17, 300 Year Old Kangaroo is Now Australia’s Oldest Known Rock Painting


In mind-boggling news, scientists have just confirmed the discovery of Australia’s oldest known rock artwork in the Kimberley region of WA.

Recorded at the spritely age of 17, 300 years young, the two-metre ochre artwork depicts a kangaroo and was revealed with the help of a ‘radiocarbon technique that analysed wasp nests that were underneath and on top of the ochre-based paint’, according to the Guardian Australia.

Photo of kangaroo rock artwork by Damien Finch (left), illustration of kangaroo rock artwork by Pauline Heaney (right)

If 17,300 years sounds too colossal to wrap your brain around, picture this: scientists who discovered the artwork say that it was created at a time when the world was coming out of an ice age, and when the ocean was 100 metres lower than it is today (global warming’s a thing, it seems). Since we’re doing math… It’s been a mere 233 years since the white man first arrived on the First Fleet and invaded Aboriginal land, which means that this ochre kangaroo has existed on this sunburnt land for approximately 74 times as long as the colonisers have. Let that sink in.

If nerding-out on natural history’s your thing, have a look at the study published in Nature Human Behaviour here.

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