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In an instant, an average day could change into the first day of the rest of your life. These pivotal moments are markers among the mundane that remind us that life is always moving forward on a journey. But some people are more likely to encounter life-changing situations than the rest of us. While it is always possible to simply find a can of gold coins in your backyard, people who dig into the earth are much more likely to uncover something earth shattering. A normal Monday could turn into something completely different. And that is what happened to Shawn Funk. He works as an excavator that pulls crude oil from the earth. And he was going about his business when he suddenly hit a snag on something deep within the pit. And when he pulled out this thing, he ended up shattering history as we know it.
As an employee of the energy company Suncor, Shawn Funk was busy digging for oil as he was every day and as he sank his excavator into the Millennium Mine located about 17 miles north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, he found something strange.
It was March 21, 2011 when Funk noticed something funky. It certainly wasn’t business as usual.
He dove his machine into the sand and found it was laced with a compound identified as bitumen. This is what transformed remains of plants and animals is called. These creatures died hundreds of millions of years ago.
While Funk had found numerous fossils during his 12 years on the job, he had never found anything too excited, except a petrified tree stump. But on that Monday, he was in for a shock.
It happened at 1:30pm after his lunch break. He found Walnut-colored rocks. And they were remains from something huge. And they were layered in a strange pattern. Rows upon rows of these sandy brown items were in the ground and they were ringed with a gray stone. And when Funk saw this in the ground, he knew he had to stop and get someone who could identify what it was.
Getting it out of the ground was nearly impossible. That’s why Suncor executives reached out to Royal Tyrrell Museum to get their best veteran technicians out to help.
Hour after hour, they whittled away at the ground. Eventually, the pulled the 15,000-pound rock from the earth. But then it fell and shattered. And that’s when it revealed a prehistoric dinosaur that had never been seen in the history of paleontology. Funk had made a ground-breaking discovery.
When they put it back together, they were stunned. They had found a nearly perfectly preserved dinosaur. It had bony scales and plates along its top side. And although it may look like a sculpture, this was a real dinosaur that used to walk the earth millions of years ago.
Now known as the “Dinosaur Mummy,” this perfectly petrified creature has changed paleontology forever.
What do you think about this amazing find deep under the earth? How would you react if you find this?
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