A fossil excavation site in the center of Los Angeles, California. Huge pits of asphalt trapped members of many species now extinct, as the Ice Ages came to a close between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago. More that 565 species have been found in the pits, including giant mammoths.

The La Brea Tar Pits, featured prominently in the movie "Volcano" as the site of "Mt. Wilshire," are located along the Miracle Mile section of Wilshire Boulevard. Also located on the same site are the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the George C. Page Museum, a branch of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County that deals specifically with the La Brea Tar Pits excavations.

The address of LACMA is 5905 WIlshire Blvd; The Page Museum is as 5801 Wilshire, with the Tar Pits scattered through the park on the block.

We've all grown up hearing about the "La Brea Tarpits" with those harrowing (to kids) illustrations of mastadons and saber-toothed tigers struggling against the inexorable envelopment of the tar. And you imagine what they look like now. And you think about these giant pits of tar in the desert with prehistoric rocks and dinosaur bones all around. What a Freakin' letdown! it's just this smallish dark smelly pond with a fake plastic elephant in it. It's about 5 feet from the road with a big fence around it. The whole experience is over in about 30 seconds. But then, 50 feet to your left is the LACMA, which is very cool, though not as cool as the Getty.

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