Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Fossil Found in Kitchen Counter - National Geographic

Well gee, if I ever didn't want a marble countertop in my future home - now I do. Specifically, this one.

While stone cutters in Italy were slicing up a slab of Egyptian limestone, they noticed something peculiar.

"They had inadvertently created an almost perfect cross-section of an ancient whale. It lived in Egypt 40 million years ago...During the time of the dinosaurs, the area was covered by the ocean and is now filled with marine fossils."

Which makes you wonder why masons are hunting for kitchen counters in the area...but you know, whatever. National Geographic grantee Phillip Gingerich drove out to the mining site and determined that any potential whale bones would be buried deep within the limestone, "almost impossible to discover - except by chance," so I suppose it's for the better. One of those serendipitous moments. Exciting!

The discovery of the whale is in the beginning of the video, which then goes on to explain how the lands in the area have been changing over time and influencing the evolution of some of Africa's iconic animals. Obviously I like the beginning the best, but check out the whole thing if you're into that kind of stuff!

Video here (National Geographic)


  1. very cool...kinda makes me want a marble countertop a la whale bones myself!

  2. That would make for one COOOOooooolllll counter top.