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Aliens didn't do it
December 10, 2013 7:06 AM   Subscribe

The mystery of the Mima mounds may have been solved.
posted by Artw (42 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
SPOILER: It was aliens!
posted by Mister_A at 7:13 AM on December 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm not saying it was aliens....but it was alien gophers.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:16 AM on December 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


So, if we predate the gophers according to some simple rules over hundreds of years, we can create 3d shapes of arbitrary design. ;-0
posted by MikeWarot at 7:17 AM on December 10, 2013


Are you saying there's One Weird Trick to Create Mima Mounds Using Gophers?
posted by Mister_A at 7:19 AM on December 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


So it was the queer gophers who were doing it to our soil all along?

SOMEBODY CALL SCOTT WOLTER AND STUART AND CRAZY HAIRED ANCIENT ASTRONAUT THEORISTS EVERYWHERE
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:19 AM on December 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


But who put the gophers there, ehh? EHH?
posted by Wretch729 at 7:19 AM on December 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


Not only that - who put the gopher-putters there to begin with?
posted by Mister_A at 7:21 AM on December 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


But who put the gophers there, ehh? EHH?

A team led by Mark P. McCahill at the University of Minnesota.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:22 AM on December 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


They laughed at this pastor's biblical method of prairie-mound-making.
posted by jquinby at 7:23 AM on December 10, 2013


I never did gopher the alien thing.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:25 AM on December 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


SHOCKING DEVELOPMENT!!
posted by NoMich at 7:26 AM on December 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is what happens when you don't have Bill Murray as groundskeeper.
posted by Mooski at 7:29 AM on December 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Now, Artw, If you look at the soil around any large US city that has a big underground burrowing rodent population. Des Moines, Iowa, for example. Look at the soil around Des Moines, Artw. You can't build on it, you can't grow anything in it. The government says it's due to poor farming. But I know what's really going on, Artw! I know it's the gophers! They're in it with the aliens! They're building landing strips for Martian hedgehogs! I swear to God!
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:32 AM on December 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


Thank God gophers are extinct, as I cannot abide hemispherical earth mounds laid out in geometrically regular matrices. I mean, fuck that shit!
posted by Mister_A at 7:33 AM on December 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


“Over the past couple of hundred years, people thought they might be Native American burial mounds, or they were caused by earthquakes or glaciers. Some people even suggested extraterrestrials.”

Geeze there are some ridiculous theries out there! I mean earthquakes? Like the earth unexpectedly moves? Pshaw!
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:35 AM on December 10, 2013


I knew gophers couldn't be trusted.
posted by ChuckRamone at 7:36 AM on December 10, 2013


If you read carefully, the mystery has NOT been solved because:

1) Mima mounds exist all over the world, not just the US.
2) Gophers are only found in the US.
posted by vacapinta at 7:40 AM on December 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


If you read carefully

Be reasonable man!
posted by Mister_A at 7:41 AM on December 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Obligatory.
posted by Dodecadermaldenticles at 8:01 AM on December 10, 2013


If you read carefully, the mystery has NOT been solved because:

1) I AM A GHOST
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:02 AM on December 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


awesome, yet another text post that states "If you look at the pictures, you can see clearly..." and then does not include the pictures, which are really quite interesting.
posted by rebent at 8:22 AM on December 10, 2013


Huh, it's funny, rebent, but both linked stories in the OP had pictures of the jawns in question. So perhaps you're off your nut?
posted by Mister_A at 8:23 AM on December 10, 2013


Aliens didn't do it
Then you mean the mystery of the Mima mounds may have been covered up!
posted by Flunkie at 8:31 AM on December 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Huh, it's funny, rebent, but both linked stories in the OP had pictures of the jawns in question. So perhaps you're off your nut?

Aliens
posted by Artw at 8:35 AM on December 10, 2013


the mystery of the Mima mounds may have been covered up!

Don't let them bury this story.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 8:39 AM on December 10, 2013


they have pictures of the actual mounds, but not the computer simulation
posted by rebent at 9:03 AM on December 10, 2013


Here's a BBC piece that has photos of actual Mima Mounds, a gopher, AND the computer simulation! (I live not too far from Mima Mounds, and a local friend tweeted the BBC story.
posted by epersonae at 9:07 AM on December 10, 2013


I refuse to believe that advanced beings are not visiting us in secret to make dirtballs.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 9:15 AM on December 10, 2013


Mima Mounds sounds like a terrible 1970s porn star name.
posted by elizardbits at 9:16 AM on December 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


> Huh, it's funny, rebent, but both linked stories in the OP had pictures of the jawns in question.

jawns?

I hate this decade — I never know if someone's using a shitty input device, using technical jargon from outside my field, or I've missed out on a new bit of slang.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:24 AM on December 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


All of the above, B.
posted by Mister_A at 9:25 AM on December 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


oh my god I'm finally becoming a Philadelphian

I didn't even realized you said jawn I just read it and moved on

if I start talking in tongues and saying "wudder" I'm definitely blaming aliens
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:30 AM on December 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


vacapinta: "If you read carefully, the mystery has NOT been solved because:

1) Mima mounds exist all over the world, not just the US.
2) Gophers are only found in the US.
"

"Dr Gabet believes moles could also create the formations..."
posted by Karmakaze at 9:39 AM on December 10, 2013


Link to the paper [pdf].
posted by agentofselection at 9:52 AM on December 10, 2013


Oh, please. Don't make a mountain out of a... uh....

Carry on.
posted by Devonian at 10:06 AM on December 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought they were made by The Black Eyed Peas.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:31 AM on December 10, 2013


I know most people are hitting this thread to make funny LULz, but believe it or not I'm a published gopher biologist (pdf) and before I left the profession in the late 1990s I had many discussions with colleagues about the origin of Mima Mounds. And, for the record, I was dead wrong on their origin.

This is an email I had earlier this morning with a former colleague:

I remember [two other gopher biologists] bringing up Mima Mounds to you and me once. I think we'd both been to that Mima Mounds park in Washington at some point, and both thought it ridiculous that anyone thought gophers could create mounds that big. But, the theory is pretty reasonable once you digest it-- the area is prone to waterlogging, and the mounds are built up after multiple generations of gophers doing the same kind of repetitive behavior to improve their (very wet) subterranean lot in life. It's an evolutionary argument-- if the tiny steps to make giant mima mound are beneficial and can build on previous tiny steps, then it follows that things will keep moving that direction until you have GIANT MIMA MOUNDS. It does make some sense. Not sure if the computer model "proves" it (Scientists Say More Study is Needed!), but it doesn't hurt.


Thought I'd just throw that in. Resume LULzing.
posted by mcstayinskool at 11:00 AM on December 10, 2013 [14 favorites]


We like science AND lulz.
posted by Mister_A at 11:11 AM on December 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh I do too. The link to the paper I put in my first post actually goes to that honey badger video. Or was it Rick Astley.

badger badger badger badger badger
posted by mcstayinskool at 11:47 AM on December 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Occam's razor.

It's obviously hobbits.
posted by zennie at 2:47 PM on December 10, 2013


Ridiculous! Next they'll be telling us Beavers create giants mounds out of sticks and mud.
posted by zakur at 4:41 PM on December 10, 2013


...gophers doing the same kind of repetitive behavior to improve their (very wet) subterranean lot in life.

Wet gophers, huh? Doubtful.

Where are their webbed feet, I ask you?
posted by BlueHorse at 6:35 PM on December 10, 2013


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