Whales in the Desert? | The Institute for Creation Research

Whales in the Desert?

Workers expanding a highway in 2010 found fossils of 80 huge whales in desert sandstones in Chile, prompting questions of how they died and why they were so well preserved.

Clearly, a catastrophe must have happened, since so many whales died at once. Just as clearly, the catastrophe must have involved large quantities of fast-moving sand in order to encase the huge animals in sandstone.

Construction halted on the highway temporarily, allowing Smithsonian paleontologists to examine the fossils. Since the site may be destroyed when roadwork resumes, the scientists are using laser imaging technology to quickly record the fossils' 3-D positions in the sandstone so that they can be virtually reproduced "for museums and future study by paleontologists."1

Images from the excavation site show the whale remains close to, and even overlapping, one another.2 They are gathered in a low spot called the Caldera basin, where water runoff from the continent toward the Pacific Ocean was trapped. The water would have rapidly drained out after depositing the whales and the sand, allowing the carcasses to dry quickly and not decay as the surrounding sand hardened into sandstone and preserved them.

Enlightenment-era notions of slow and gradual geologic processes cannot account for this mass grave. Neither can they explain a separate case in which 300 whales were found buried with land animals, also near the western coast of South America.3 But a massive watery catastrophe like the Flood of Noah would have had the requisite power to move the amount of sediment and water that formed these massive whale fossil sites.4

Genesis 8:3 states, "And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated." Since these whale fossil deposits probably overlie thousands of feet of sedimentary rocks, it stands to reason that much of the underlying rock was formed during the first 150 days of the Flood, as water was carrying sediment onto the continent.

Later in the Flood year, the whales would have been deposited in low-lying areas as waters "abated" from the continents and into the new, deeper ocean basins. This would account not only for the large numbers of remains found in one place, but also for their preservation.

ScienceInsider reported that researchers "are striving to learn how the site was formed and how the marine mammals died."1 The first place they should look is Genesis.

References

  1. Gramling, C. Researchers Rush to Recover Whale Fossils From Highway Project. ScienceInsider. Posted on news.sciencemag.org November 18, 2011, accessed December 14, 2011.
  2. Whale cemetery discovered in Chile. Sky News. Posted on skynews.com.au November 13, 2011, accessed December 15, 2011.
  3. Brand, L. R. et al. 2004. Fossil whale preservation implies high diatom accumulation rate in the Miocene-Pliocene Pisco Formation of Peru. Geology. 32 (2): 165-168.
  4. Walker, Tas. 80 whales buried mysteriously in Chilean desert: Marine graveyard is evidence for Noah's Flood. Creation Ministries International. Posted on creation.com December 1, 2011, accessed December 15, 2011.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on December 20, 2011.

The Latest
NEWS
'Prehistoric' Paddlefish?
Evolutionists consider the freshwater paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) of the class Actinopterygii to be a prehistoric creature, a primitive bony fish “50...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Earth
by Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation...

ACTS & FACTS
To the End of the Earth
The book of Acts recounts the apostles’ journeys across the Roman Empire from Jerusalem and Judea “to the end of the earth,” preaching...

APOLOGETICS
Lightning, Soil Bacteria, and God’s Providence
Nitrogen is vital for human survival, yet few appreciate how lightning and soil bacteria contribute to Earth’s nitrogen cycle. That Earth’s...

ACTS & FACTS
The Bobtail Squid's Living Cloaking Device
Hawaiian bobtail squid (Euprymna scolopes) live among the sand flats and sea plants of the Hawaiian archipelago. Along with other bobtail squid, these...

ACTS & FACTS
Seeing Distant Starlight in a Young Universe
Many see distant starlight as an unanswerable objection to recent creation. Both creationist and evolutionist astronomers agree that distant galaxies...

ACTS & FACTS
Yellowstone National Park, Part 2: Canyons and Catastrophe
by Tim Clarey, Ph.D., and Brian Thomas, Ph.D.* About three million visitors tour Yellowstone National Park’s 3,440 square miles each year.1...

ACTS & FACTS
How Did the Bat Get Its Wings?
Where did bats come from? Evolutionists presuppose that some kind of rodent received just the right mutations to over “a few million years”...

ACTS & FACTS
Biblical Insights into Today’s Violent Mob Mentality
Some scenes from the evening news get etched into our memories. I recall seeing a college professor step outside his building and become suddenly surrounded...

CREATION PODCAST
Are Dinosaurs in the Bible? | The Creation Podcast: Episode 26
If the Bible is true, wouldn't it mention dinosaurs? If God made dinosaurs, when did He make them? Did they live with humans? What ultimately happened...