Irradiated by LabRat
I have been sitting here trying to figure out what the hell I can possibly say about this article other than “………DUDE!” and am forced to conclude there is very little.
Here are the salient facts.
1) There is a fossil bed in Nevada of Ichthyosaur vertebral discs arranged in geometric, linear patterns. The animals these belong to, for reference, were bus-sized, air-breathing, very sharp-toothed more or less reptilian critters that slotted nichewise about where the big, heavy-hitting toothed whales do today.
2) Not all of the vertebra are likely to be from the same animal, or killed at the same time. The water was apparently very deep at the site. There are other bones at the site, suggesting some kind of trauma to the animals before death and not something like a toxic algal bloom (which would also require shallow water), but only the vertebral discs appear to have been rearranged after death.
3) The arrangements really resemble the patterns of suckers on a cephalopod’s tentacle, seem to be carefully fitted together, in a double line patterns, also like a cephalopod tentacle.
This plus the fact that modern octopuses sometimes keep bone middens they like to play with, and can kill* big, fast, predatory animals, has led one paleontologist to suggest that the origin of the strange and apparently inexplicable fossil bed was the bone midden of a hundred-foot-long super-intelligent cephalopod who was killing ichthyosaurs and arranging their bones into a self-portrait for fun. Cephalopods leave very little fossil trace behind, so a physical record of the critter would be nearly impossible to find.
“They worshipped, so they said, the Great Old Ones who lived ages before there were any men, and who came to the young world out of the sky. Those Old Ones were gone now, inside the earth and under the sea; but their dead bodies had told their secrets in dreams to the first men, who formed a cult which had never died. This was that cult, and the prisoners said it had always existed and always would exist, hidden in distant wastes and dark places all over the world until the time when the great priest Cthulhu, from his dark house in the mighty city of R’lyeh under the waters, should rise and bring the earth again beneath his sway. Some day he would call, when the stars were ready, and the secret cult would always be waiting to liberate him.
- H.P. Lovecraft, Call of Cthulhu
*Though I find the narrator’s description of that poor little spiny dogfish as a voracious super-predator kind of awkward. They’re inoffensive schooling sharks that eat small fish and, yes, the occasional octopus- LITTLE ones. They are also being badly overfished, but apparently sharks with a poisonous spine are not as cute as, say, tuna.