Frozen below Alaska’s layer of permafrost lies ancient relics of the past. Tonight on Life Below Zero, the Hailstones search for buried treasure concealed beneath the land’s surface.
Permafrost is defined as soil that’s been frozen for at least two years. This vulnerable layer of land covers around 80% of Alaska’s surface, melting in the summer into mud to reveal the items trapped under the frost, including valuable fossils. This special type of frost has the capacity to preserve the forms of plants and animals beneath it for centuries, and the Hailstones are searching for some of the most valuable ancient remains that exist – the mammoth.
Mammoths went extinct nearly 12,000 years ago. However, their remains are preserved in the frozen permafrost, kept intact by the cold temperatures. When warmer weather arrives in Alaska, the ice melts away to reveal ancient bones in the mud. The Hailstones are on the hunt for a mammoth tusk that they can sell for large profits.
However, global climate change is eating away at Alaska’s natural layer of permafrost. The thawing of the surface layer damages buildings and roads, releasing large amounts of greenhouse gases that further damage the environment. With its permafrost increasingly turning into mud, Alaska’s climate is on its way towards irreparable damage.
Will the Hailstones uncover buried treasure, or just get stuck in the mud? Catch Life Below Zero tonight at 10P.