Friday, 23 November 2012

A Mystery: Who passed this way?

At first glance the footprints or handprints (below) resemble a pair of tossed away industrial gloves. In fact, now I come to think of it they look like my old gardening gloves.

The prints are over 250,000,000 years old. They were laid down before the time of the Permina-Triassic mass extinction when, according to some experts, 90% of life on Earth perished due to a collision between Earth and an extra-terrestrial object. 

The accepted theory is that primates have existed on Earth for only 50,000,000 years. So we have to ask: What manner of creature was responsible for these strangely familiar prints if there were no primates around to make them? 

The sandstone slab on which the prints appear is evidence of the great drought on the supercontinent of Pangäa more 200,000,000 years before the first primate is supposed to have appeared. 

And so here* in pictures we have clues to a great mystery. 

And HERE are my primary suspects. 

>250,000,000 year sandstone

Left hand or foot 

Right hand or foot

Who passed this way? 

*Natural History Museum, Vienna, Austria.


  1. It is things like this which help me to get a sense of proportion into my life Gwil. It shows just how little importance can be attached to our individual lives - we come, we go, others follow - all part of the giant scheme of things. I don't think it matters at all who or what made the prints. Thanks for showing them.

  2. It's amazing isn't it? I cannot begin to imagine a period of time such as 250,00,000 years and yet clearly there was life as we know it , primates, going on. And this is even before the dinosaurs. The geological record challenges our traditional beliefs.

    It reminds me of the teacher who told me to be quiet when I stuck my hand up and challenged his or her lesson: "No it wasn't Columbus it was . . ." I began and it was as far as I got.

  3. Even older are the rocks of Wales; in Pembrokeshire they are an incredible 700,000,000 years of age according to a park ranger I recently saw on TV.


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