"The History and Mystery of Russia’s ‘Valley of Death’" Discussion Thread

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This article recalled an incident in Cameroon a few years back in which hundreds if not thousands of people died of toxic gas from an erupting volcano in the region. With regard to the missing dead animals from the Valley of Death, my first guess would be that they were removed for processing for their hides and meat. Since they were in such a good state of preservation it would be a windfall treasure for local people who were aware of them. The paucity of human victims would also suggest that those who removed them knew not to linger too long. Thus they would have removed them to a safe location rather than processing them on the spot.
Recalling another recent discussion here on Atlas Obscura, Siberian mammoths frozen for tens of thousands of years have been harvested for their ivory for ages. Their meat supposedly still edible, at least by dogs, was a little freezer burned. Another article recounted how a frozen extinct bison found in Alaska had provided a vintage steak dinner for the paleontologist’s pals. After dinner reviews stated that steaks, while odd in flavor, were at least not gagworthy.


Gas chromatography- that should tell us the gas composition(s) in the valley. Easy to take gas samples and run tests in a lab.

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Similar phenomenon has been reported on in the Sierra Nevada’s near Mammoth Lakes, CA for years. There are large sections of the public areas of the mountain closed after a disaster in the early 2000’s involving a ski patrol team.