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Mammoth Ivory Prospecting

Take advantage of melting icecaps to prospect for mammoth ivory
  (+2, -6)
(+2, -6)
  [vote for,

Ok, billionare investors, listen up. Elephants have been going extinct for some time now, and therefore it has been and still is illegal to kill them for ivory. So ivory is more valuable than ever, but there is only one legitimate source for it; extinct mastadons/wolly mammoths. (Well, maybe you can collect it from dead modern elephants, but it sounds like a lot of red tape.)

So the other eco-disaster that can help one cash in on this-- global warming! Icecaps and glaciers all over the world are melting, no doubt exposing more and more frozen mammoths, maybe even depositing their remains in glacial rock fields. So why not go looking for tusks? Combine existing and commissioned satellite photos, big double-bladed helicopters, and hardy Alaskan guys with shovels and/or Thermite bombs-- and bring back a whole lotta white gold. -BJL

bjl8, Sep 05 2006

http://www.planetar...ry.cfm?newsid=22635 "Mammoth ivory, now starting to come onto the market in large quantities as global warming thaws the permafrost in Canada and Russia and exposes the corpses of the long-dead woolly giants, is virtually indistinguishable from elephant ivory." [jutta, Sep 05 2006]

(?) How to tell elephant ivory from mammoth. http://www.lab.fws....Ivory/elephant.html
Schreger line angle > 115 degrees. [jutta, Sep 05 2006]

(?) Mammoth Tusks from the North Sea http://www.yukonmus...ammoth/abstre-g.htm
See introduction about halfway down the page. [DrBob, Sep 05 2006]

Ivory Charachteristics http://www.asian-ar...tal-treats/fake.htm
[jhomrighaus, Sep 05 2006]


       mfd - "oops, buggar"   

       hmmmm, might open the market for more contemporary ivory again which would be awful.
po, Sep 05 2006

       Well considering that artificial ivory(plastic) is indistinguishable from its real counterpart, I cant really see the point.
jhomrighaus, Sep 05 2006

       Do you have a reference for that claim to indistinguishability?
jutta, Sep 05 2006

       I read a posting by a scuba diver who signed up for a drift dive downstream from a dam. The current makes it difficult to stay in one place, but the riverbed was full of fossils.   

       Over the course of the dive people on the boat surfaced with various finds - jawbones and the like.   

       On the last dive the author found a mastedon tusk. He expended all his air trying to dig it out, but ran out and had to leave it there, and had no way to mark the location. Too bad, one hell of a souvenir.
normzone, Sep 05 2006

       Wouldn't elephant ivory have detectable traces of strontium 90?   

       As for //artificial ivory(plastic) is indistinguishable from its real counterpart//.... I'm off to tinkle the old Polypropylenes   

       "Oh Nellie the elephant packed her trunk and waved goodbye to the circus... Off she went with a trumpety trump. Trump, Trump,Trump.... "   

       Did you know that Mammoth were very fond of fish and chips?
xenzag, Sep 05 2006

       For decades now trawlermen have been dredging up mammoth tusks almost daily from the middle of the North Sea. Strange but true (linky).
DrBob, Sep 05 2006

       Ok so they are not indistinguishable but for all intents and purposes there are viable and readily available substitutes that cannot be distinguished without very close scutiny(in some cases chemical and or microscopic inspection) and for normal reasons(appearance) there does not appear to be a need for real ivory to be used.   

       See link.
jhomrighaus, Sep 05 2006

       Right, right, unless you're a collector who wants things precisely because they're rare, there's no actual reason to use ivory. I concur - just figured the idea's author was partially after that market.
jutta, Sep 05 2006

       well considering he is proposing to melt the icepack with thermite bombs I would say he's at least somewhere over on that side of the line. Besides most collectors are more interested in the age and authenticity of thier items than so much the material. If a great scrimshaw artist produced a piece in french celluloid ivory I doubt very highly that its value would be hurt by the medium he used.
jhomrighaus, Sep 05 2006

       Fuck the animals, I want the ice!
daseva, Sep 05 2006

       Thanks for the links. I didn't research before posting. Certainly I knew that people were already harvesting the stuff; I just thought about going hi-tech with it. And yes, I did come up with it independently. I only thought of the global warming part today-- I kept wondering how they'd dig them out of the ice?   

       Isotopic analysis would have an easy time distinguishing these from the modern stuff- carbon-14 dating alone would do that.   

       Bah, thermite's nothing. If I wanted to do damage I'd go nuclear.   

       Hope you'll excuse any social blunders, I'm a complete newbie to the site. -BJL
bjl8, Sep 05 2006

       //Hope you'll excuse any social blunders, //

Haven't spotted any yet but never fear, if you do make one, you'll know about it pretty quickly ;o)
DrBob, Sep 05 2006

       As a wide-eyed innocent, I have to ask: [po], what does your opening statement mean?
bjl8, Sep 05 2006

       //[marked-for-deletion] what's the new category where you read something and now you remember it as if it were your own idea.// replying to [phlish]
po, Sep 06 2006

       Given that mammoths are already extinct, and data regarding their lifestyle is hard enough for paleontologists to obtain, I would have to side against this idea.
ye_river_xiv, Aug 10 2011


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