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No. 77: Sep-Oct 1991

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No unknown monsters in those fiji underwater caves:
nevertheless, the mystery deepens

A videotape of those unusual skeletons in the Fiji underwater caves mentioned above has been studied by scientists at the Queensland Museum. The are not the remains of unknown monsters -- they are only dolphin bones! But one mystery has been replaced by several. It seems that there were three different species of dolphins, and they were found at the closed ends of underwater passages that were just a bit larger than the living animals themselves. Why did three different species go into the caves at all? Why did they go all the way to the ends of the closed passages, given their excellent echo-location systems?

Pertinent here is the discovery of skeletons and recent carcasses of green turtles in similar situations in underwater caves in Indonesia. Turtles lack the dolphins' echo-location equipment, but they are still excellent navigators. (Molnar, R.E.; personal communication, July 2, 1991. Molnar is a scientist at the Queensland Museum.)

Comment. Another question comes to mind: Could the demise of the dolphins in the Fiji caves be related to the occasional strandings of whales and other cetacea on beaches all over the world? Is there a common failure in perception and/or navigation?

From Science Frontiers #77, SEP-OCT 1991. 1991-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987