I finally visited the #LaBreaTarPits in #LosAngeles. They are a link to the #IceAge, up to 50,000 years ago with more than 100 excavations of plants and animals that lived in the L.A. Basin.
The on-site museum is home to one of the largest collections of Ice Age fossils in the world! I am grateful that visiting the Tar Pits is free! There is a small charge for the museum.
What surprised me is that they are #alive still today! That is, crude oil still seeps to the surface through fissures in the Earth, and as the oil evaporates heavy tar or asphalt remains in sticky pools. Fossil fuels continually seep through and emerge in the grass as “oil” on the surface. Thus, you see cones and fenced areas marking the fresh oil that bubbles up constantly, warning visitors to be careful where they step, or let their children play.
You even see the “spray of oil” on light posts and grassy areas on the more than 20 acres of the grounds. New oil spots emerge often and the grounds keepers fence off the areas of oil. The grass and plants are a rich green and the grounds are fertile. During my visit, I watched the oil bubble in the apparent pond. It was amazing.
These tar pits trapped animals, even large mammoths, that could not free themselves so died of starvation and exhaustion, or from exposure to the sun’s heat. More than 3.5 million fossils from 600-plus species have been discovered and are still being discovered today.
I have never felt so connected with the past of our planet as I did when touring the La Brea Tar Pits.
I have deep gratitude for this visit on this Earth Day! #LaBreaTarPits