It’s hard to believe that Egypt was once an ocean. Deadly creatures that are now extinct used to roam the surface back then. Fossils of various prehistoric carnivorous whales are present in the Faiyum Governorate of Egypt. The site is exceptionally beautiful and is called ‘Wadi El Hitan’. It has multiple skeletons of some of the earliest forms of sea animals.
The world looked different 40 million years ago. The prehistoric whale, also known as basilosaurus, was probably the biggest animal that existed in the world back then. According to the scientists, the whale was over 20 metres in size; it had a long slender body with legs. It also had massive, sharp teeth.
The prehistoric whales had legs and were extremely lethal. It is hard to imagine whales walking on two feet in this day and age. However, just like humans, whales have evolved too. The ones we now have are not as deadly. However, in ancient times, they certainly were.
We have accumulated ten interesting facts about the valley of whales for you:
1. The basilosaurus whales died and descended to the seabed. The world around them changed and what was once water, turned into a desert.
2. The valley of whales is a UNESCO World Heritage site and often attracts tourists and history enthusiasts from all across the globe.
3. As tectonic plates moved continents around the globe, this particular part of Africa was thrust out of the sea. The bones of the whales remained safe in the scorching sand.
4. The bones of basilosaurus were discovered in the previous century. Humans dug them out when they spotted a fossil or two.
5. There are over 400 prehistoric skeletons in the valley of whales. Experts and archaeologists say that there must be more. The excavations will soon commence again.
6. It’s not just the basilosaurus that you’ll find at the valley of whales. There are also remains of another whale from a similar period called the Dorudon, which was much smaller in size.
7. There are 12 different types of fossils in the valley of whales. All belong from the prehistoric period.
8. Scientists have also discovered fossils of other sea creatures such as prehistoric turtles, sharks, and crocodiles.
9. There is a museum in the valley of whales. The museum contains multiple fossils, including a pair of legs that once belonged to the prehistoric whales.
10. There are even fossils of mangrove trees, revealing it was presumably a shallow sea with bays and small islands.
All in all, it is evident that the prehistoric whales once lived on the surface. According to scientists, they could move to the land and remain there. The bones that are present in the valley of whales are not just ordinary bones; they indicate that once creatures such as basilosaurus lived on the Earth. It is indeed a massive discovery, but various other significant fossils are yet to be discovered. That particular area is full of prehistoric creatures. The valley of whales is only 100 meters far from Cairo. If you ever get a chance to visit Egypt, do visit it. Certain people only visit old Egypt and leave other fascinating sites.