Scientists stumbled upon some footprints on an island in Canada which are proof that humans got there a lot earlier that we thought. There were 29 prints on the Calvert Island, and the research showed they belonged to the Pleistocene era. This is the first evidence that humans advanced so far away in the north during this time period.
The footprints date back to when Earth was frozen over
During the Pleistocene, big parts of the planet were covered in ice. Since the Calvert Island is situated in Northern Canada, researchers had assumed it must have been one of those regions that were frozen over. However, the interesting footprints appear to be 13,000 years old, which falls right within the Pleistocene period.
Therefore, these prints reveal one thing. Although this island is far in the north of Canada, ancient humans somehow managed to use navigation and reach this piece of land. Even if most of Earth was frozen over at that time, some parts might have melted and allowed access to humans.
Scientists couldn’t study the prints too well
At first, scientists assumed these humans used some primitive methods of navigation to get to the Calvert Island. However, the only fossils that indicated such watercrafts were 3,000 years newer than the footprints. Also, the footprints were of three different sizes, and appeared to have been made by bare feet.
However, they couldn’t study the area properly. The footprints were found on a beach that is now mostly covered in vegetation. They still could see the prints came from different directions, so they assumed this beach was some sort of a gathering place for ancient humans.
This is a great finding, as this type of fossils usually disappear easily. It’s remarkable to know that humans reached northern regions so early during the history of the world. They are not the oldest footprints on the continent, but show evidence of the earliest human presence in that region.
Scientists developed a study on the subject that they published in the journal PLOS One.
Image source: Pixabay