “One of the images appears to portray an extraterrestrial pursuing human being towards an oval object, comparable to a small spaceship.”

To see up close what many consider to be the world’s finest museum of prehistoric art, visitors must journey to the parched plains of the Sahara desert. Specifically in southern Algeria, 700 metres above sea level, is the Tassili plateau.

It is feasible to reach one of the earliest sources of information on ancient terrestrial life by traversing many cliffs. Years of wear and tear, as well as the strong forces of nature, have rendered the road nearly inaccessible. Rock formations that resemble enormous stone sentinels may be seen.

It is precisely in this location where caverns and more caves, with around 1,500 cave paintings dating from 10 to 15 thousand years, come into play.

They are thought to have been created by humans who lived on the site throughout the Upper Paleolithic and Neolithic periods.

Some paintings make sense, but others are enthralling, leaving you to ponder the true meaning for hours on end. First and foremost, everything discovered in this remote location supports what was originally thought about the Sahara Desert: this location was once bustling with life. A diverse range of plant and animal species coexisted in this area, as well as in many other parts of Africa and the world.

The patterns on ledges and rocks appear to imply that flowers, olive groves, cypresses, and other species grew in a fertile and vibrant environment. Furthermore, the current wildlife included antelopes, lions, ostriches, elephants, and rivers teeming with crocodiles. Unquestionably, a totally different scenario than what is now occurring in the Sahara.

Similarly, human beings can be seen in their daily activities in over a thousand primitive depictions discovered in Tassili.

Men hunting, swimming, and farming, as well as other routine activities in an archaic civilization. Nothing out of the ordinary for numerous experts and scholars who have visited this genuine book of stones.

Now, there are certain fascinating aspects that even the most sceptical brains can detect. To begin with, the tonality of the paintings is considerably more diverse than that which was typically used at that period. The rock art scenes from the same time period are not as vibrant as those seen here.

Tassili n’Ajjer Painting Figure. This “God” very closely resembled a paleo-astronaut in a space suit.

The images that appear to portray creatures wearing helmets and diving suits, quite similar to current astronauts, are the most stunning and difficult to accept. Furthermore, other pictures depict humanoids with enormous round heads and excessively large limbs.

Everything appears to imply that these strange and perplexing artworks show that creatures from other worlds visited our planet in the distant past. It is thought that primitive humans were unable to envision this type of art. Instead, they just sketched what they saw, which became part of their memories.

A strange huge creature and we can see a probable ‘kid’ being abducted by something or someone close alongside him. Surprisingly, the beings around this behemoth (at least some of them) do not appear to be human.

This entire collection of cave paintings might be the oldest evidence of a meeting between mankind and creatures from other worlds. In fact, one of the photos appears to depict a group of aliens escorting several people towards an oval object like a small spaceship.

Some experts who have visited the site believe that the early painters witnessed something unusual and left pictorial proof of it. These depictions of creatures with huge round heads are of ‘Tassili’s gods of unknown origin.’

The first dinosaurs may have laid soft eggs without hard shells

The first dinosaurs may have laid soft eggs without hard shells

The new finding forces scientists to rethink how dinosaur eggs evolved. The earliest dinosaur eggs were more like leathery turtle eggs than hard bird’s eggs. That’s the conclusion of a new study of fossilized dino embryos.

A team of palaeontologists studied embryos from two types of dinosaurs. One came from early in dinosaur history. The other lived about 150 million years later. Both sets of eggs were enclosed by soft shells. The researchers described their findings online on June 17 in Nature. It’s the first report of soft-shelled dino eggs.

“This new hypothesis provides an answer to these problems,” says Stephen Brusatte. He is a palaeontologist at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He was not involved in the work.  Until now, palaeontologists thought that all dinosaurs laid hard eggs.

This fossilised egg was laid by Mussaurus, a type of long-necked, plant-eating dinosaur that grew to 6 metres in length and lived in what is now Argentina

Minerals such as calcite make such shells hard and help them to fossilize. But scientists couldn’t explain a lack of fossil eggs from the earliest dinosaurs. Nor did they know why tiny structures within eggshells are so different across the three main types of dinosaurs.

Further analyses of these and other dinosaur eggs suggest that hard eggshells evolved three separate times. The team thinks the long-necked sauropods, plant-eating ornithischians (Or-nuh-THISH-ee-uns) and fierce theropods each evolved their own hard shells.

Unearthing soft dino eggs

The researchers analyzed a clutch of dinosaur eggs found in Mongolia. The eggs are thought to come from Protoceratops. That was a sheep-sized ornithischian. The fossil dates to between 72 million and 84 million years ago.

The team also analyzed an egg found in Argentina. It is between 209 million and 227 million years old. Scientists believe it to be Mussaurus. It was a sauropod ancestor.

