The strange rock found in central Mississippi retells the state’s ice age history, “even questioning long-held” scientific assumptions.
It’s a piece of petrified wood, but the fans did not touch it.
A closer look reveals that the fossil is much older than the surrounding soil, say state geologists, perhaps millions of years old.
It is almost as if someone had brought an ancient fossil to Mississippi, dug a deep hole, and buried it for hundreds of thousands of years.
How did it get there?
According to James Ames Starns, director of surface geology at the Mississippi Geological Survey, it has been moved, or rather “bulldozer”.
He came to this conclusion by looking at the surface of the rock, which, according to him, proves that it dragged hundreds, if not thousands of miles, to the bottom of the glacier.
“No one thinks of Mississippi Glacier ice in the same sentence. Even most scientists. “We are literally just trying to figure out the details of this time with these instructions,” Starns told McClatchy News.
“It was always thought that the Mississippi petrified wood was wood that was made of gravel and then hardened, so it must be the same gravel,” he said. “The fact (this fossil) actually proves that it was well fossilized before it was dragged under the glacier and then brought to Mississippi. That makes it much older than the deposits where they were found. ”
Questions are now being asked about the fossil, including its age, what the tree is, where it came from, and when it fell in Mississippi.
However, Starns says the most important question is whether this discovery means that scientists were mistaken in using gravel-stained wood to study the former environment.
Mississippi glacial past
There are no glaciers coming south of Mississippi.
Instead, the Mississippi River served as a giant drainage trench for glaciers 70,000 years ago throughout the Pleistocene, experts say. The river was 200 feet higher than it is now, running from its current location to 15 miles to the east, based on the location of gravel deposits.
These mines, some of which are 100 feet thick, were literally the bottom of the Mississippi River during the Ice Age.
At the time, the river was the volatile center of the treacherous landscape, Starns said.
“This included catastrophic breaks in the ice dam, icebergs flowing into the Gulf of Mexico,” he said. “Glacial melts մեծ Large floods of glacier water entering the Mississippi River Valley were commonplace as they pushed the ice sheet into the Gulf of Mexico. The river carried a flood of bulldozers from the ice. “
That was when the fossil wood found debris in the state of Magnolia, which, unfortunately, was scratched thousands of miles north of some part of the valley.
“Needle in a haystack”
Starn likens the discovery of petrified wood to “finding a needle in a haystack.”
The stone was discovered by state survey geologist Jon Onathan Leard a month ago at a “massive” gravel mine near the Hinds / Warren county, Starns said. The site holds giant rocks, some of which weigh more than a ton, that were pushed south or “melted by ice” due to a severe glacial flood, he said.
Some of the stones are now on display near the Mississippi Museum of Natural Sciences.
The piece of fossil wood, the first of its kind to be found in the state, is also in the museum as part of a research collection, he said.
“Several studies on petrified wood (found in state gravel mines) have been used to recycle environmental ideas when they are installed. But this wood froze long before it was dragged under the glacier, which tells us it was from an older environment, ”says Starns.
“Any past assumptions based on rock studies from these mines must now be questioned. We mistakenly thought that fossil wood would be useful for understanding the climate. ”