aby Guy Darrough
Are you knowledgeable about the natural world? Study the picture shown below and choose one of two answers. Remember, only one answer is right and fact is stranger than fiction.
#1. This is a rare, aerodynamically formed piece of natural glass. It was created when a meteorite impacted the Earth and blasted fragments of rock out of the Earth's atmosphere. As the rock fragments were pulled back to Earth by gravity, they were super heated and turned into a beautiful green glass, called a Tektite. Also considered a semi-precious stone, they are sometimes used in jewelry.
This unusual curiosity is known as an "Emerald Snowflake". It was formed when Mt. St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980, sending millions of tons of volcanic ash into the atmosphere. The elements in the volcanic ash combined with water vapor, froze and fell to Earth as beautiful green snowflakes. A number of these rarities have been preserved as specimens, in cold storage at the Smithsonian Institution.
#1. This is a unique, geologic curiosity called a concretion. They occur commonly world wide and many times form a shape that mimics a fossil dinosaur egg. Geologists believe that these "pseudofossils", or false fossils, formed when minerals seeped down into rocks, triggering particles to build up, layer upon layer, eventually becoming a spherical or globular shape.
#2. This amazing fossil is a dinosaur egg that was recently found during road construction in Jefferson County, Missouri. It was blasted out of solid rock but somehow, amazingly survived intact. Cracks on the surface of the egg shell show where the tiny giant tried to escape. Scientists believe that it may still contain the unborn embryo of a dinosaur that lived in Missouri millions of years ago.
County Museum of Natural History
207 Mayfield Drive • Marble Hill, Missouri 63764 • 573.238.1174