The soft eggshells weren’t easy to spot. “When they are preserved, they’d only be preserved as films,” says Mark Norell. An author of the new study works as a palaeontologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

When his team examined the fossilized embryos, they noticed egg-shaped halos around the skeletons. On closer look, those halos had thin brown layers. But the layers were not evenly arranged. That suggested the material was biological, not made solely of minerals. Minerals tend to create very orderly patterns.

This well-preserved clutch of eggs is from Protoceratops, a plant-eater that lived more than 70 million years ago. Chemical studies of its eggs show that they had soft shells. The arrow points to an embryo that still has remnants of a softshell.

Before a few years ago, “people thought that everything that’s soft and squishy decays away immediately post mortem,” says study author Jasmina Wiemann. She is a palaeontologist at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. But growing evidence suggests that soft biological material can fossilize. The right conditions can preserve soft tissues, she says.

The team used lasers to probe the chemical composition of the brown layers. They used a method that would not damage the fossils. This Raman spectroscopy shines laser light on a sample, then measures how the light bounces off.

The properties of the scattered light show what type of molecules are present. Wiemann has used the approach to identify pigments in dinosaur eggs.

The researchers compared the chemical fingerprints of these fossilized eggs with those of eggs from hard-shelled dinosaurs. They also compared them with eggs from present-day animals. The Protoceratops and Mussaurus eggs were most similar to modern soft-shelled eggs.

Next, the scientists combined eggshell data with what’s known about the family trees of extinct and living egg-laying animals. From that, the researchers calculated the most likely scenario for the evolution of dinosaur eggs.

Early dinosaurs laid soft-shelled eggs, they determined. Hard shells evolved in later dinos. And it happened several times — at least once in each major limb of the dino family tree.

These results suggest it may be time to rethink dinosaur parenting, says Wiemann. In the past, many ideas came from studying fossils of theropods, such as T. rex. For example, some of them sat on eggs in open nests, like modern birds. But if eggs evolved separately in different lines of dinos, parental behaviour may have, too.

“If you have a soft-shelled egg,” Norell says, “you’re burying your eggs. [There’s] not going to be a lot of parental care.” In some ways, he now suspects, dinosaurs that laid soft eggs might resemble early reptiles more than they do birds.

Now that palaeontologists know what to look for, the search is on for more soft-shelled dino eggs. Palaeontologist Gregory Erickson works at Florida State University in Tallahassee. He says, “I would not be surprised if other people come forward with other specimens.”

Six thousand-year-old tombs found in northwest Argentina

Six thousand-year-old tombs found in northwest Argentina

Radio Cadena Agramonte reports that 12 graves dated between 6,000 and 1,300 years ago were unearthed in northwestern Argentina by a team of researchers from the University of Buenos Aires–National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), during investigations over the past 15 years.

Six thousand-year-old tombs found in northwest Argentina
A group of Argentine researchers found in the province of Catamarca 12 graves with more than six thousand years old, reported the scientific outreach agency CTyS, of the University of La Matanza.

According to the source, most were found fortuitously by residents of the area who, upon finding the remains, alerted the archaeological team that has been studying pre-Hispanic burial practices in northwestern Argentina for years.

The doctor in Archeology, Leticia Cortés, a specialist in burial methodologies in pre-Hispanic populations that inhabited the Valle del Cajón area, explained that when these practices are compared with current ones, they may seem strange.

“Knowing these customs, we can reconstruct the cultural practices of the past and put into perspective our own traditions, which are part of a cultural construction,” said Cortés, a researcher at the Institute of Cultures.

The search of this type began more than 15 years ago, with a research team dependent on the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research, led by María Cristina Scattolin and dedicated to excavation and analysis tasks in the town of Valle del Cajón.

This practice of burials before the arrival of the Spanish was far from what is customary today on the basis of the Judeo-Christian model.

Cortés pointed out that this type of find usually occurs after the rainy season, in summer, which is uncovered and the bones are exposed.

“There was a great variability of burial methods, in individual or collective graves, and also in the posture of the bodies. 

Some are hyperflexed, like squatting, with the shoulders touching the knees, others extended and disjointed and mixed, ”explained the specialist.

Cortés pointed out that many times people lived with their dead on a daily basis, buried them in the same patio where they cooked, made pots or carved stones. It is an interesting thing to see the different conceptions that were had about life and death, he said.

According to archaeology, they continue working and have found necklaces and pendants that would be associated with the deceased, as non-transferable objects that are buried next to the body and remain there.

Villa Epecuen: The Town That Was Submerged For 25 Years

Villa Epecuen: The Town That Was Submerged For 25 Years

The landscape has the permanent look of winter. Leafless trees jag skywards while shimmering white dust covers the ground. The streets are deserted; the only sound is the breeze. Welcome to Epecuen, Argentina’s ghost town, with a population of just one.

