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Pearls and Meteors

28 September 2019

William sent in the link https://eos.org/articles/glass-pearls-in-clam-shells-point-to-ancient-me… … a story I do believe I noted a few weeks back – but never mind. It is a good one and worth repeating. Researchers suggest that spherical structures, smaller than grains of sand, may be microtektites. The story describes how they reached this decision after going through various other explanations. They were found in fossilised clams in a Florida quarry back in 2006 – so this is no quick investigation. . Microtektites are tiny bodies of glass formed from terrestrial debris ejected during meteorite impacts (it is thought). On the other hand, an atmospheric explosion could equally have spread them over a wider geographical era but I suppose the equation is really with a recent description of what occurred at the K/T boundary event (an impact which did indeed spread a lot of debris over a wide area). It is not suggested this new impact was anything on the scale of the K/T event but is being catalogued as another impact event as yet not recognised by geologists. Apparently, they have ruled out a volcanic eruption.

William also sent in the link … https://www.yahoo.com/news/family-dig-up-jurassic-fossil-hidden-by-godfe… … which is a fascinating contradiction. A man whose Victorian ancestors (his great great grandfather and his great great great grandfather) had apparently buried a gigantic Jurrassic fossil because, it is claimed, it affronted his religious beliefs. It has been dug up again by their descendant, a cider brandy maker, one Julian Temperley, in the garden of the family home in Somerset. The intent is presented as purposeful on the basis that Julian is said to have known the fossil was there – and this information had been passed down through 5 generations. However, we then learn that some poetic license may be involved, an opportunity to ridicule the beliefs of the Victorians. The stone was actually dug out during a recent flooding event, quite opportune in fact as the fossil was that of an ichythiosaur. Julian is having the image of it printed on to his cider brandy bottles ….

   … the interesting thing is that the great great grandfather and his father had a lime quarry at Pitsbury near Langport in Somerset, quite close to the river Parret. They were also co-founders of the Bradford's builders merchants. One could imagine that he might have shovelled the ichythiosaur into his lime kiln (and lesser fossils may well have suffered that fate) – but he did not. For some reason he decided to bury it in his garden – but was the fossil on show for a period prior to that. Why did it affect his religious sensibilities when Darwin had yet to publish his theory of evolution. He was obviously puzzled by the fossil otherwise he would have disappeared it. In other words, as quarry men they were unlikely to be strangers to fossils – big and small. One has to wonder why the story line is that these Victorian entrepreneurs were mortified by the discovery as it contradicted the Bible – but did it. Surely a biblical literalist would have assumed it had died in Noah's flood. Seems like a story that has been massaged by a modern day journalist.

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