Would you believe me if I said Lynyrd Skynard’s song “That Smell” is actually based on a Russian children’s folk song about archaeological finds? You shouldn’t, but the smell of ancient animal remains is apparently so distinct that an 11-year-old boy in Russia just found what might be the most perfectly preserved mammoth ever.
Zhenya Salinder was walking his dogs near his home in Siberia when an overpowering odour led him to the grave of a 30,000-year-old mammoth that’s very much intact — it included a skeleton, ears, a tusk and a one-metre long penis. Even better than the 10,000-year-old mammoth found earlier this year.
The mammoth is over 1.8m high, weighed around half a tonne and was likely 16 when it croaked. The St Petersburg Zoology Institute excavated the beast, and it’s now en route to Moscow where it will be studied more closely. [BBC News, The Telegraph via PopSci]