A tar pit, covered in dusty and dry leaves, with a bubble of asphalt in the center.

Marvel at prehistoric tar pits in Los Angeles

La Brea Tar Pits & Museum
Jean Pierre Contasti
Jean Pierre Contasti

As you traverse Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, stop in a location that, by exploring a natural phenomenon, will take you back in time. Surely, for tens of thousands of years the area currently occupied by Hancock Park has been the ground on which natural asphalt has seeped up. Indeed, as you’ll be able to witness first-handedly, many animals found their fate as they were trapped in the bubbly tar.

Reconstruction of a scene on which a mammoth is trapped in the tar lake.
At the site, some scenes show what would’ve happened as animals got trapped in the asphalt pits | Photo by Michael EBM

Above all, once you’ve reached La Brea, named after the Spanish word for bitumen, marvel at the possibility of exploring remains from the Ice Age. So, by roaming through the facilities, behold paleontology as it unfolds; be sure to find staff and volunteers digging while you walk and the scent of asphalt surrounds you. Certainly, your eyes will feast on the process as it occurs over the two main digging areas, Pit 91 and the so-called Project 23.

Fossil collection on a glass display inside a museum.
Part of the collection displayed at the Paleontology Lab, George C. Page Museum | Photo by Joe Mabel

Subsequently, enter the museum area and look at their work in the Fossil Lab, on which there are displayed fauna and plants from the last 50,000 years. Moreover, be lectured about the incredible specimens of prehistoric fauna retrieved, such as saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, giant ground sloths, mammoths and an American lion. To sum up, watch history be taken out of a black slimy carcass in La Brea.

Share this incredible experience as you go back in time with us on #Tripsst!

Look at black goo, you’re up!

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