fossils

Written Confession: Strange Rock Looks an Awful Lot Like a Tiny Skull

The following written confession and accompanying photo images were submitted via social media and email.

A listener of The Confessionals recently reached out via social media and then email for opinions about a strange rock he found in Texas. He first submitted photos of the rock/skull to the Paleontology Department at the University of Colorado, which responded that it “vaguely resembled a skull.” We think that the weathered-looking artifact, though it is no bigger than a man’s thumb, looks a bit more than “vaguely” like a skull. The object appears to have eye sockets, a nasal cavity, and possible mouth with teeth. The closest comparison we can draw at present is to a fetal chimpanzee skull, though there are many other possibilities as to what it could really be. Here are the details of its discovery:

“I found the skull while helping a friend who owns a lawn care business. I was done with the trimming, but he had a lot of grass left to cut, so I spent that time kicking through the rocks that made up the driveway of the residence. At the time that I noticed the skull, I didn't notice it for what it was. I thought it interesting because of the hole that went clean through, plus it was caked with dirt. I put it in my pocket until I got home . . . Joaquin, TX is where the skull was found. The skull is 1 1/2 in. in height and about the same wide at its widest point. The back side is completely blown out. By that I mean, it looks to be broken or crushed off. It's not a recent break though. The edges have the same coloration as the rest. It's not a more vivid or brighter color which indicates weathering the same as the rest of it. Suture lines are apparent as are cheek bones, brow ridges, symmetrical eye sockets and nasal cavity, lower jaw bone and obvious teeth. If this is just a rock, I want to know what the odds are that it came out like this by pure accident.”

Along with this rock/skull, other fossilized objects including feathers were also found, causing our listener to wonder if the quarry that supplied the driveway gravel holds other strange items or clues to the mystery. What do you make of this odd find?