Jurassic Park Is Real...for 400-Year-Old Arctic Mosses

Ellesmere Island National Park

Ellesmere Island National Park Joel Barker/Ohio State University/AP file photo

Scientists have successfully regrown vegetation that had been trapped in a glacier.

Fans of a certain dinosaur movie franchise might be disappointed to hear that we unfortunately still can't re-create velociraptors from the bellies of mosquitoes. But scientists have been able to do perhaps the next-best thing: regrow plants that have been trapped under glaciers for centuries and were previously thought dead.

During the Little Ice Age, a period from about 1550 to 1850, temperatures were significantly cooler than they are now, and glaciers crept in to cover parts of the Northern Hemisphere. The ice has gradually retreated over the past century -- and even faster in the past 10 years -- thereby revealing plants that haven't thrived since the reign of Henry VIII (or thereabouts).

In 2007, biologist Catherine La Farge from the University of Alberta encountered these ancient mosses -- they're called bryophytes, a category that includes liverworts and hornworts -- on a trip to a glacier near Ellesmere Island, in Canada's far north.

Read more at The Atlantic.