On Friday afternoon I received the following email from John Bowsher, whom you heard from on Unframed yesterday...
From: Bowsher, John
Sent: Friday, April 17, 2009 3:03 PM
To: Agsten, Allison
Subject: fact check please
Ok so I just walked through the park coming back from lunch. I swear on a stack of artworks that I saw the mother wooly mammoth in the tar lake moving her head, and slowly moving in the water.
Is there some way you can confirm?
As you may know, LACMA is literally a few feet from one of the world's most famous fossil localities, the La Brea Tar Pits, which is home to a number of fake prehistoric animals positioned in and around a big, bubbling lake of tar. I was certain John was yanking my chain about the wooly mammoth that we all walk past regularly, but after a few emails back and forth between us, he convinced me to go look for myself. And guess what—the beast was indeed moving. Check it out.
How can it be?
Apparently the mammoth itself is a buoy, as we learned when we went into the Page Museum to enquire. It's attached to wood and shifts around thanks to activity in and above the water. We felt better when we learned that others come in baffled, asking the same question.