Standing on Mount Damavand summit, you may realize several frozen sheep carcasses resembling mummies next to the signs marking Damavand summit. The remains of these sheep have been perfectly preserved due to the existence of sulfur and the low temperature of Damavand peak. The reason for their existence has been unknown for the past 20-30 years that they’ve been on Damavand peak; however, it’s estimated that a sheep herd had been lost in the fog. The sheep have possibly died due to gas poisoning, hypothermia or starvation and their carcasses have remained this long because of the cold and the sulfuric gasses.
There are two main theories about Damavand frozen animals:
- It’s possible that some of the sheep grazings in higher altitudes to escape the summer heat and find grass had moved further up out of curiosity or simply because they had gotten lost. These sheep died near Damavand Mountain summit due to gas poisoning or hypothermia and the carcasses were moved to Damavand peak by the mountain climbers.
- Some believe that the sheep were hunted by an eagle and transferred to Damavand summit.
The second theory is unlikely as eagles are only able to carry heavy prey to the lower parts of the mountain. Therefore the first theory seems more accurate.
Unfortunately, the carcasses have been mostly destroyed by unknown people and there’s not much remained of them. The reason has apparently been the false belief that their existence would disrespect the importance of Damavand itself and that frozen animal carcasses mustn’t be the symbol of Mount Damavand. What they didn’t realize was that Damavand frozen animals are merely an amusement to locals and mountain climbers and not only do they not overshadow the importance and uniqueness of Mount Damavand but also increase its charm.