plain weird
July 26, 2018 11:41 PM   Subscribe

'Problematica' are fossils that are unclassified because "their remains are incomplete, they don’t bear a resemblance to any known form of life or they are just plain weird." They sit in dusty draws, hidden away in museum storage rooms, waiting for new discoveries to help with their identification (maybe).
posted by fearfulsymmetry (9 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
Dusty draws are old sketches, long forgotten and have accumulated dust, right?
posted by blaneyphoto at 11:52 PM on July 26, 2018


Just show us the T-Rex fossil found wearing a wristwatch, you cowards.
posted by figurant at 11:54 PM on July 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


Just show us the T-Rex fossil found wearing a wristwatch, you cowards

ahem.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 12:09 AM on July 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


Dusty draws are old sketches, long forgotten and have accumulated dust, right?

I assumed that they were ancient underwear, caked in the dessicated, powdery remains of pharaohs.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:55 AM on July 27, 2018


Lack toast in taller ant.
posted by Brocktoon at 6:20 AM on July 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


One thing I got to do when I was at the National Museum of Kenya with my undergrad advisor was sort through the Boxes Of Stuff and pull out any teeth or tooth fragments I thought might be hyraxes for him to look at. It turns out hyraxes aren't really a high profile taxonomic group to study, so a lot of isolated teeth got tossed in Unidentified Boxes, just waiting for an over-eager undergraduate and her weirdo advisor who specialized in hyracoidea evolution (among a zillion other things) to stop by!

Anyways, here's a bunch of pictures of baby rock hyraxes.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:29 AM on July 27, 2018 [12 favorites]


That first one has an awfully sassy expression.

Knows it's adorable, is making plans...
posted by Windopaene at 9:24 AM on July 27, 2018


Iirc this was mentioned in Wonderful Life about the specimens from the Burgess Shale, that there were tens of thousands of items that were just sitting in drawers waiting.

I wonder when these types of things will be digitally cataloged and given to amateurs to sort, the way we have with galaxies and SETI signals?
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:34 AM on July 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


The article about identification of the Tully Monster seemed almost pretentious, language-wise. Taking itself very, very seriously. What's the presumed reading level, gradewise, for a Guardian reader in 2016? I wouldn't say I had to look up any of the words, but I was reading it aloud and there were a lot of stumbling block words. Super polysyllabic.
posted by kalessin at 11:06 PM on July 27, 2018


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