The longest known beaver dam in the world was not discovered by intrepid hikers, but rather by a researcher looking at “Google Earth”.
Beavers are one of the few species capable of creating structures that are significant enough to be seen from space. The toothy critters are remarkable environmental engineers. Their dams reroute streams and thus are capable of alterIng entire ecosystems. The creations, which are built to last, are barriers that form ponds, which in turn serve as defensive moats to protect the beavers from predators.
The dam, located in Wood Buffalo National Park in the Canadian province of Alberta, measures some 2,790 ft long, more than twice the length of the Hoover Dam. It was first spotted in 2007 by a Canadian researcher studying satellite photos. Its existence was verified in May of 2010 when rangers from Parks Canada took photos of it from a helicopter.
The dam is believed to be the work of several generations of beavers, who have probably been busy at the site since the mid-1970s. It stretches across a remote wetland area, which provides the creatures with plenty of fresh water and bountiful building materials.
The isolated location makes it difficult for any curious human to reach and disturb the site, which is located around 50 miles from the nearest human settlement.
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- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 4 cups beef broth
- 3 (15.5-ounce) cans black eyed peas, not drained
- 3 potatoes, peeled, diced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper