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Wādī al-Ḥītān

Wādī al-Ḥītān Valley of the Whales' Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: is a paleontological site in the Faiyum Governorate of Egypt, some 150 kilometers (93 mi) south-west of Cairo. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2005 for its hundreds of fossils of some of the earliest forms of whale, the archeocyte (a now extinct sub-order of whales). The site reveals evidence for the explanation of one of the greatest mysteries of the evolution of whales: the emergence of the whale as an ocean-going mammal from a previous life as a land-based animal. No other place in the world yields the number, concentration, and quality of such fossils, no their accessibility and setting in an attractive and protected landscape. The valley was therefore inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005.

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