450-million-year-old Godzillus fossil stumps scientists: WTF is it?

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Dec 17, 2012

A gigantic fossil unearthed in Kentucky has everyone scrambling to learn its origin. So what the heck is the artifact scientists have affectionately nicknamed "Godzillus"?

Weighing in at 160 pounds, the large fossil is more than 6 feet long and 3 feet wide. The artifact is such a mystery that scientists still haven't figured out whether it's a plant, an animal or a mineral.

Amateur paleontologist Ron Fine found the fossil in a Kentucky hillside last year and has been trying to figure out what it is ever since.

"This is the ultimate cold case. Like Godzilla, it's a primordial beast that found its way to the modern era," Fine told the Associated Press. "Most fossils around here are small, the size of your thumbnail or your thumb. This thing's huge."

Though it's just a guess, UC geology professor David Meyer has an idea: The artifact is some type of sponge, or algae, from approximately 450 million years ago, when that area is thought to have been covered by water.

"This one has us stumped. ... Some of its surface also looks like scales. But this thing is not bony. It is not a fish," Meyer said. "Cincinnati was covered by a sea, 100 to 200 feet deep. Primitive shellfish lived in it. But no fish."

(Via Yahoo News)