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The plateau of dinosaurs in Turkmenistan

The plateau of dinosaurs in Turkmenistan

The plateau of dinosaurs is a unique and mysterious place. It takes pride of place even among the numerous sights of the amazing Kugitang - Koytendag, located in the extreme south-east of Turkmenistan.

The plateau of dinosaurs is located three kilometers south-west of the mountain village of Khodzhapil, which name in Turkmen means “holy elephants”. An ancient local legend considered the footprints of dinosaur limbs traces of the elephants of troops of the legendary ancient military leader Iskander Zulkarnein - Alexander the Great. The name of the village and the ancient legend of unusual footprints indicate that the locals have been aware of them for a very long time.

They initially indicated the location of the traces to local lore and geologists who made scientific reports about it in the second half of the last century. Gradually, the entire world of scientists of the USSR became aware of the discovery. The plateau was investigated by experts from the Paleontological Institute and the Institute of Geology of the USSR Academy of Sciences, groups of students from various universities.


The plateau of dinosaurs is about 400 meters in length  and 300 meters in width. There are about 3000 well-preserved dinosaur tracks and 31 trails in this area. Such a large number of dinosaur footprints in one place on the planet has not been found anywhere else. Megalosaurs moved along 26 trails of 31. The longest of the trails - 195 meters, 226 meters, 266 meters and 311 meters, which is the \ "world record \". Before the discovery in Turkmenistan, the dinosaur trail in Portugal was considered the longest in the world - 147 meters. At the same time traces of the megalosaur are the largest of all known, belonging to the Jurassic period. All these facts provide the plateau of dinosaurs in Turkmenistan the status of a unique, without no analogys on the planet.

 Megalosaurs were carnivorous and rather large dinosaurs with a large head, long jaws and sharp teeth. They hunted on the coastal strip of reservoirs, ran on two powerful hind limbs with four fingers, where the fourth finger is a growth with a claw on the back of the paw. Their short front legs with three fingers did not touch the ground, that is, they moved vertically on two legs. The dimensions of their tracks reach 70 cm in length and 65 cm in width, the greatest step length is more than two meters. Traces of a smaller dinosaur were also found - they were triply, most of them on the plateau.

Millions of years ago, the territory along which the lizards moved so actively was most likely a swamp in the coastal zone, which is why the deep imprints of dinosaurs hunted there for small animals were well preserved. Then the swamp dried and petrified, and with them the footprints. In the course of mountain-building processes in the composition of the mountain range, this place rose above the ground and tilted. Gradually, the rains and mudflows washed away the layers of the soil, and a real miracle of paleontology opened up to the eyes of man.


The discovery of the plateau of dinosaurs was accompanied by another sensation - traces of not only dinosaurs were discovered on the plateau, but also some other, allegedly \ "human-like \" creatures. One of the first was reliably recorded by several petrified \ "human \" tracks among the multitude of dinosaur tracks the third expedition of the Institute of Geology of the Academy of Sciences of the Turkmen SSR in staff with Kurban Amanniyazov, Vitaliy Plutalov, Oleg Gorbachev.

 \ "Human \" footprints were markedly different from those that left the legs of three-toed dinosaurs. The track is oblong, visible heel. The length of a clearly distinguishable print was 26 cm, which corresponds to the 43rd size of modern man’s shoes. In  total six of such tracks were found. Their age was determined in the range of 150-200 million years.

 This sensation was reported in 1983 by the “Moscow News” newspaper (No. 24, p. 10) with reference to the director of the geological museum of the Turkmen State University. The news sounded even in the program "Time", entered into the TASS reports.

Kurban Amanniyazov mentioned \ "unidentified traces \" in a scientific article published in 1985 in the collection of the Institute of Geology of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan - \ "The unique traces of Upper Jurassic dinosaurs in Turkmenistan \". He wrote, in particular: \ "One more thing should be pointed out. There is an imprint that resembles a trace of a humanoid creature. It is fuzzy, but quite recognizable. There is not enough scientific evidence of its belonging to a humanoid creature, but research continues \" .


