Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Wadi Hitan

Wadi Hitan means Whale Valley. It's a great place to snorkel with whales and other very unique sea creatures.

Except for the fact that it's in the middle of the Egyptian desert, southwest of Cairo.

Evidently during the Eocene Period (millions of years ago) this part of Egypt was part of the Mediterranean Sea, a really amazing shallow part with lots of little islands. Wadi Hitan, it seems, was a perfect protected area for whales to migrate for annual birthing.

Long story short, it dried up (or the land rose) so quickly that the place is full of whale fossils - more than 400 so far. The first one was discovered only a hundred years ago.


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