Still life with trilobite section

I’m back I’m thin section heaven at work, slaving over a hot petrographic microscope and continuing my second listen to the Vorkosigan saga audiobooks. (Excellent, by the way.) And I saw something a bit like this today:


Out rather, a bit like the portion marked with a T. A trilobite! Or rather a cross sectional cut through the carapace of one. I wish I could show you a picture of my actual thin section because it was way prettier and had the more characteristic hooked W shape. But I like that whole having a job thing so, no. Sorry.

But this is why it’s cool and why I love geology. Something like 340 MILLION years ago, a time so distant in the past that my brain can’t really comprehend it as anything other than wow a long fucking time ago, a little trilobite was hanging out on a shallow marine shelf. Because there were trilobites back then (and realize that no human being had ever seen a live one, we missed them by hundreds of millions of years). And this little trilobite presumably had an awesome trilobite life and hung out with his or her little trilobite friends and then one day died. Waves swept the little guy further out to sea, where he was given a proper burial in carbonate mud and…

Over three hundred million years later, met me.

I’m looking at a piece of rock that was the bottom of a tropical sea in the distant past long before biology every got around to even thinking of primates, key alone drinks involving little paper umbrellas. And I get to touch that. Every day I get a tiny window into an Earth alien to the one we live on now.

And that is why geology is cool.

Plus volcanic lightning because fuck yeah.
Eyjafjallajökull by Terje Sørgjerd

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