Reports of finding traces of \ "human-like \" being among the footprints of dinosaur limbs flashed on the pages of many central Soviet newspapers. At the request of the popular Soviet magazine \ "Around the World \" Kurban Amanniyazov wrote an article about an unusual discovery (it was published in number 10 in 1986). It must be said that the publication of this sensation had a certain negative effect. The number of amateur tourists who wanted to visit a unique plateau has sharply increased. According to the words of Kurban Amanniyazov, one of the most well-preserved \ "human \" prints was destroyed by someone, probably in an attempt to take this \ "souvenir \" with them ...


Years passed, and interest in unusual finds did not fade. On January 31, 1995, Alexander Bushev, once a correspondent for \ "Komsomol Truth \" in Turkmenistan, published an article in it entitled \ "Human imprints are among thousands of dinosaur tracks on the Turkmen plateau \". He continued his publications in 2009 with an article \ "A Jurassic man was found in Turkmenistan \". The article undoubtedly bears a touch of yellowness and sensationalism, but it is based on facts that have become known to the journalist from Kurban Amanniyazov.


In the Western press, the sensational discoveries became\ "widely known in narrow circles \" and the plateau of dinosaurs began to be called \ "Turkmen Payluxy \". What does this mean? There is a concept called \ "creationism \", which rejects the theory of evolution and believes that our world was created by God at the same time along with all known forms of organic life of all ages. One of its directions \ "creationism of the young Earth \" asserts that in fact our planet is not more than 7-10 thousand years old and therefore man could coexist with those forms of life that science considers extinct millions of years ago.


In 1909, a Texan Ernest Adams in the vicinity of the Payluxy River, which flows near the town of Glen Rose, found strange three-fingered footprints imprinted in the limestone bottom of one of the tributaries of this river. It soon became clear that these were traces of bipedal carnivorous dinosaurs called theropods. The following year, other traces were found that somehow resembled human traces. The most interesting thing is that \ "human \" traces and traces of dinosaurs intersected!

If the strange tracks from the Payluxy were indeed left by our ancient humanoid ancestors, the theory of evolution would have been disproved once and for all. After all, according to modern concepts, dinosaurs died out about 65 million years ago! Creationists have been researching Glen Rose for half a century and have used traces of the trail as a refutation of the theory of evolution in many books, booklets and films.


For a long time, the scientific community did not pay attention to the Payluxy phenomenon, but in 1979, a biology student, Glen Cuban, after reading anti-evolutionary literature, became interested in mysterious traces. In the summer of next year, he, together with a friend, went to Glen Rose to learn everything on the spot.


After excavating, photographing and documenting many traces, the researchers realized that some of them were nothing more than a result of erosion. However, the main finding was waiting for Cuban and his friend on the so-called Taylor site: it turned out that \ "human \" footprints are no more than elongated dinosaur footprints, some of which are damaged - at first glance really looked like human tracks. In general, it was a three-toed footprints with elongated \ "heels \". The elongation of the track was explained by the method of movement of dinosaurs: they were stopping, that is, they left not only the fingerprints of three fingers, but also footprints, which, for some reason, were not visible, could be mistaken for human footprints. Glen Cuban explained the appearance of \ "human-like prints \" deformation of dinosaur footprints.

And shortly after scientific articles appeared that disproved the \ "Payluxy phenomenon \", news came from the USSR of a similar nature - In Turkmenistan, traces of human-like creatures were found next to dinosaur tracks. Creationists perk up. Kurban Amanniyazov received a letter in which was wrote: \ "In \" Sidney Gazette \ "dated November 27, 1983, a TASS report was printed that about 1500 footprints of dinosaurs were found in Turkmenistan. Along with footprints of dinosaur footprints, footprints resembling footprints were found. The members of our geological group excavated human and dinosaur footprints in 1983 near Glen Rose (Texas, USA). Traces were found under a 40-centimeter layer of chalk and clay (marl) two meters apart. We would be very interested to learn more about your discovery and research in this area in exchange for information about our discoveries that you are interested in. We hope that sharing this information will be mutually useful and extremely productive. \ "

During the Soviet period, foreign expeditions could not get on south of the USSR, especially on the border with Afghanistan. After gaining independence by Turkmenistan, the situation has changed.

