2000-Year-Old Petrified Apple From Pompeii Up For Sale

Reproductions of excavated artifacts from Pompeii that were buried in the ash from the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE.
Reproductions of excavated artifacts from Pompeii that were buried in the ash from the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE.
iStock

Strange fruit: A well-preserved, 2000-year-old petrified apple from Pompeii is up for sale at the annual antiques fair at the Harewood House near Leeds, UK, which will take place from May 12 through May 14. You can see an image of the apple at the Ilkley Gazette.

Discovered during a 19th-century excavation along with other ancient fruit, the piece is being sold by medieval antiquities dealer Odyssey for £550 (about $715).

"Its blackened and petrified state is a result of the intense heat due to being buried by hot volcanic ash when Pompeii was engulfed following the famous eruption of Mount Vesuvius on 24th August AD 79," organizers explained. "This extremely rare example is from the collection of antiquities formed by the late Rev Geoffrey Elford Stephens."

Tickets for the fair are priced £5 (about $6.50).

[h/t Ilkley Gazette]

Mastodon Bones Have Been Discovered by Sewer Workers in Indiana

Thomas Quine, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Thomas Quine, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

When something unexpected happens during a sewer system project, the news is not usually pleasant. But when workers installing pipes in Seymour, Indiana stopped due to an unforeseen occurrence, it was because they had inadvertently dug up a few pieces of history: mastodon bones.

According to the Louisville Courier Journal, workers fiddling with pipes running through a vacant, privately owned farm in Jackson County happened across the animal bones during their excavation of the property. The fossils—part of a jaw, a partial tusk, two leg bones, a vertebrae, a joint, some teeth, and a partial skull—were verified as belonging to a mastodon by Ron Richards, the senior research curator of paleobiology for the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. The mastodon, which resembled a wooly mammoth and thrived during the Ice Age, probably stood over 9 feet tall and weighed more than 12,000 pounds.

The owners of the farm, the Nehrt and Schepman families, plan to donate the bones to the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis if the museum committee decides to accept them. Previously, mastodon bones were found in Jackson County in 1928 and 1949. The remains of “Fred the Mastodon” were discovered near Fort Wayne in 1998.

[h/t Louisville Courier Journal]

Middle School Student Discovers Megalodon Tooth Fossil on Spring Break

iStock.com/Mark Kostich
iStock.com/Mark Kostich

A few million years ago, the megalodon was the most formidable shark in the sea, with jaws spanning up to 11 feet wide and a stronger bite than a T. Rex. Today the only things left of the supersized sharks are fossils, and a middle school student recently discovered one on a trip to the beach, WECT reports.

Avery Fauth was spending spring break with her family at North Topsail Beach in North Carolina when she noticed something buried in the sand. She dug it up and uncovered a shark tooth the length of her palm. She immediately knew she had found something special, and screamed to get her family's attention.

Her father recognized the megalodon tooth: He had been searching for one for 25 years and had even taught his three daughters to scour the sand for shark teeth whenever they went to the beach. Avery and her sisters found a few more shark teeth that day from great whites, but her megalodon fossil was by far the most impressive treasure from the outing.

Megalodons dominated seas for 20 million years before suddenly dying out 3 million years ago. They grew between 43 and 82 feet long and had teeth that were up to 7.5 inches long—over twice the size of a great white's teeth. They're thought to be the largest sharks that ever lived.

Megalodon teeth have been discovered on every continent except Antarctica, but they're still a rare find. Avery Fauth plans to keep her fossil in a special box at home.

[h/t WECT]

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