Family Finally Unveils 90-Million-Year-Old Ichthyosaurus Fossil After Keeping it Buried in Their Yard for 150 Years

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Family Finally Unveils 90-Million-Year-Old Ichthyosaurus Fossil After Keeping it Buried in Their Yard for 150 Years

 

In 1850, the Temperley family unearthed an enormous Ichthyosaurus fossil in Somerset, England. However, they decided to rebury it in their backyard to protect their religious beliefs. The family was devoted to “creationism,” believing that displaying the prehistoric fossils would mean that they were “denying God.”

The earliest recorded discovery of the Ichthyosaurus was in the early 1800s. This creature is part of an extinct marine reptile group that partly resembled dolphins. More than 150 years later, Julian Temperley decided that the 90-million-year-old skeleton should be showcased. All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they saw on the news or read in history books, reported that Julian spent nearly $3,700 (£3,000) to restore and mount the fossil. 

 

Photo Credit: All That's Interesting

 

According to Julian, the enormous skeleton was found by either William Philosophus Bradford or John Wesley Bradford — his great-great-grandfather or his father. He explained that during that time, fossils weren’t really explained until Darwin came along. That’s why his family took it home and buried it. “Up until then, if you believed in fossils you were denying the Bible says God created Day One, and so on. Anyway, eventually Darwin came along and convinced people that fossils weren’t anything to do with Satan,” he added. 

 

Photo Credit: All That's Interesting

 

Julian and his family realized that it was not a good idea to leave the fossil buried after the flooding of 2013-2014. The Ichthyosaurus fossil, which existed approximately 200 million years ago during the Jurassic period, will be staying on the wall of their cider brandy bond where it will be part of their family history. “Putting it with aging spirits seems like the right thing to do,” he said.

 

Photo Credit: All That's Interesting

 

Although the Temperley family’s single-item collection isn’t the largest of these uncovered specimens, its origin story is quite enthralling. The title belongs to the 10 to 11-and-a-half-foot-long fossil found in the mid-1990s. 

 

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