Ever fancied the idea of being forever immortalized (or rather, your skeleton being immortalized) as a fossil? Fossilisation is a tricky thing to get right, you just need to consider the millions of dinosaurs that roamed the Earth before us, and the few fossils they left behind. So in this article I’ll explain what you need to do to give you the best chance at becoming a fossil.
You need to make sure that your bones are in excellent condition for fossilisation. To do this, you need to make sure your bones are as big and strong as possible, and this is best done through a healthy diet with particular attention to certain nutrients:
The first is calcium, which is a mineral that makes up a large part of the bone. Ensuring you have enough calcium in your body prevents the body from leeching calcium from the bone, and ensures that there is enough calcium to build strong bones. Dairy, especially milk, is a great source of calcium.
You will also need to make sure you are getting plenty of magnesium. Magnesium also makes up a large part of bone, and so is needed to make bones as big and strong as possible. Great sources of magnesium are leafy greens, fish and nuts.
Next, make sure you are getting plenty of vitamin D, because vitamin D promotes the mineralisation of bone. There is no use in having plenty of minerals if you aren’t getting enough vitamin D to utilise them. Great sources of vitamin D are dairy (making it doubly good for becoming a fossil), eggs and sunshine.
Last but not least, make sure you are getting enough vitamin K, which works alongside vitamin D to ensure that your minerals, including calcium are regulated in the body properly and bones are mineralised properly.
Doing this will make sure your bones are at their peak mass and density, which is very important in leaving a good fossil behind.
You need to carefully plan where your body will be laid to rest, and this is the most critical part. The best place would be a river bed (not a fast moving one though, else your body will be all over the place), or, ideally a peat bog or tar pit. These places have very few animals which will move your body, and layers of sediment will build up over your body quite quickly, which is good.
Being buried underground such as in a graveyard isn’t such a good idea, because sediment doesn’t build up in places like this, and your bones are more likely become dust than fossils.
You’ve done the hard part, and now all you need to do now is wait a long time, and, with a bit of luck, your body won’t be disturbed. The soft parts will then rot away leaving your strong bones behind. As layers and layers of sediment build up over the bones the pressure increases, and the sediment becomes a hard rock, which encases the bones. Ground water will then begin to dissolve the minerals in the bone until they are all gone, and there is just a bone shape hole in the rock (or rather, a bone shape mould). (This is why you want to make sure you bones are big and strong – you don’t want them to dissolve before the sediment becomes a rock, because no mould will be left, and you want the mould to be as big as possible to negate any dissolving which may have taken place before the sediment became rock).
Then, water will seep into this skeleton shaped hole in the ground, and minerals which are dissolved in the water will start to crystallize, and eventually form a rock in the shape of the skeleton – at which point, you are a fossil.
Then all you have to do is be discovered, and hey-presto! You are a fossil!
Image courtesy of Premasagar Rose
This Youtube video will give an overview of the information found on the article tab. If you want to know more about the topic, or want to see where the information came from, have a read of the article after you watch the video.
If you want to become a fossil, make sure you have good strong bones, get buried in a bog/ peat pit and then wait a few millions years…