A Discovery of Ukrainian Scientists in Antarctica

by Olha Povaliaieva
Sunday, September 19, 2021
A Discovery of Ukrainian Scientists in Antarctica

Scientists of the Ukrainian Antarctic station "Academician Vernadsky" found a thousand-year-old skeleton of a blue whale

A blue whale skeleton has been found on Rasmussen Island, Antarctica. Activists from the National Antarctic Science Center were able to find out his age.

"Finally, scientists from the National Antarctic Research Center of Ukraine obtained the results of radiocarbon analysis of samples made in a laboratory in Poznan, Poland. Thanks to this study, the age of the whale's remains was determined — it is 1350 years (plus/minus 30 years).

According to the NASC, the age of the whale's remains means that it lived in the 7th century AD, "in the era of the Vikings and the Mayan civilization, three centuries before Duchess Olga and Duke Volodymyr (Grand Dukes of Ukraine, editorial note)."

Regarding the species, scientists have determined that it is a blue whale — the largest whale and generally the largest animal in the world. The length of the jaw showed that this whale was at least 26 meters long. It belonged to the southern (Antarctic) subspecies — it is the largest subspecies among blue whales.

Scientists note that this discovery is of great importance, because in general, museums around the world have only a few dozen skeletons of blue whales, and most of them belong to another subspecies. Subsequent studies of whale remains will include genetic analysis, which will provide new insights into the evolution of blue whales and the demographics of their ancient, now extinct herds.

It will be recalled that the Ukrainian Antarctic station "Academician Vernadsky" has been conducting an Arctic mission since 1996. The station is located in Galindez in the Argentine archipelago and was handed over to Ukraine by the British Antarctic Faraday Station.

The station is named after the Ukrainian scientist Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky — one of the founders and first president of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

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