In 1996, plateau of dinosaurs were studied by American scientists Meyer and Lockley during an expedition sponsored by the US National Geographic Society. In a small article printed in 1996 there was no mention of \ "human-like \" tracks, it was simply stated that some of the prints are longer in length than in width.

In August 2000, a famous creationist Dr. Dennis Swift from the Dinosaur Institute of the Museum of Natural History in Los Angeles (USA) visited the plateau of dinosaurs. The employees of the Turkmen Institute of Geology Khalmurad Khudaykuliyev, Hemra Durdyev, Nuriddin Ishkabulov and Hudainazar Narbaev accompanied Swift.


Dr. Swift was allowed to conduct all the necessary research and, in particular, to make casts of dinosaur footprints and \ "humanoid \" creatures.


Scientists have confirmed the presence of mysterious traces, although they could not explain to whom they belong. Swift's expedition discovered another equally amazing fact: beside the dinosaur footprints one could clearly see the impressions of someone’s hoofs. Turkmen experts who got acquainted with them, admitted that they are identical to the tracks of modern mountain goats who live in Kugitang today. This is also a scientific mystery.

Following the results of his expedition, Dennis Swift published an article entitled \ "Human and dinosaur footprints in Turkmenistan? \" - \ "Imprints of human and dinosaur footprints in Turkmenistan? \" –

After the Dennis Swift expedition, the real battle between evolutionists and creationists took place on the Internet, with photos of imprints dinosaurs from the Turkmen plateau were regarded and disputed as the main evidence. Glen Cuban did not stand aside, having devoted an article to the analysis of footprints on the plateau of dinosaurs in Kugitang.

 Discovered the mysterious facts picked up and pick up all sorts of explanations. Some scientists are convinced that tens and hundreds of millions of years ago, reptiles unknown to science could be found on Earth, whose extremities left traces very similar to human ones. Other experts argue that during geological disasters fragments of different terrestrial layers could be mixed up - more ancient with newer ones, those that bear the traces of dinosaurs, with layers of the Stone Age.


Modern science claims that dinosaurs died suddenly at the end of the Mesozoic, having existed for more than 160 million years. There are about one hundred dinosaur extinction theories. Most popular: they died from a supernew explosion; from the collision of the Earth with a large asteroid; they have been poisoned by angiosperms that have replaced the gymnosperms; died of thirst due to the drying up of reservoirs; dinosaur eggshells thinned due to a lack of calcium and small mammals began to eat eggs; the shell of dinosaur eggs was too thick and children of dinosaurs could no longer pierce it, the dinosaurs were destroyed by the cold associated with the onset of the glacial period; dinosaurs destroyed the eruption of a volcano, which threw a huge amount of ash into the air, etc., etc.


However, there is a completely fantastic hypothesis. It is presented in the book of the paleontologist and famous Soviet science fiction writer I.A. Yefremov. In a popular form, it can be summarized as follows: dinosaurs were exterminated by humanoid aliens who suddenly appeared on Earth. In the story of Yefremov, two paleontologists discover the skull of an alien under the petrified dinosaur skeleton ... \ "Human-like \" traces from the Turkmen plateau of dinosaurs were immediately adopted by ufologists, who believe that they could belong to humanoids from distant planets who hunted giant props.

Some suggest, relying on a considerable amount of evidence, that primitive lizards are still found in remote corners of the planet, such as the jungles of Central Africa or the Amazonia, and maybe in Loch Ness. According to them, several thousand years ago, dinosaurs could coexist with people, leaving their mark on fairy-tales and legends under the name of dragons. If we recall that it was in Turkmenistan, in the village of Anau, that a mosque was erected in the Middle Ages, on the gable of which were depicted dragons (the plot has no analogues anywhere in the Muslim world), this leads to some thoughts ...

In November 2, 2013 a delegation of the National Geographic Society of the United States of America arrived in Turkmenistan and included a research team and a film crew. Film documentaries made a film about historical and natural objects of Turkmenistan, including the plateau of dinosaurs. These film materials are supposed to be shown on the television channel \ "National Geographic \" and millions of viewers around the world will learn about the wonders of a distant Central Asian country.


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