Oct 31, 2019

Random Thursday

Okay, let's return to Leslie Gilbert Elman's Weird but True and learn some more bizarre facts about things we'd never gave much thought to before!

(image borrowed from Denver Catholic)
While making a case for lining the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Essenes--a strict religious sect--scholars dug where they found the scrolls...which was also the location of a 2,000-year-old latrine. Because the Essenes followed the laws of the Bible word for word, they buried their "leavings" here. The "leavings" were long gone, but scholars found traces of human intestinal parasites like tapeworms that had been buried in the soil for thousands of years.

I guess that means the Dead Sea Scrolls were the reading materials! Lol. Also...eww! 

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
In 2002, archaeologists working at Paisley Caves in Oregon found human "leavings" that were determined to be 14,300 years old, which is the oldest traces of human life ever found in North America.

Fun fact: polite archaeologists call fossilized
'leavings" "coprolites."

Still weird and gross.

(image borrowed from Live Science)
In the 19th century in England, coprolite mining was an important industry. Fossilized dinosaur dung was loaded with phosphates used to make the first artificial fertilizer for crops.

Fun Fact: There's a street in Ispwich, England named Corprolite Street.

More weirdness. Truly hope no one lives on that street! Lol.

(image borrowed from Dinopedia)
Madagascar is a favorite spot for paleontologists in searching for dinosaur bones. One of their finds was a 2.5 foot crocodile that lives on land and was a cannibalistic dinosaur. He was named Masiakasaurus knopfleri, it was named for the lead singer/guitarist of the band Dire Straits for every time the crew realized one of those songs was playing, they'd find a dinosaur bone!

That's interesting, though I don't think I know the band...

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
Over 170 species of palm trees live on Madagascar, but as far as botanists know only one is suicidal and that's the Tahina spectabilis. This tree can grow over 60 feet tall with leaves 16 feet in diameter. It wasn't until 2007 that botanist realized that unlike most palms that flower regularly throughout their lives, this one produces flowers only once and then collapses to the ground and dies. It basically "flowers" itself to death.

That's certainly one way to go I guess! Weird too.

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