Why does amber perfectly preserve things from millions of years ago?


I just don’t understand how there isn’t any decay at all, that’s crazy

In: 6


very glib, short version:

sap is basically pure suger, things trapped in amber have the water “sucked out” as it dries and crystalizes, it seals the object in, in an area thats is 100% dehydrated, therefore all bacterial life is dead, and as the object is dead, viruses cant use it to replicate, therefore nothing can break down the object until the amber is broken and air and water can reach the object. if things are too big or have too much water, life finds a way and the object rots.

TL;DR: Shits basically mummified, yo.

Things can still decompose inside amber. Stuff like insects look decent because the exoskeleton gets preserved, but you wouldn’t necessarily see an absence of decomposition of its internal structure. The amber itself keeps out oxygen, which can slow or prevent some forms of decomposition. That being said, if you covered a person in resin and it became amber, I think you’d still get a mess due to anaerobic decay from the bacteria the person brings with them.

You could likely get similar levels of preservation with another coating that denies oxygen equally well.

So basically it’s so tightly packed that bacteria can’t can’t grow in it. It blocks out all oxygen and nutrient sources.

* Amber comes from tree sap. It naturally contains antibiotics and insecticides the tree produces to defend itself.
* Sap also sucks the moisture out quickly from whatever it traps.
* Sap seals out oxygen.

taken together, the bug or whatever that got caught has no chance to decay.