Skip Navigation LinksFrozen-Steppe-Bison

 

blue head.jpg‚Äč

 

 

Gold miners Walter and Ruth Roman and their sons discovered this carcass in 1979 near Fairbanks, Alaska.

blue.jpg 

 Part of the bison was exposed as water from a hydraulic mining hose melted the frozen muck in which it was embedded. The bison carcass was covered with a blue chalky substance when it was discovered and excavated. A mineral coating of white vivianite was produced when phosphorus from the animal tissue reacted with iron in the soil surrounding the bison. When the vivianite was exposed to air, it turned to a brilliant blue, earning the bison the nickname Blue Babe, after Paul Bunyan's giant blue ox.

 

 

blue1.jpg 

A radiocarbon date from a piece of skin shows that the bison died 36,000 years ago.