There Are Plans For A Real-Life 'Jurassic Park' With Woolly Mammoths and Other Extinct Creatures
When Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park hit theaters 25 years ago, it seemed like a sci-fi fantasy that's too far-fetched to be true.
Now, with the strides made in genetics and cloning, scientists say such a park could become reality in just 10 years, with woolly mammoths and other long-dead animals brought back to life.
An Ice Age Park In Russia
Yakutia, also known as the Sakha Republic, is the largest region in the Russian Federation.
Aisen Nikolaev, acting head of the region, tells Siberian Times that him and his friends suggested an Ice Age park with mammoths back in 2014. He recalls people laughing at them then but adds that there are more positive reactions nowadays.
Now, his vision is on its way to becoming reality.
After all, Yukutia is already home to the Pleistocene Park, which is a private reserve that's dedicated to restoring the mammoth steppe ecosystem in the late Pleistocene. The mass extinction that occurred during this epoch included the demise of the woolly mammoth.
Woolly Mammoths, Cave Lions, And Extinct Horses To Populate Reserve
Of course, what is an Ice Age park without the animals?
The woolly mammoth is one of the creatures expected to roam the reserve. The gigantic behemoths have been wiped out from the planet for thousands of years, but traces of woolly mammoth DNA in the permafrost make it possible to bring them back to life.
According to Nikolaev, better quality mammoth remains crops up every year, giving experts a better shot at cloning the massive animal.
"In my opinion, this [cloning a mammoth] will happen in the next decade," he continues. "Technology is developing at an explosive pace, and what yesterday seemed to be scientific nonsense, today is an absolutely clear prospect for scientists."
Regional government officials in far eastern Yakutia have reportedly approved the scientists' project to clone the long-dead animals.
South Korean and Japanese scientists are working with Russia to achieve this goal, saying that elephants could be used as surrogate mothers and carry the clones to term.
Aside from these giants, cave lions and extinct horses could also be brought back from the dead for the park. Scientists are attempting to clone these animals using remains from 40,000 years ago.
"I am certain that with the current speed of development of genetic technologies we will be able to reach some real results in the near future," Nikolaev says. "This, of course, will be a revolution."