Located 340 miles south-west of Buenos Aires, Epecuen was once a booming tourist destination on the shores of a salt lake famed for its healing properties. Then one-day disaster struck. On 10 November 1985, after a period of heavy rain, the banks of the lake burst. The town, stretching back for more than 100 blocks, was submerged in water 10 meters deep.

Over the past few years, the waters have receded and the town has re-emerged. Left behind is a crystalline residue that from a distance looks like snow, as well as hundreds of dead trees and a derelict resort.

Lone inhabitant of Villa Epecuen, 81-year-old Pablo Novak tends his wood stove at his on May 3, 2011.

When the flood hit, residents were forced to pack their bags and leave. No one dared to return, except for 83-year-old Pablo Novak, who now has the dubious title of being contemporary Epecuen’s only resident. Today he’s out for a jaunt on his rusting bicycle with his two dogs in tow.

“I got used to life on my own,” he says. “I decided to stay because I spent my youth here, I went to school here and also started a family here. So it seemed quite normal.”

The former slaughterhouse of Villa Epecuen, Argentina, among a stand of long-dead trees, photographed on May 4, 2011.
Norma Berg gestures next to the ruins of her family house in Villa Epecuen, Argentina, on May 3, 2011.
A thin layer of salt, cracked, revealing the original paint of the wall of a collapsed building in Villa Epecuen, Argentina, on May 3, 2011.

The flood reduced Epecuen to rubble. No house was left untouched. Façades have disintegrated; walls have crumbled; pavements have sunk. Wooden staircases are exposed – in one spot are the rusting remains of a 1930s Chevrolet that an owner failed to salvage.

The salt has preserved tiny details, freezing the resort in time and allowing a voyeuristic glimpse into the past. Near the main street are the remains of a pizzeria. The sculptures that the owner bought to decorate his business are still intact, including a stone crescent moon sitting outside as though it were still 1985. In the rubble, a wood-fired pizza oven is clearly visible.

Walking among the crystalline ruins, the tracks left by a tractor that tried to salvage valuables from the long-gone Santa Teresista Church are still there. Dotted around the site, too, are green wine bottles half-buried in the sand. Further away from the main drag is what used to function as the municipal camping area. The eerie site has an abandoned playground: the frame of a set of swings still stands, as does a rusting seesaw, every inch reminiscent of Chernobyl.

Javier Andres, head of tourism for the normally sleepy agricultural region of Adolfo Alsina, has been swamped with interest in the last few weeks due to a concerted effort to promote the ruins. Epecuen has been compared to Pompeii, he says, but there is one major difference.

“We don’t think there’s anywhere in the world quite like it,” he explains. “Although it’s been called the Argentinian Pompeii, there you’re not able to walk around with a former resident explaining everything to you. Here you can do that.”

The waters began their retreat in 2009 but the tourist board delayed launching a campaign until now, respectful of the reactions the floods continue to provoke among the hundreds who lost their livelihoods.

“When you visit Epecuen, the sensation is hard to explain,” Mr. Andres says. “There’s a sense of wonder at this place that is completely in ruins, an apocalyptic vision. But then you can’t help thinking about the people that lost everything here, years of effort and hard work that disappeared overnight. So there’s a lot of sadness at the same time.”

The devastated landscape has attracted the attention of several movie crews and Roland Joffé’s Spanish Civil War drama, There Be Dragons, was partly filmed here. Yet the demise of Epecuen remains painful for former residents. The health resort was one of the most frequented in Argentina, growing in popularity from the 1920s and attracting European as well as local tourists at a time before the wide availability of alternative treatments.

The water – 10 times saltier than the sea – drew many of Buenos Aires’s Jewish community, nostalgic for the Dead Sea. The town’s population of just over 1,000 would swell fivefold during the high season.

“There are some things you can repair, such as the economic damage,” says Carlos Ruben Besagonill, 49, who used to run a hotel in Epecuen. “But you can’t replace the experiences, the affection, the moments you passed there.”

Mr. Besagonill says that it’s taken him more than 20 years to re-establish the business he had in Epecuen in nearby Carhue, now the region’s main tourist town. He was forced to leave behind everything in 1985, recently married and with a one-year-old daughter in his arms. “I used to dream every night that Epecuen reappeared,” he says. “I’d dream that I told my family: ‘Look we can go back and paint the hotel,’ because I really thought it was possible.”

Mr Besagonill is pleased that the ruins may soon be a major tourist attraction once more. For him, it should serve as a warning about “what not to do with nature”. He says that the province may be to blame for poor water management, but that the town should never have been built so close to the shores of a lake that was liable to overflow.

Argentina
A man compares a photograph of Villa Epecuen taken in the 1970s with the current state of the place, after almost 25 years beneath the water of Lago Epecuen.

