Reports are coming out of Siberia about a discovery in a diamond mine of the mummified remains of a strange prehistoric monster. Wow. Who knew there were diamond mines in Siberia?
According to the Siberian Times, the miners found the so-called “monster mummy” in the Udachnaya pipe diamond deposit, which is an open pit diamond mine in northern Siberia just outside the Arctic Circle. Udachnaya means “lucky” and it has been – at least for the Russian government. Discovered in 1955, it produces 1.5 million tons of gemstone ore annually and is one of Russia’s biggest diamond mines.
Udachnaya is a pipe deposit, meaning the diamonds are found in vertical pipe-like deposits of kimberlite rock. There have been a number of unusual discoveries there, including the mysterious red rock dug up in 2014 that contained over 30,000 tiny diamonds, enough to bedazzle at least two Beyonce outfits.
While Udachnaya is lucky for the government and the mine owners, it’s not so lucky for local residents and the miners who work there. In 1974, a 1.7 kiloton atomic bomb was detonated 98 meters (322 ft) underground to blast a basin for mining operations.
Now there’s the monster mummy. The mummified remains were found by miners in sand deposits estimated to be between 66 million and 252 million years old. It doesn’t look exactly like any known creature and it was found in ancient sands so the miners naturally assumed they had discovered a new dinosaur or prehistoric monster and carried it around like a mascot before turning it over to experts in the region’s capital city of Yakutsk, 1,686 km (1047 miles) south of the Udachnaya diamond pit – that’s a big region.
Since this is Siberia, the DNA analysis will probably never be made public, so Internet experts looking at the photos have weighed in with their own theories on the identity of the Udachnaya monster mummy.
It’s too small to be a woolly mammoth. The teeth, fur, paws and claws suggest to some it’s a wolverine. Others think it’s a marten – a smaller carnivorous mammal native to Siberia. It could also be a small bear – there’s some of them around too.
Is the mummy 252 million years old? That’s a long time for anything that’s not a diamond to survive in this area, so it’s more likely the creature wandered into the mine much more recently and was preserved by the dry -46°F (-43°C) air. How much more recently? Let’s hope it was ‘lucky’ enough to miss the atomic blast by Russian diamond hunters.
Who’s the real monster here?