If you travel to White Sands, New Mexico, not only is the home to the White Sands Missile Range, it's also been the sight for popular movies like Transformers. White Sands is also home to the White Sands National Park. It's a great place for hiking, sledding, off-roading, flying hot air balloons and let's not forget...discovering ancient footprints! More specifically, possibly THE oldest set of human footprints in North America.

Edge of Forever Photography / Miguel Vigil
Edge of Forever Photography / Miguel Vigil

How old are the footprints found in White Sands New Mexico?

According to the Coastal Bend Chronicles, scientists used a technique called "optical stimulated luminescence"; which is using electrons trapped between the valence and conduction bands in the crystalline structure of minerals.

By using OSL, the set of footprints they found are said to be around 21,000 to 23,000 years old; meaning that it's possible these human beings could've existed around the times of the wooly mammoths. This was further confirmed by the US Geological Society (USGS) by using radiocarbon dating. They also confirmed that the set of human footprints would indeed be 21,000 - 23,000 years old.

There have been more sightings of ancient human footprints found at White Sands National Park; the National Park Service has listed many more findings around Lake Otero dating all the way back to the 1940s.

So if you're a history buff, or you love traveling, now you have another reason to explore White Sands: you might find ancient history. And who knows? Perhaps you'll find something that the scientists have YET to discover.

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