Verkhoyansky region located in North-Eastern Yakutia is remarkable for many things.
It is as extremely cold as Oymyakon and that’s why this area is so zealously competing for the title «The world’s coldest inhabited place.» It is where magnificent stone pillars called Kihilyakh, known also as Siberia’s Shambala, stand on hills. It is the right place to observe Aurora Borealis all the winter long. Apart from, the Verkhoyansky land is full of sensations.
Now it is a lovely destination of various expeditions. Two things made the place desirable for many scientists.
First, that’s a big hole appeared in the area of the Batagaika river near the Batagai settlement, the administrative centre of Verkhoyansky region (see its location), after permafrost layers had melted.
Frozen ground started melting and collapsing in the aftermath of the devastating flooding happened in 2008. The trench width became a few hundred metre and it’s getting bigger and bigger. Some locals are really afraid of visiting that suddenly-self-created hole, as they think it is a gate of the subterranean world. As you know, the Yakuts believe in the existance of upper, middle and under worlds. Indeed, at nights, one can hear terrifying loud sounds coming from the hole surrounded with taiga, and that makes people pretty scared, though it might be just the noise of collapsing soil.
The second wonder is ancient findings. With ground collapsed, the remains hidden from people for millenniums got finally revealed. In 2009, local hunters found 4400-year-old foal and the well-preserved bison carcass, whose age is not identified yet.
In below pictures, you can see local people digging out the carcass of the ancient horse kid. Here is some explanations.
Batagai settlers, Erel Strutchkov, Slava Tretiakov, Vladimir and Gregory Lapparovs (they are in pics), found the foal in the ground. It didn’t have the head, but the rest (thorax, back, legs, hoofs, hairs, and skin) was preserved in good condition.
They packed and buried it back into the ground. Lately, they informed Yakutsk North Ecology Institute about the finding. Immediately, institute workers arrived at the spot, proved it to be of great scientific value, and decided to transport it in spring of next year. That’s when pictures were taken. In April of 2010.
Further examination showed that the animal died when it was approx. 6 month old, and, maybe, it got drawn in a swamp, and his head fell a pray to predators.
In summer 2010, the Batagaika river turned out to be a real Mecca for international palaeontologists. In the course of field studies, scientists spotted additionally remains of ancient bison, horses, elks, mammoths, reindeer… Just imagine, how many dissertations are already in the progress.
Saying a lot of thanks to Slava Levochkin for bringing unique pictures.