The 500-Year-Old Mummified Creature Unveiled By A Melting Iceberg

There's really no getting away from the topic of the Earth's climate. Naturally, things have changed a lot for the planet over its long history (according to Space, Earth is believed to be a little over 4.5 billion years old), and the rise of industry and our resource-hungry ways are inextricably connected to the warming effect. We're already feeling the impacts including wildfires, heatwaves, and other devastating natural disasters. Per the United Nations, fossil fuel use has had a marked impact on those changes that occur naturally, trapping heat from the Sun and impacting our weather and environment in a diverse range of ways.

One of the more notable and potentially most impactful is how climate change has changed the waters around the world, which has led to some interesting discoveries. For example, a drought in Europe due to climate change has caused lower waters in the Danube River, revealing a sunken fleet of Nazi ships (per Live Science). In addition, ice melting has led to the discovery of some curious discoveries, including an odd mummified creature from 500 years ago.

Secrets buried in the ice

According to NASA, Greenland and Antarctica's ice sheets are melting at a devastating rate. Approximately 280 billion tons are lost from the latter and 150 billion tons from the former. This has colossal implications for rising sea levels, not to mention the sheer volume of crucial water involved. There's another consequence of this mass melt: Around the world, things are emerging from the ice that has been sealed away for a long, long time.

For example, in August 2022, according to Fox 9 KMSP, an early Viking Age arrow was discovered with its head and shaft still connected after further melting occurred. "The ice is retreating, the artifacts melt out, the clock starts ticking and it is a race against time to find and rescue these incredible objects before they are lost," stated "Secrets of the Ice in Norway" co-director Lars Holger Pilø.

Gleaning a greater understanding of the Earth and its history is some sort of silver lining to draw from this perilous situation, perhaps. Another one of these incredible finds includes a half-millennia-old animal that appears like a cross between an antelope and goat definitely takes the cake.

The remants of the White War also lie in the Alps

National Geographic shared the remarkable story in August 2022. Andrea Fischer, one of the Alpine glaciologists of Austria's Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research, sawed her way through a melting Alpine glacier to get at her prize: The perhaps-seemingly humble mummy of a female chamois (or 'goatelope'). While she was small and very young when she died and, according to the outlet, she remained there for a very long time.

The chamois is believed to have only been around two years old at the time of her death, with Fischer deducing that it was hidden in the ice for another 458 years or so. The team actually noticed the mummy a year before, but it wasn't accessible until the melting continued. After its long time encased in ice, the chamois' remains were in lamentable condition. National Geographic paints a grim picture: Much of her fur is gone with just faint bits around her legs and her ribs were covered in tightened flesh.

As the ice continues to melt, much more is sure to be discovered. Elsewhere in the Alps, per The Guardian, as the ice melted, a cave became accessible in 2015 that once housed a barracks full of items from the White War, which was fought between Italy and Austria-Hungary during World War I.