Kind of sounds like the pitch for a movie doesn’t it? Well it is actually the site of the La Brea Tar Pits. These tar pits, which is really just crude oil that has thickened due to evaporation, have been around for up to 20,000 years. During that time animals would step into the sticky goo and get further and further entrapped the more they struggled. This in turn brought predators thinking they would get an easy meal and also get stuck in the tar. Check out yesterday’s “photo of the day” for a recreation of this happening.
It was not until the beginning of the 1900s that the bones found around the area were realized to actually be fossils. Since that time they have pulled up hundreds of skeletons, many of which are prehistoric and no longer around including the animals mentioned in the title. All of this right in the middle of Los Angeles. Amazing!
I have wanted to go to the La Brea Tar Pits for as long as I can remember, so when I visited my niece back in September it was the number one place I wanted to go. I found it fascinating how you could walk around Hancock Park and find pools of the black liquid covered with dirt and leaves. If not for the fences around these pools I can see how people and animals would get stuck. Inside the museum they had some fantastic displays of the fossils found including the woolly mammoth skeleton I used as a “photo of the day” a few days ago. I also really like the bird skeletons displayed with a painting of the bird behind it to help the visualization. They even let me hold the skull of a saber tooth cat! So cool!!!!!
At one point I did get some of the tar on my hand, which I tried to get off but that just made it spread. Finally we went into the museum and asked if they had anything that would help. They pulled out a big jug of a solvent cream. As I was standing there cleaning up I said they must have this happen all the time give the size of the container they gave me. The lady’s answer was “not that weren’t kids!” Well crap, haha. Of course this made my niece laugh even hard at her goofy uncle. 🙂