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A real-life Encino Man sequel? Couple discovers ice age fossils amid pool construction

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Apr 29, 2021, 1:28 PM EDT

Don't you hate it when you're just trying to install a pool in your backyard and you unearth an ancient being who becomes your new best friend as he adjusts to modern-day living and teaches you as much as you teach him? Well, that's not quite what happened here, but a Las Vegas couple did recently live out at least part of the 1992 cinematic classic Encino Man when they found their swimming pool project halted by a discovery from all the way back in the ice age

According to the Associated Press, Matt Perkins and his husband were in the middle of putting a new pool into their home in Nevada when they got an unwelcome surprise. 

"The pool guy said he was going to come to check out the pool,” Perkins said. “We assume that was normal, we wake up he’s out front with the police.”

It turns out the pool builders had unearthed a set of bones about five feet underground, and called the police just in case they happened to be tied to some unknown foul play. The police quickly ruled that out when it was discovered that the bones were from an animal, but not just a recently deceased pet or other wildlife. No, these bones are thousands of years old, a relic from a bygone age. 

According to Joshua Bonde of the Nevada Science Center, the area where Perkins' home now stands was once a major watering spot in the Mohave Desert, and is near Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument. As the name suggests, Tule Springs has been home to numerous major fossil discoveries, including mammoths because of its proximity to ancient watering holes.

"If people are digging in their backyard, it shouldn’t be a surprise when they hit something,” Bonde said. 

Bonde told AP that the bones are likely from a large mammal such a horse, and they're of course in no condition to be thawed out and made over for the 1990s high school experience. Still, Nevada law says Perkins and his husband do technically own the fossil now, so they're still figuring out the best way to preserve it.