People fear freezing to death and being encased in ice for eternity. But for scientists and archaeologists, a hostile, icy landscape is often a best friend. Natural ice can perfectly preserve fossils, animals, people, and otherwise biodegradable objects, often blowing any man-made storage out of the water…or at least the ice. So grab a pick and a hammer. Here are 5 Mysterious Things Found Frozen In Ice! Let’s begin!
5. Boy Soldiers
During the First World War, the Italian and Austro-Hungarian forces clashed in the Dolomites, a mountain range in Italy. On Friday, December 13th, 1916, a day that become known to the 2 armies as “white Friday,” an avalanche claimed the lives of 10,000 of the fighting soldiers. In 2012, corpses belonging to two teenage enlisted men were discovered perfectly preserved in the ice. Working quickly, scientists were able to preserve the bodies before they thawed and decayed. But the eerie finding proved that not all of the avalanche victims were buried alive – each of the two frozen soldiers was found with a bullet hole in his head.
In a recent incident in North Carolina, 56-year-old Marcella Jean Lee sold a deep freezer to her neighbor for a mere $30 before moving away. The freezer was carefully taped closed, and Lee told her customer that it had been used as a time capsule for a Sunday school project. Soon, Lee told the purchaser, church members would come by to retrieve the contents after which the freezer could be used normally. Hmm. Not quite. When the anonymous and unwitting accomplice finally opened the freezer, she found to her horror the corpse of Marcella’s mother. Though it sounds like a murder mystery, it turned out that the old woman had died of natural causes, but it’s still a felony to fail to report a death. The homemade icy coffin turned out to be a ploy that Lee was using to avoid funeral fees.
3. Tastes Like A Movie
The 1993 movie “Alive” documents the real-life tale of a 1972 plane crash in the Andes mountains. As was well-documented by the film and accompanying book, the survivors – mostly members of a Uruguayan football team – survived partially by eating the remains of those who had perished. But the movie skipped over the secretive aftermath, in which the athletes and their wives understandably did not volunteer the truth about their culinary habits. A priest and several church workers made a trek to the crash site almost a month after the survivors were rescued, and discovered in horror – though ultimately not surprise – that many bodies preserved in the snow had been partially devoured. Who knew that the band “Cannibal Corpse” was named after a soccer team? These are strange days we’re living in, kids.
2. Mummy Dearest
On September 19th, 1991, a pair of German tourists were hiking in the Central Eastern Alps. They came across a ghastly, twisted but well-preserved corpse, and concluded that it must be yet another tragically failed mountain climber – similar to the frozen bodies found strewn on Mount Everest. But upon examination, archaeologist Konrad Spindler discovered that the frozen body was not only not that of a recent climber, but that it belonged to a millennium from ages past. Spindler was quickly about to prove that corpse was over four thousand years old. The remains became known as “The Ice Man,” Europe’s oldest known preserved mummy.
1. Life After Death
You might expect our top-ranked frozen mystery to be something especially horrific, like the remains of some man-eating arctic beast. But we’re not here just to creep everyone out. Here’s a heartwarming tale to round out an otherwise chilling video. In 2012, Russian scientists dug out several 30,000 year-old plants found frozen in the Siberian tundra. The plants, a then-extinct form of narrow-leafed camp-ion, were charmingly found in the burrow of a ground squirrel that lived during the last Ice Age. Using the ancient specimens, the researchers were incredibly able to resurrect the species in a laboratory. New plants grew, blossomed and even produced seeds, marking the only time that a plant or animal has successfully reproduced after spending all of recorded history asleep in the ice.