Ice is an interesting thing. While for most of us it is water that has dropped in temperature enough to become solid, which is true, in its freezing process it can capture incredible things inside. Ice that has frozen quickly also tends to take crazy shapes and swallow up what is around it to fits its own shape. Over the years, scientists have found some strange and downright shocking discoveries in the ice. Many of the discoveries are that of animals, but there are others that had scientists scratching their heads and picking up their jaws. We have put together some of the most beautiful, bizarre, disturbing, and mysterious finds that were captured in the ice, some for thousands of years and have given the modern world a glimpse into the past that we would otherwise never see. This time capsule exists thanks to the ice across the planet, which we are constantly finding more and more of, so the more time passes the more we end up finding.
The LighthouseThis lighthouse is a beautiful example of what rapidly dropping temperatures, rain, and wind can look like all in one. This lighthouse is barely visible past the sweeping ice sculpture that is wrapped around its outside. This lighthouse is located lakefront in Michigan. Temperatures up there can drop well below freezing in a matter of minutes and remain that way for weeks at a time, gifting us with this view.
Surprisingly, there are people who live nearby and handle this winter every single year. They stock up during the warmer months as during the winter months it is nearly impossible to step outside for the cold.
Mammoth BrainOne of the most interesting and stunning discoveries that were made by scientists among the ice is the brain of a woolly mammoth of all things. This piece of history was found in the derelict permafrost of the Laptev Sea coast and not in ice like many of the others.
FoxTalk about a perfectly preserved specimen! This fox was found frozen solid as it was caught in arctic conditions with no ability to escape. This discovery was made on a German lake by a man who was in the area hunting.
The man who found the fox said that he also discovered a wild boar and a deer but only showed proof of the fox. The fox will be placed on display in a German hotel in the area as a warning to the dangers in the area during the cold months – freezing can absolutely happen, ask the fox.
Not Quite DeadIce is an incredible thing. It can certainly kill but it can also preserve. This is exactly what happened to this alligator. Some alligators are capable of surviving a whole winter frozen in ice and go into a suspended version of hibernation, lowering their blood pressure and breathing to minimal effect.
Frozen CrashesAnimals are not the only ones who can be preserved thanks to the cold, crashes can too. While this find is by no means ancient, it is no less interesting. This 1952 military plane was found in Anchorage, Alaska, after it was thought to have been lost forever. This plane crashed due to it flying too low near a glacier which took it down.
The plan crash claimed the lives of 41 passengers and 11 members of the crew. During the time that the plane went missing there was a massive storm that prevented rescue teams and police to get to them, leading to their deaths. The glacier melted and unveiled the wreckage some 50 years later.
Frozen Fish FoodSomething pretty amazing is happening in this image – a fish was frozen mid-dinner it seems. The large fish was about to swallow this smaller one when the temperatures just got too cold for it and it froze in place, mouth full and all. The discovery was made by local fisherman who were stunned to see this moment captured in ice.
Dino-MummyWhat is a list of rare finds if we do not serve up a dinosaur of some sort? This find dates back 110 million years, putting it in the middle of the Cretaceous period in history. The last ice age was the one to wipe out the dinosaurs so it makes sense that we would find them when the ice started melting in certain parts of the world.
This is a nodosaur, which had a skin of armor that had spikes on it and was as hard as a tank. Today, this animal would not exist and that is good for us since we would have no way of protecting ourselves from it.
Bird DiveThis bird was trying to get itself some food by deep diving into the water to grab a fish for its meal. However, it did not take into account the temperature of the outside and the water and deep dove, never to fly back out again. The water was too cold and froze the bird as it entered the water.
Frozen DogSome finds hit closer to home than we and the scientists care to admit. This find hurts because it is of a puppy frozen in ice dating back 12,460 years. It is fascinating how intact the dog is thanks to the ice. This dog was found deep in the Siberian tundra and was a huge assist in understanding the history of the canine species.
The scientists in the region were there to look for mammoths but ended up finding this guy, which was not what they were looking for but was certainly a good find. They were looking for bones and they found fur!
