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Future Fossils

Document the amazing diversity of life for way-future paleontologist-beings (S_Bug=2.0)
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The world seems to be losing plant and animal species to extinction almost daily. The great majority of species that have become extinct in the past probably left few fossils, and all too often even partial remnants are found only with difficulty. Humans, as the most thoughtful and bemused of Earths inhabitants, should be documenting the remarkable diversity of life on Earth by artificially augmenting the fossil record now, before it's too late!

I propose we create Future Fossil beds in arid basins of the world where sediments are accumulating, and on the bottom of anaerobic bodies of water like the Black Sea. Into these fossil creation sites we place the complete and carefully arranged bones and shells of animals, wood of all sorts of trees together with their needles or leaves packed carefully in silt, and even insects encased in thick gobs of pine pitch or other resin. We might also want to include hardened ceramic figurines showing each animal or plant as it appeared in life along with the appropriate Future Fossil assemblage.

What a boon this will be 30 or 40 million years in the future, when sentient crustaceans evolved from tubeworms around deep-sea vents are checking out Earth's paleontology! Granted, we won't be around (certainly not personally, and probably not collectively) to receive their thanks. But once we have done our best in this regard at least we can go to sleep at night with our collective conscience unclouded.

Dog Ed, Apr 25 2001

Some preliminary research has been done. http://www.amazon.c...ments/dp/1846680441
[pertinax, Jul 30 2009]


       Won't they just be able to catch re-runs on Animal Planet?
globaltourniquet, Apr 25 2001

       as long as there is no more book burning, or CD burning forthat matter. The vast diversity of the way life was will not be lost. These days writters are and historians are very carefull we record evrything we know on to computers and in books to keep it preserved for prosperity.
wood2coal, Aug 31 2001, last modified Sep 02 2001

       Now if we can just sort out the coal and oil burning, the vast diversity of the way life is might not be lost at all.
-alx, Aug 31 2001

       I was about to post "Fossilize Me (tm)" - a post-life service which, for a small fee, would carefully deposit your remains in a favourably-sited cold, anoxic, silty seabed, offering you a reasonable chance of becoming a fossil in due course. Deceased couples could opt to be fossilized together in romantic or erotic poses; others may choose to be posed with a mobile phone, or perhaps holding a whisk and a small fish to puzzle future anthropaleontologists.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 25 2007

       I'm sure someone would sneak in a few fake animals...and if that's the case how do we know a possible previous intelligence on the planet hasn't already done the same? Might explain that claw on velociraptor's foot which apparently isn't strong enough to do anything useful..   


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