Back on the main street, the ghosts of Epecuen continue to swirl around the crumbling concrete as Mr. Novak recalls the ice-cream parlour he used to pass, the bar he’d visit for a beer, and the clubs where he’d dance until the early hours.

Mr. Novak says that his children don’t like coming back – unlike his 21 grandchildren who love hearing his yarns and devour his photos of the old days – and every year they try to convince him to move away. But while he remains independent, he argues, he’s going nowhere.

Although Mr. Andres rejects the idea that somebody may be prepared to stump up the “six-figure sum” needed to rebuild Epecuen, Mr. Novak remains dogged in his hope that the town will one day recapture its glorious past. “I always thought it would revive, that’s the thing I find most difficult,” he says wistfully. “I keep on hoping it will happen. But sadly no one seems to want to do anything.”

Argentinian farmer discovered a prehistoric giant armadillo shell

Argentinian farmer Discovered a prehistoric giant Armadillo shell

The resting place of ancient armadillos that roamed the earth some 20,000 years ago has been discovered in Argentina. A farmer stumbled upon the graveyard containing fossilized shells of four massive Glyptodonts, with the largest being the size of a Volkswagen Beetle.

The remains were discovered in a dried-out riverbed near the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires – at first, only two were spotted, but two more were found while paleontologists excavated the site.

Researchers believe the group consists of two adults and two young animals, but further testing will determine the cause of death, sex, and weight of the remains.

The resting place of ancient armadillos that roamed the earth some 20,000 years ago has been discovered in Argentina. A farmer stumbled upon the graveyard containing fossilized shells of four massive Glyptodonts, with the largest being the size of a Volkswagen Beetle

Juan de Dios Sota made the discovery while taking his cows out to graze near a river, Metro reported. He noticed two strange formations in a dried-out river bed and after taking a closer look, he knew he had stumbled upon something amazing and notified officials.

Pablo Messineo, one of the archaeologists at the scene, said: ‘We went there expecting to find two glyptodonts when the excavation started and then two more were found!’

‘It is the first time there have been four animals like this on the same site.’

‘Most of them were facing the same direction as they were walking towards something.’

Glyptodonts are the early ancestors of our modern armadillos that lived mostly across North and South America during the Pleistocene epoch. The creatures were encased from head to tail in thick, protective armour resembling in shape the shell of a turtle but composed of bony plates much like the covering of an armadillo.

The body shell alone was as long as 5 feet and as thick as two inches. It used its tail as a weapon – like a club – as the tip had a bony knob at the end that was sometimes spiked.

The group discovered in Argentina are believed to be two adults and two young animals, but experts are set to conduct further testing to determine the age, sex, and cause of death for each of the fossilized Glyptodonts.

The fossils were discovered in a riverbed by a farmer who was simply taking his cows out to graze
The body shell alone was as long as 5 feet and as thick as two inches. It used its tail as a weapon – like a club – as the tip had a bony knob at the end that was sometimes spiked (pictured)

A separate fossilized shell was discovered in 2015 by another farmer in Argentina. After popping out for some fresh air, farmer Jose Antonio Nievas stumbled across what experts said are the remains of a prehistoric giant. The 3 feet long shell discovered on a riverbank near a local farm may be from a glyptodont – a prehistoric kind of giant armadillo.

While there is a chance the shell is a hoax because it hasn’t been studied directly by experts, Adrian Lister of the Natural History Museum, London, told MailOnline: ‘I think it is quite likely this is genuine.’

‘The shell looks like a genuine glyptodont shell, and the hole is ‘wear and tear’, not where the head or tail went,’ he explained.

Glyptodonts are the early ancestors of our modern armadillos that lived mostly across North and South America during the Pleistocene epoch

At first, Mr. Nievas thought the black scaly shell was a dinosaur egg when he saw it in the mud, his wife Reina Coronel said. But a paleontologist who studied the pictures later said it belonged to an ancient ancestor of the armadillo.

Alejandro Kramarz of the Bernadino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum exclaimed: ‘There is no doubt that it looks like a glyptodont.’

Nievas told television channel Todo Noticias he found the shell partly covered in mud and started to dig around it. Various experts who saw television pictures of the object also said it is likely to be a glyptodont shell.

Professor Lister explained it’s common to find fossils buried in the bank of streams and rivers because flowing water gradually erodes the bank to expose ancient shells and bones.

‘The finder would first have spotted a small area of the shell exposed in the stream bank and then by digging, exposed the whole thing,’ he said.

‘This scenario is supported by the green staining on the shell, just in the area where it might first have been exposed to the stream, even with a kind of ‘tide mark’ on it.

‘It would be an ingenious hoaxer who would construct such a thing.’

The creatures were encased from head to tail in thick, protective armor resembling in shape the shell of a turtle but composed of bony plates much like the covering of an armadillo