Forget gold, “Gold Rush” star Parker Schnabel came across an archaeologist’s dream during his search for buried riches out there. The reality star revealed the strangest thing he’s ever dug up while mining for gold. And it turns out, Schnabel found a preserved set of woolly mammoth tusks.
The animal has been extinct for thousands of years. But people still find preserved remains and fossils of the majestic creature to remember it by. In an interview with the Malestrom, the long-running “Gold Rush” star discussed his mining experience. Schnabel became a young self-made millionaire by mining for gold. But he also embraced his inner-archaeologist along the way.
“We’ve found some mammoth tusks, which was really cool,” Schnabel told the outlet. “They’re preserved because they’re ivory and they were buried in the permafrost so the weather doesn’t really get to them. Some of those came out in beautiful shape.”
Mining sometimes uncovers things you wouldn’t expect. Traces of our ancient past are hidden in the soil and sediment. Fossils help reveal history about things long passed. Woolly mammoths began going extinct 14,000 and 10,000 years ago. But a small group survived as recently as 4,000 years ago.
Fortunately, Schnabel has an appreciation for his history as well. The “Gold Rush” star said he kept the fossilized tusks rather than sell them. He thought they were too cool to pass up.
“I usually keep them. You’re allowed to sell them, you just need a couple of permits to export them out of the territory, but I think they’re so cool I had to keep them,” he said.
‘Gold Rush’ Star on Career
“Gold Rush” star Park Schnabel got involved in the business at an early age. In fact, he was just 15 years old when started working with his grandfather. Fast forward and he’s one of the leading figures in the mining industry.
“You know, it wasn’t too difficult because I did really enjoy it,” the “Gold Rush” star said, “And in the early years I had a lot of fun doing the show and learning how to mine. It was a struggle, but it was also fun.”
Schnabel has learned to roll with the punches over the years. Take 2020 for instance. Schnabel turned what felt like a cursed year into a win. Though he initially struggled, Schnabel and his crew stayed at it, netting more than $9 million. They hauled 7,400 ounces of gold, more than 400 what Schnabel initially forecast for the year.
“This season started out as one of the worst seasons we’ve ever had and ended up the absolute best,” Schnabel told his team. “And everyone one of you guys had something to do with that, and I thank you all for that.”