The massive fossil recovered in the state of Kentucky in 2011 is more than 6 feet long and 3 feet wide. If you didn’t know any better, you might guess that it’s simply a concrete blob.
Experts are trying to determine whether the Godzillus Fossil was an animal, mineral, or perhaps a form of plant life from a time when the region used to be underwater.
Scientists at a Geological Society of America meeting examined it on Tuesday at the Dayton Convention Center in Ohio.
“We are looking for people who might have an idea of what it is,” said Ben Dattilo, an assistant professor of geology at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.
Scientists say the Godzillus Fossil is 450 million years old. According to University of Cincinnati geologist Carl Brett, it’s also the biggest fossil ever extracted from that era.
“This is the ultimate cold case,” said Ron Fine, the amateur paleontologist from Ohio who spotted the fossil on a hillside last year and named it.
“Like Godzilla, it’s a primordial beast that found its way to the modern era,” Fine said. Now 43, he has been collecting fossils since he was 4 years old, and said he saw a portion of this one on a hillside in Kentucky almost one year ago.
“Most fossils around here are small, the size of your thumbnail or your thumb,” he said. “This thing’s huge.”
He said he thinks it may be a primitive form of seaweed or perhaps kelp.
“This one has us stumped,” said David Meyer, another UC geology professor. Fine shared his unique discovery last September at a meeting of the Dry Dredgers, a group of amateur geologists.
Meyer says the Godzillus Fossil has complex, interwoven patterns that remind him of “goose flesh. Some of its surface also looks like scales – but this thing is not boney. It is not a fish.”
He guesses it could have perhaps been a sponge.
“[The region] was covered by a sea, 100 to 200 feet deep,” Meyer said. “Primitive shellfish lived in it – but no fish.”
- ‘Godzillus’ Fossil Find Stumps Experts (myfoxdc.com)
- ‘Godzillus’ mystery fossil stumps experts in U.S. (cbc.ca)
- Mystery cactus-like fossil named “Godzillus” found, unlike any other lifeform (io9.com)
- Godzilla Fossil (weeklyworldnews.com)