Arctic exhibition park possible
Svalbard could get its own “Jurassic Park,” showcasing fossils from the archipelago
Behind the initiative to create a domed park to exhibit fossils is the Svalbard Museum, located in Longyearbyen.
Staff there wants to build a park with a glass dome where large fossils found on the groups of islands can be set out and viewed.
The idea of the dome at what is hoped to be another tourist attraction, irrespective of the weather, is to bring in surrounding light in the dark months of the year. It is also intended that the dome be visible from planes when flying into Longyearbyen airport, reports NRK.
The Barents Sea surrounding Svalbard was uplifted about 60 million years ago, with different sediments spanning the last 600 million years containing fossils. Moreover, northern parts of Svalbard are up to 3.2 billion years old.
University of Oslo Paleontologist Jørn Hurum, who supports the move, has been excavating fossils in Svalbard for many years.
As well as having identified a 50-foot-long fossil predator known as “T. rex of the ocean,” his findings also include a 13-meter-long (nearly 43 feet) Pliosaurus (a marine predator) that existed there about 147 million years ago.
“There are amazing fossils almost everywhere [on Svalbard], so I think setting them out in an orderly manner in Longyearbyen is important,” Hurum told the broadcaster.
“It’s going to be expensive,” said Svalbard Museum director Tora Hultgreen about the project called “Jurassic Park,” currently under consideration by the Arts Council Norway, “but I believe it’ll be worth every krone.”
It also appeared in the Sept. 4 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.