Imagine going through your daily routine with no care in the world and stumbling upon a relic from thousands of years ago. Sounds crazy, right? However, for two farmers, a simple day of digging unearthed secrets from the past and even crazier, both of these men were on opposite sides of the world.
You won’t believe this incredible story about two ordinary farmers, connected by mutual discoveries.
Christmas in Argentina
It was a beautiful Christmas morning in 2015, when Argentinian man, Jose Antonio Nievas decided to take a walk around his ranch before partaking in the daily festivities. While passing a stream that ran through his property, Jose saw a round stone sticking out of the stream’s bank. Curious, he began to examine the large object only to reveal it was something else entirely.
Calling for Help
After approaching the object for a closer look, Jose was alarmed by its appearance. There was no way this was just a stone. He tried to clean some of the mud off of the object but realized he needed help. Jose called for his wife Reina to assist, hoping she could help him determine what the incredible object happened to be.
Hard at Work
The couple spent hours digging in the river bank, clearing away the mud to unveil an object that looked very much like an egg. From the almost scaled surface to the oval shape, they truly didn’t know what it could possibly be. Therefore, Jose and Reina called the police for help.
Word Spreads Quickly
When the police arrived, they were just as perplexed as Jose. Of course, word got out around town about Jose’s discovery and soon locals from all over gathered at the stream to see the mysterious find. No one could figure out what the object was. Animal? Ancient relic? At this point, it could have been anything.
As the police and locals pondered the strange find, a dog began to sniff around the object. Soon, it became quite agitated, barking wildly. The police knew that dogs didn’t really react to plants or natural formations. This had to be something so much more, so they decided to report the discovery to local archaeologists.
Two local archaeologists were intrigued by what they heard about the find and immediately drove over to check it out. After a careful examination, they determined it was definitely from an ancient period of time, but would need further testing. Therefore, they arranged for it to be transported to a lab for scientific study.
Back at the Lab
Transporting the object proved more difficult than expected. It was absolutely massive. However, the archaeological team was able to finally get it to the lab and under a microscope. They were amazed to find that it was a very rare fossil. A turtle shell to be exact and it was linked to another discovery thousands of miles away.
A Monsterous Discovery
Meanwhile, in Michigan, farmer James Bristle had unearthed a prehistoric fossil on his land at the same time as the investigation in Argentina. The two farmers could have never suspected their discoveries would eventually bring them together.
Searching for the Perfect Spot
Bristle had stumbled upon the large skeleton when he was digging for a location to place a natural gas line on his farm. He settled on an unused soy field and upon digging into the land made a startling discovery…
Since the natural gas line would need to be deep in the ground, James utilized a backhoe for the difficult process. However, as he was digging the machinery hit something very hard. This came as a surprise to James because the soy fields usually had very soft soil. Stopping his backhoe, he began to dig in the area with his hands, discovering something very smooth.
Could it be a root or stone?
A Large Bone
After loosening the soil some more, James was able to pull a large bone from the dirt. He was shocked by its sheer size and realized it wasn’t from any animal he’d ever seen. Overcome with curiosity, he began to dig even deeper. What else could be hidden beneath the dirt of his field?
The Investigation in Argentina Continues
Back in the lab in Argentina, researchers were amazed to have finally discovered what the object from Jose’s property was. It seemed the unsuspecting farmer had stumbled upon the fossilized shell of a glyptodon, an ancient armadillo-like creature that lived during the time of the dinosaurs.
Known for its shell of heavy armor, the Glyptodon lived during what is known as the Pleistocene epoch. It was first discovered in 1839 and was around the same size and weight as a Volkswagen Beetle. Evidence suggests that early humans drove the animal to extinction, hunting them for their shells to make shelters during the winter. It’s believed that glyptodon went extinct roughly 10,000 years ago.
The Michigan Mystery Beast
Meanwhile, in Michigan, the excavation of the mystery bones continued. What once had been the dig site for a natural gas line had turned into a full-blown archaeological endeavor, creating buzz around the town and with the local media.
But what had the local farmer found?
Filling in the Blanks
As more bones were unearthed, theories began to run rampant. Then the skull was discovered and the truth was revealed. James Bristle had accidentally stumbled upon the skeleton of an ancient woolly mammoth.
But how on earth did one wind up buried in a soy field in Michigan?
Working with the Experts
James reached out to the University of Michigan’s Museum of Paleontology and connected with the director, Daniel Fisher. Fisher was more than excited by the discovery, and along with his students began to help unravel the mystery. They knew they needed to get the entire skeleton moved, but were afraid of damaging it.
An Excavator to the Rescue
Thankfully, the team was able to use an excavator to get the complete skeleton onto a truck bed. There was a moment of suspense when one of the straps holding the skull snapped, but thankfully they were able to prevent any damage to the super rare find.
However, there was a much bigger surprise in store.
What Are the Odds?
What’s crazy about both of these discoveries is that two different fossils were found by two different farmers at opposite ends of the world. However, was it all just a coincidence or could there be more to the story?
Mammoths and Glyptodons
It’s believed that mammoths and glyptodons traversed the same territory at one point in time. Mammoths are believed to have migrated from South America into North America, and glyptodons have been found all over the world, from South America to Asia. Both species are believed to have lived around the same time period as well.
The Fate of the Discoveries
According to the University of Michigan, the mammoth found by James Bristle had been hunted for meat by the locals. As for the glyptodon in Argentina, researchers think the animal died naturally or was crushed by a heavy force of impact. In the end, Bristle donated the skeleton to the university to put on display in their gallery.
Two Amazing Finds
What’s amazing about these two discoveries is how they were completely unrelated yet connected thanks to history. Two farmers, both unearthed prehistoric creatures that happened to roam the earth at the same time and in the same place. What are the odds? The world truly is an incredible and mysterious place.