Valley of the Whales or Wadi Hitan is a fossil area in the northwest of the Wadi El-Rayan Reserve, dating back some 40 million years. These excavations are of fossilized structures of primitive whales, shark teeth, shells, and other marine animals that are considered an open museum. There is also a fossilized short plant inside soft rocks.
Valley of the Whales, Egypt
Wadi Hitan or the valley of the wales is located in the western Egyptian desert in the governorate of El Fayyoum and contains valuable fossil finds from the Archeocetus, the ancestor of the whale. These testimonies represent one of the most important stages of evolution or the passage of this mammal from terrestrial to marine life. This archaeological site is a real-world reference in support of the evolutionary theory by number, concentration, and quality of finds, collected in a protected area where you can observe the transition from the first evolutionary phase to that of the loss of the hind limbs. The remaining fossil materials offer an interesting reconstruction of the environmental and climatic conditions of the time. The importance of this area is recognized worldwide.
After two hours by car from Cairo, you will find yourself immersed in the incredible atmosphere of the Fayoum area, which better than any other place will make you feel what Ancient Egypt really could have been. The remote Wadi El-Hitan Valley (Whale Valley) is more than just an open-air museum: the rare and ancient finds of huge shark and whale fossils are proof that 40 or 50 million years ago the area was completely submerged in the waters of what was the sea of Tethys.
For a long time buried under the sand of the western desert, the fossils gradually emerged from the sand following erosive phenomena, the effect of the winds, and finally thanks to the archaeological excavations financed by National Geographic and the University of Michigan.
The landscape around the valley exudes the same mysterious and fascinating atmosphere of its finds: rocks, mountains, and gigantic stretches of sand, dunes, and hills If you have the opportunity, visit the valley towards sunset, to witness the magical experience of the colors and shapes that come to life in this part of the day.
The Whale Valley is part of the protected area of Wadi El-Rayan (Wadi El-Rayan Protected Area) and in 2005 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, for the singular beauty of the landscape and the importance covered in science.