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Fascinating Prehistoric Discovery

Updated on August 13, 2015

The rare remains of prehistoric sea creatures are discovered from time to time all over this world. Often they are found in sandy terrain, which use to be the ocean floor or dried up old river beds that once flowed this Earth millions of years ago. Usually when a new discovery like this is made, you'll hear all about it on television or read about it in a science magazine.

What can sometimes be even more fascinating is when you stumble upon a prehistoric sea creature yourself as you are walking along a beach, and that's just what happened to me. I discovered my ancient wonder on an East coast beach in the United States of America. It was still very exciting even though there was never a television show made about my discovery.

Periodically off shore they dredge the ocean floor to make the shipping lanes deeper for the larger ships. When this happens all sorts of long forgotten things from the past get dredged up from the sediment on the ocean floor back up to the ocean surface. It's truly amazing what our oceans are hiding beneath their depths.

I found my very own prehistoric fossil laying on a beach after one of these dredging events. Some mornings we'd find that the beach would be covered with these old fossils, and it was almost like an Easter egg hunt picking them up and collecting them. There were so many of these fossils laying around that a person could be selective, and choose and pick up just the one's that they wanted. There were so many at the time that you couldn't give them away.

Now I totally realize that my little discovery isn't an old dinosaur bone, but it's just as old if not a lot older. At first no one knew what they were or where they kept coming from. But after doing a little investigative research, we discovered that these fossils were the petrified remains of prehistoric mollusks, which were recently dredged up from the ocean floor.

The oddly shaped mollusks range in size from a baseball to a golf ball. They are now literally rocks, and their shell was worn off a long time ago. What happened millions of years ago was that the mollusk was a small shelled sea creature that eventually died. When the mollusk died it's shell was partially opened, which allowed sand from the ocean floor to enter it's empty shell and fill it up. The mollusk eventually got buried underneath the sediment of the ocean floor. Over time the sand inside of the mollusk's shell turned to stone, and the shell itself wore away. This left behind a perfect stone sculpture of this sea creature for all of eternity. It's really kind of amazing how things work in life.

Now I realize that even though these mollusks are millions of years old, that they aren't worth very much, if they are worth anything at all. However they do make a perfect paper weight, a great conversation piece, a swell gift for children, and a wonderful story line for a hub on our hub pages.

My million year old paper weight
My million year old paper weight
4.3 out of 5 stars from 3 ratings of Mollusks


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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      I think its wonderful that you came upon these now stone, shells! I would have been so excited to find one of those, and can appreciate the excitement. It's a cool opportunity because of the dredging up for the sake of the ships passage, etc. Something that allows for the discoveries. It may mean only a small bit to some, but is really cool to others that like that sort of thing, like me! Thanks for sharing.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 2 years ago from Southampton, UK

      We live close to a part of the south coast of England that is now called The Jurassic Coast because of the number of fossils that are found here.

      It was in nearby Lyme Regis in Dorset that Mary Anning in the 1800's found dinosaur bones and devoted the rest of her life to discovering and understanding creatures from our prehistory.

      There are some places you can go along the coast and just pick up fossils like you did. Mostly these are Ammonites, some quite large, but you just never know what the next cliff fall might unearth.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 2 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      This account would be good as an opener for a longer hub about prehistoric finds along coasts. Your own personal discovery is always going to be a good starting point. Have there been finds later or earlier than yours along the same stretch?

      You could make this a feature with a series of finds along the east coast between the St Lawrence and Florida Keys - the coast that split away from this side of the European shelf, and a single greater continent called 'Pangaea'. The Brazilian coast would fit into the Guinea Coast along by Ghana and Nigeria. Turned into a vast desert and ribbons of red rock can be found in the middle of America - i.e Colorado, (Spanish for 'Red', where the land was claimed as New Spain before Mexico got its independence) as in the bare rocks. This could go on forever...

      There was a girl who found bones and imprints on the Dorset coast in the late 19th Century, latterly called the 'Jurassic Coast'. Around the same time finds were made along the Yorkshire coast north of Whitby - also named the 'Jurassic Coast' on tourist literature (could be confusing for outsiders).

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 2 years ago

      The discovery of yours that lead to startling revelation is quite interesting TheHoleStory. Thanks for sharing with us. Voted up.