Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Mammoth notes
I was doing a little woolly mammoth research today and came across these sentences as the opening to a book review:
"In 1901, a frozen mammoth's penis was discovered on the Berezovka River in Siberia. The organ was erect, nearly three feet long and, having been flattened in the icy tundra, eight inches in diameter."

Now I'm not one to resist a prurient and cheap shot, but this one made me gasp with admiration. The review appeared in The London Review of Books and was a review of Mammoth: The Resurrection of an Ice Age Giant by Richard Stone. I have the book and read it years ago. It is not a book about frozen penises.

The penis in question was attached to and underneath an intact frozen mammoth. The Berezovka mammoth is perhaps the most famous frozen mammoth of them all. In the century since it was excavated and documented, truth and myth have flowed around it. Creationists have called it evidence for The Flood. Velikovsky, Hapgood, and others have all cited the Berezovka penis and the mammoth attached to it as proof of their theories.

In the next few chapters of my mammoth tales the Berezovka mammoth will play a very major role, but the three foot penis will play a very small role. I hope you are not disappointed.

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