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Ancient Mass Graves Could Be Filled with Tsunami Victims (gizmodo.com)
31 points by curtis 11 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 14 comments

It will be interesting to see if this leads to any unique insights for human settlements that's different from what we thought we knew

As a personal fan of the crackpot theories of Stanisław Szukalski[1], these sorts of stories utterly fascinate me.

I mean, its hard to look past a flood story and not think "well, maybe we really will find Atlantis one day, zug zug .."

Not to mention .. The idea of finding tsunami/cataclysm victims by looking for diatoms is absolutely fascinating.

[1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanisław_Szukalski

I wonder if this correlates with flood myths: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_myth

Flood myths are different than Tsunami-related myths. Flood myths talk of long-term inundation, of Noah on his ark for weeks. or of land permanently becoming sea. A tsunami-related myth is something more violent and shorter in duration. Some Thunderbird stories from the pacific-northwest, of a great bird under or associated with water, are no doubt are descriptions of tsunamis.



"A struggle ensued; the ocean receded and rose again. Many canoes were flung into trees and many people were killed."

Across the pacific, the Japanese have a similar story about a giant catfish causing earthquakes.


It's not related to tsunamis, but you might be interested in the Black Sea deluge hypothesis[1].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sea_deluge_hypothesis

There is a broader theory that the Earth has a lot of water in it, and is in fact a big sponge which sometimes squeezes itself, and sometimes these massive forms of water convert and to the surface in quantities which overwhelm us, the land and all, until some process unknown, "pulls it back into the core", sponge-like.

Its a crackpot theory, but I do wonder where things are going with all these scientists having interests in flood events and other crazy weather conditions.

Is there any evidence these myths are related in historicity?

The idea of smaller diatoms (erythrocyte size) traveling from lungs to the blood and then to the marrow bone without being stopped by the inmune system seems a little excessive. What if a tsunami or a high tide just covers a previously buried corpse with saltwater? old bone tissue is spongy.

I thought about this and I believe that diatoms get into the bloodstream during the drowning event, perhaps sometimes very violently, and thus find their own way around the salty bubbles that a dead human represents, until they settle on bone marrow .. a long path-way perhaps to you and me, but maybe diatoms and other such organisms are born to find the safest parts of the big, wide ocean ..

Very unprobable. Diatoms are algae. They need two things: A substrate rich in nutrients and light. There is not reason for a diatom to deliberately settle inside an opaque bone. Moreover, any strange corpse in the bloodstream would end in the liver (and kidneys) so they would be free again and lost after the corpse decay.

> “When people die in a tsunami, they inhale saltwater that contains small marine microorganisms called diatoms, which means they suffocate and then drown ... These diatoms travel through the bloodstream and are deposited and preserved within the bone marrow of larger bones. If we can find marine diatoms, this may indicate that the body is a tsunami victim.”

If a victim drowns, is it feasible diatoms can move through the bloodstream into marrow? Drowning = death = no blood flow.

Blood flows at around 10-30cm per second and death isn't instantaneous. So it's possible.

The article has probably incorrectly presented two mistakes.

1. Diatoms would/could travel through deceased blood VESSELS as tubes or plumbing channels, but unlikely the active blood stream. And certainly not en masse, as if invading in seconds or minutes.

2. Diatoms are ordinarily destected in THE LUNGS of the deceased, upong forensic investigation. Why the lungs? BECAUSE THAT'S THE PART THAT DROWNS.

Lungs filling with water results in drowning. Sea water contains diatoms. Drowning at sea puts diatoms in the lungs. Drowning does not really put water anywhere else. This means drowning won't put diatoms anywhere water won't go.

So, even if you chop someone in half, and throw them into the sea, the diatoms aren't hell bent on going all creepy crawly and getting into the blood stream. But, after the person dies, and swish, swish, veins and arteries become rinsed out, and bones cracked in half show their interior to the ocean, yes blood vessels might incidentally become home to diatoms, in the weeks ahead, as the body deteriorates.

Now, millions of years hence, looking at fossilized remains... Might one expect diotomacious fossilization processes to affect tsunami victims, SPECIFICALLY? Yes, so there you go.

The map on that page shows a cluster of sites that could have been hit by the Tsunami from the Storegga Slide [1].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storegga_Slide

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