When you hear of someone hunting whales, you probably think of a ship out in the ocean pursing giants of the deep with harpoons in hand. But what if I told you that some people have been hunting whales in the deserts of the world for years?
Whale fossils have been found all over the world including the United States. In fact, the state fossil of Mississippi and Alabama is that of a type of whale called Basilosaurus.
But did you know that some of the largest whale fossil beds have been found in deserts?
In the Egyptian desert, there is a place called Wadi Al-Hitan or Valley of the Whales where they have found hundreds of fossilized whales. Some of the whales here were so well preserved that paleontologists have recovered and identified stomach contents from them. Also found with the fossilized whales in the Egyptian desert were the fossils of sharks, crocodiles, sawfish, rays and turtles.
Now, a group of 75 whale fossils have been found in the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert in Chile. Discovered near the town of Caldera, the whale fossils were found with a fossilized dolphin.
Scientists have long tried to explain these desert fossil beds and how so many whales were found in such small areas or what killed so many whales at the same time.
Did you know that the Bible may provide an answer as to how and why so many whale fossils have been found in the desert? Genesis 6-8 describes a flood that covered the entire earth. It talks about the windows of heaven being opened and the fountains of the deep bursting open. From these descriptions we know that the Flood waters were very turbulent and would have had very strong currents running all through them.
These turbulent waters scraped off millions of tons of silt and dirt off the face of the earth. The waters would have been full of silt and mud that buried millions of animals and plants from both land and the sea. It’s quite possible that many whales would have also been buried during the turbulent time of the Flood and since whales live and travel in large pods, it would not have been surprising to find them buried together at the same time.
As the Flood waters left the face of the earth, the new terrain of the earth formed many large inland seas, large enough to be home to pods of whales. In time these seas emptied out or dried up. It’s also possible that some of the smaller ones could have been consumed and buried by massive dust storms. We do know that there were whole cities buried by dust storms that lasted for days and weeks.
So when you hear someone say that they are going to hunt for whales in the desert, you’ll think about the Genesis Flood.
The story of Noah and the great Flood has been told many times, but never has it been illustrated like this. British author and illustrator, Richard Oakes, brings Noah and family to life with his intriguing depictions and beautiful landscapes. While the illustrations might be fun, the story is real and striking. After all, Noah and his family and the animals aboard the Ark were the only ones who survived. Your children will enjoy this story and also realize that God is Creator, judge and redeemer. (Preschool–Primary/Elementary) 28 pages.