Scientists Learn Wrong Lesson From Jurassic Park, Try To Bring Back Woolly Mammoth

If scientists have their way, we'll all be riding Woolly Mammoths on a planet that has not succumbed to the devastation of climate change. A company named Colossal (what else) has raised $15 million already in its quest to resurrect the extinct Woolly Mammoth. For reasons.

The project is spearheaded by a Harvard genetics professor, and if this sounds like the plot of "Jurassic Park" — but with hairy creatures from the Pleistocene epoch — all I can really say is, "Welcome to Pleistocene Park." gives a rundown of what Colossal is trying to do. It involves gene sequencing technology, which sounds like something that the helpful cartoon, Mr. DNA, would (and did?) explain in "Jurassic Park."

In its own words, here is Colossal's lofty aim:

"Colossal's landmark de-extinction project will be the resurrection of the Woolly Mammoth – or more specifically a cold-resistant elephant with all of the core biological traits of the Woolly Mammoth. It will walk like a Woolly Mammoth, look like one, sound like one, but most importantly it will be able to inhabit the same ecosystem previously abandoned by the Mammoth's extinction."

The company doesn't just want to bring back creatures from the Ice Age so that we can throw a saddle over their backs. It's doing this (per NPR) because it believes the Woolly Mammoth is a "species who left an ecological void as they went extinct." This isn't some crazy PR stunt; they're doing it to "combat climate change."

"The Woolly Mammoth is a Vital Defender"

"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, that they didn't stop to think if they should." These are the words that Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) famously said to John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) in "Jurassic Park." He was talking about scientists playing God in the context of a dinosaur theme park. They had cloned the dinos from DNA found in fossilized mosquitos. You remember the guy holding up the amber chunk, staring into it, saying in Spanish, "Que lindo eres?"

Something like that is closer to becoming a reality thanks to Colossal's Woolly Mammoth project. Looking at the Mammoth page on the company's website, it's full of surreal statements like, "We have the DNA, the technology, and the leading experts in the field. Next, we will have the Woolly Mammoth. Alive again." And, "This core value cannot be overstated: the Woolly Mammoth is a vital defender of the Earth."

Seriously, how have we managed to survive this long without the Woolly Mammoth to defend us? I demand my own Woolly Mammoth. I'd like it to be genetically modified so that I can ride it in the desert sand and imagine that I'm on the back of a Bantha, living my best "Star Wars" fantasy. At the very least, I'd like to see a live-action redo of the "Ice Age" movies, with Ray Romano reprising his voice role as the Mammoth, Manfred, or "Manny."

As Colossal says, "May prehistory thunder forward."