Tuesday, November 15, 2011


            Did you know it is essential for fossils to form rapidly. Why? Because if they did not form rapidly, the subject matter would decay and/or be scavenged before it can be fossilized. Millions of years for fossilization would require the dead body to remain intact until the final hardened process is complete. Today, even secular scientists are beginning to admit fossils must be fast-formed.

            I have a fun project you can do with the kiddos (young or old) over the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Why not make your own fossils! Here’s how:
  • Materials:
    • 2 kitchen sponges
    • 1 shallow dish
    • 1 small pot
    • 1 cup of water
    • Epsom salt
    • Food coloring
  • Method:
    • For fun, cut both sponges into bone shapes. Set one to the side, the other, put in a shallow dish.
    • Heat water just below boiling and stir in as much Epsom salt that will dissolve (when it starts gathering on the bottom while you are stirring, the water will hold no more). Add food coloring.
    • Pour the Epsom salt solution over the sponge in the shallow dish.
    • Place the bowl somewhere safe so it will not be disturbed for several days. Leave uncovered so the solution can evaportate.
  • Result:
    • Once dry, compare the two sponges. Break the fossilized sponge in half – was it encased or replaced? (See digging deeper for definitions).

Go out and enjoy the beautiful weather God has given us! I love walking in the falling autumn leaves and seeing the sun turn them brilliant colors. And every once in a while, I stumble upon a fossil. How cool is that!
Until next time – take care and God Bless!
Willow Dressel

            There are three types of fossils; impression (cast), petrification, and permineralization (encased).
            Impression fossils are those formed from an impression or cast of the body of the animal or plant material. We are most familiar with footprints and shell impressions. Under the right conditions, the cast will harden quickly, like concrete.
            Petrification happens when the original material is rapidly replaced with minerals before the body (or parts thereof) have time to decay. We are most familiar with this type of fossilization found in petrified wood.
            Permineralization fossils happen when a mineral solution saturates the pores in animal or plant bodies without replacing any of the original materials. The solution then turns into crystals, preserving the organism. We are familiar with this type of fossilization as most dinosaur bones are permineralized.
           PS  look this week in the night skies around November 16th for mercy. Just after sunset it will be very close to Venus. Also the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) is visible almost directly overhead. It will look, to the unaided eye as a faint elongated cloud.

Answers in Genesis, Vol 6, #4, Oct-Dec, 2011, Fast -Formed Fossils, Brinson, Bruce, pg 24-25.

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