Dining on Woolly Mammoth Flesh Or Giant Sloth Meat?


What did the Explorers Club really eat on that night in 1951?


The Explorers Club is a society for people considered ‘scientific adventurers’. This Club is still active and some of it’s members have included: Buzz Aldrin, Matthew Henson, Roald Amundsen, Neil Armstrong, L. Ron Hubbard, Teddy Roosevelt and even James Cameron. The Club goes all over the world to explore and have dinners. In 1951 their dinner was hosted by Wendell Phillips Dodge, the meal was Mammoth stew, or so goes the story.

There have been accounts of Wooly Mammoths being preserved so well that the flesh is still edible looking, so does this mean that they really did eat the Pleistocene creature? Other accounts say that the meat belonged to the more rare, also long extinct, Giant Sloth.  The prehistoric meat was reportedly found on Akutan Island in Alaska by the EC member Father Bernard Rosecrans Hubbard.

A pair of graduate students heard of this story and decided to start deciphering the reality of the mystery meat. Their study can be found here. After analysing the DNA of a piece of the meat saved from the night by a member to be taken back, the real source of the flesh was discovered. Green Sea Turtle was served that night, not Mammoth or Sloth.

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