Melting Glaciers Reveal Remains, Wreckage in Andes

Around the world, warming climate causing glaciers to retreat
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2011 8:30 AM CST

(Newser) – Melting glaciers all along the Andes are giving up their secrets, revealing plane crashes and climbing accidents in a boon to historians and explorers, reports the New York Times. Among the recent finds: a plane that crashed in 1990, a 1947 British plane crash, an Austrian climber, and three Inca children. “There are more ice mummies in the peaks above us,” said one climber. “Melting glaciers will bring them to us.”

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The extreme cold of mountain glaciers and dry air mummify bodies as well as any found in ancient Egypt, providing much detail for researchers. “When I found the pilot, he was still strapped into his seat, crunched over like he was sleeping, some black hair falling from his skull,” says a climber. Similar discoveries are happening at glaciers around the world, as warming climates cause them to melt. “There are still some large snowbanks left in promising places, and many glaciers of all different shapes, orientations and sizes, so the finds could go on for a long time yet," said one glaciologist.

(Read more glacier stories.)

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