VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
Tag archives for Spitsbergen Expedition 2012
After a week of digging through frozen mud and rock at the top of the world, the team comes through with their biggest find yet: their first ever skull of a Loch Ness Monster-type plesiosaur.
After all of yesterday’s miserable weather and hard work, no one was rushing out of bed today. The clouds parted however, and an enthusiastic group of tourists came by to see the site.
Terrible weather moves in on the excavation team, obscuring the mountainside in fog, and drenching everyone to the bone. And speaking of bones, the search for the animal’s skull continues.
You would have thought the prospect of moving tons of waterlogged permafrost, hour after hour after hour, would make people sneak out the back door. But with the chance of the team finding our first ever plesiosaur skull, people are jumping at the chance to dig.
The head of the plesiosaur remains hidden, but progress is made in the final days of the Spitsbergen expedition.
With the prospect of finding their first ever plesiosaur skull, the team brings out chainsaws and pickaxes to carve away the rock and dirt above the spot where the animal’s neck disappears into the mountainside.
Moving to a new vantage point, Jørn and the team set their sights to find more ancient remains and come up with two almost instantly.
After barely uncovering a delicate fossil, Jørn Hurum and his team coat the surrounding rock in plaster and attempt to lift it whole out of the ground.
The team is making great time, excavating fossils and already moving on to preserving them with plaster for the long ride home.
The search for sea monster fossils in the frozen north continues, and in a matter of hours the team has found more specimens than the rest of the world will find in the next couple of years.
2011 Emerging Explorer Jørn Hurum is currently on Spitsbergen Island in the Arctic Circle excavating the remains of ancient marine reptiles worthy of the most fantastic Norse legends.