Ancient mammoth tusk recovered deep off the coast of the Monterey Bay

Researchers with Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) found and extracted a mammoth tusk deep under the ocean. MBARI spotted the tusk 185 miles offshore and 10,000 feet deep on top of a seamount in 2019. Researchers have confirmed that the tusk—about one meter in length—is from a Columbian mammoth. They believe it could be the oldest well-preserved mammoth tusk recovered from North America. (link to article: https://www.ksbw.com/…/monterey-bay-mammoth…/38326538)

The recovered mammoth tusk.

Not in the story, but important to the point of this post, is this information about deep ocean current speeds: “The magnitude of mean currents at depth driven by the global wind fields are on the order of 1 cm/sec.… Deep ocean currents are a function of the scale of the ocean basins and the magnitude of the wind forcing for the general circulation estimate. Once the stratification of the ocean has been set by that process, it determines the fastest growing horizontal scales for instabilities, which lead to the typical 100-200 km across ocean eddies that represent the weather component. Their speeds at depth are ~10 cm/sec.” – Prof Jeffery Paduan, former chair of NPS’ Oceanography Dept.

With that in mind, the Hjulstrom Curve is shown below. It describes water velocities, sediment (particle) sizes, and associated processes (transport, deposit, or erosion).

The point? A flow speed at depth (10,000 feet) would be 10 cm/s, maximum, meaning that the largest particle it could transport would measure about 2 mm. The tusk (~1 m = 1000 mm) represents a particle several orders of magnitude larger. Which then raises the question: what flow speed could transport the tusk 185 miles off shore? (Certainly, the mammoth didn’t swim out there.) Ans: a non-physical velocity would be required. Thus, the tusk was not transported by water to its off shore discovery location.

What happened: the mammoth lost its tusk on a (formerly subaerial) hilltop, it remained where the animal lost it, and then it became submerged under nearly two miles of Flood waters ~12,800 years ago. By luck, the MBARI researchers discovered it.

Despite this obvious explanation, one of the MBARI researchers claims that the tusk was transported to its discovery location via the mammoth corpse floating to the area. Predominant winds in the region are westerly, meaning that floating items would be blown ashore from the Pacific. (I lived in Pebble Beach, and can attest to having witnessed dead critter corpses – and their effects – that were frequently washed ashore.) Furthermore, the prevailing ocean current off the California coast is from the north. Thus, the researcher’s claim that the mammoth corpse somehow floated 180+ miles westward is but another example of pseudo-science; it is a weak attempt at fitting an observation to geology’s prevailing, erroneous ‘no Flood’ paradigm; it is anti-science, or fantasy.

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