Archaeologists uncover 'ghost footprints' that only appear when it rains

·1-min read
R. Nial Bradshaw/U.S. Air Force/Cover Images

Archaeologists working at the U.S. Air Force's Utah Test and Training Range have uncovered 88 human footprints preserved in alkali flats, believed to date back 12,000 years ago.

Principal investigator Daron Duke believes the footprints will provide invaluable insight into what daily life was like for a family that lived thousands of years before us.

"Based on excavations of several prints, we've found evidence of adults with children about five to 12 years of age that were leaving bare footprints," Duke explained.

"People appear to have been walking in shallow water, the sand rapidly infilling their print behind them - much as you might experience on a beach - but under the sand was a layer of mud that kept the print intact after infilling," he added.

According to Live Science, the findings were nicknamed "ghost footprints" because they only become visible after it rains, when they become darker in colour after being filled with moisture, before disappearing again once it's dry.

As per the Hill Air Force Base, the location of the prehistoric footprints - which has now been dubbed the Trackway Site - complements discoveries made in 2016 at the nearby Wishbone site, which is located within half a mile of what would've been a large wetland at the time.

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