Ancient machine gears embedded in rock? Nope. Crinoid fossils. (Update: hoax)

Brazil Weird News: Machine dated at 400 million years found in Russia.

In the remote Kamchatka peninsula, 200 km from Tigil, University of St. Petersburg archaeologists discovered a strange fossil. The authenticity of the find has been certified. According archaeologist Yuri Golubev, occurs that, in this case the discovery surprised scientists by its nature, at least – unusual, able to change history (or pre-history).

It is not the first time that is an artifact, an ancient object, something like this is found in that region. But, surprisingly conserved, this specific artifact is – at first glance, inlaid in rock (which is understandable since the peninsula is home to numerous volcanoes). Subjected to analysis, the conjunct showed to be made of metal parts that seem to form a mechanism, a gear which may be of a type of watch or computer. The astonishing is that all the pieces were dated in 400 million!

Tip: Tim Farley

This made me laugh out loud when I saw it. As a geologist, I IMMEDIATELY recognized these as pieces of crinoid stems, remarkably abundant fossils found in marine deposits all over the world. The stem is made from these stacked plates that disarticulate but preserve well.

Who could make such a rookie mistake? Well, lots of things coming out of Russia these days are hyped for tourism and publicity. I’m not sure what the background is here but it is not the first time that fossils were misinterpreted as things they may resemble but certainly are not.

UPDATE: 12-Mar-2012. Liveleak has more on this hoax.

  6 comments for “Ancient machine gears embedded in rock? Nope. Crinoid fossils. (Update: hoax)

  1. Massachusetts
    March 10, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    There was a Russian documentary years ago that had a man who believed he manipulated psychic energies. He said he needed to wear a special wool sweater and he sincerely offered as proof that his hair stood up when he got into the psychic groove. It was pretty obvious he was generating some static electricity. Though there are certainly experts in Russia, there are a lot of people without even the most basic understanding of elementary science. Though probably that’s the case in this country too. We’ve got to keep educating these kids!

  2. March 17, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Interesting. I’ve been looking up fossilized crinoid stems after reading this article and I haven’t yet found any that look as mechanical as the supposed gear picture. I wish that the pictures had something else in them for purposes of scale.

  3. Also Massachusetts
    March 31, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Organic metal? Coming to IMMEDIATE conclusions may be foolish.

  4. Geophysicist
    April 1, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    The original organic material is always replaced in the case of fossils. Metallic replacement is common, particularly with iron pyrite, also known as fool’s gold.

  5. palladiumsubbie
    December 15, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    In the realm of materials technology, the term ‘organic’ means it has carbon in it. That means that within the realm of materials technology, steel is organic and pure water is not.

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