Copper ArrowIt is still unknown who made this arrowhead and arrow but it was found perfectly intact and is incredibly unique. The arrowhead is copper, which is interesting on its own but it was also found in an ice patch as if no time had passed. This shows that older civilizations had more modern weapons technology than we first thought.
Vikings are a source of intrigue due to their historical significance and power. A few years back, Viking gear was discovered in Juvfonne, Norway. The gear was found among several glaciers that were melting and revealing their treasures. Most of what was found was reindeer material gear, bows, sticks, arrows, leather shoe parts, and wood.
The gear dates back around 3,400 years. The reindeer traps were the most revealing and interesting part of the discovery and were made of sticks that were bound together to make a noise when they shake. These Vikings were wiser than we give them credit for.
Bloody IceThis terrifying and unexpected find comes to you from Antarctica. This red stream of what looks like blood is located on a glacier and named Blood Falls. The water flow is indeed creepy looking but it is not blood, rather it is iron-rich water that is colored due to the super high iron levels.
MoraineGlacier move, whether you see it or not as they are so large. When they do move they crush everything in their path. As the glacier moves it collected debris and rocks. This collection of debris is called moraine and is used as a sort of buffer or cushion for what the glacier would otherwise crush.
What you are looking at here is a forest below a glacier being kept completely intact because of the moraine. The moraine was a cushion between the glacier and the forest below keeping the whole thing in a perfect state.
Human Sacrifice Part 1The Incan people of Chile believed in human sacrifices. They would take up their children and other specific people that they would choose to the highest peak of the Andes Mountains and sacrifice them there. The Incan people believed that if they sacrificed these people they would get what they need in terms of protection, rain, better harvest.
Human Sacrifice Part 2
Some of the Incan sacrifices were in the name of the Sun God Inti and were some of the most extreme cases of sacrifices. They would be taken to the highest and coldest spots on the mountains. In order to make sure they appeased the god of Sun they sacrificed more children and tested out their rituals.
The interesting and sad side effect of the cold is that the bodies were somewhat preserved for all of these years and scientists ended up finding very nearly intact sacrifices. One of the sacrificed boys was so well kept that scientists were able to determine his blood type, and status in his society.
Ice PreservationSo how is it that ice is so good at preserving things? The cold temperatures help prevent bacteria and other materials that aid in decomposition from attaching itself to whatever is usually decomposed. In the Arctic, for example, the cold temperatures and lack of oxygen prevent any of the bacterial decomposers from actually functioning enough to stick to something.
War ScenesDuring World War I there were battles that took place high in the Alps. The location of the battle was extremely unfortunate as the temperature made it very hard to survive, let alone fight as well. Many of the soldiers were suffering from frostbite and other such ailments long before they even saw battle.
The soldiers that fought in this battle were mostly killed by the elements and not from the wounds they may have gotten on the field. To add another element to this, the ones who did die were preserved by the cold, discovered preserved years later.
Preserved Ancient PeopleThere have been many human finds in the ice, not all of them were of sacrifices and tragedies. It was in recent years that scientists have found the preserved body of a 300 year-old human. What made this discovery so interesting is that the human that was found was an ancestor of the First National people.
A Mammoth Find
Woolly mammoths are not a rare find in the ice for all intents and purposes. However, this prehistoric giant beast was found in Siberia in an ice tomb that preserved him entirely and dates back 39,000 years! This giant animal was frozen solid and in place, unlike any find we have ever seen.
The animal was found in the Novosibirsk Islands, an archipelago in Northern Russia. Unlike any other animal found, this one still have blood and muscle tissue intact, meaning if we wanted to clone it, we totally could.
Ancient SpearsThis discovery changed how we view American history. These ancient spears were found in Yellowstone and date back 10,300 years in an area that we previously believed did not have humans around. We were clearly wrong. The spears were used for hunting by the people who were there, probably hunting bison, wolf, and elk.
5,300-Tear-Old Otzi Man
The most incredible and well-preserved body of a man ever discovered is that of this 5,300 year-old Otzi man. He was found in the Alps between Italy and Austria in a complete state of frozen perfection. He is the ancestor of the people currently living in that area in Austria.