Saturday, June 5, 2010

An item from Chemical and Engineering News comes to mind. Workers "found the fossil skeleton of a baleen whale some 10-12 million years old in... diatomaceous earth quarries in Lompoc, Calif. .... The whale is standing on end in the quarry and is being exposed as the diatomite is mined... The fossil may be close to 80 feet long." A sarcastic reader wrote in (March 21, 1977) that "Everybody knows that diatomaceous earthbeds are built up slowly over millions of years as diatom skeletons slowly settle out on the ocean floor. The baleen whale simply stood on its tail for 100,000 years, its skeleton decomposing, while the diatomaceous snow covered its frame millimeter by millimeter."

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