We’ve been digging for fossils in all the wrong places!


At least that’s the case according to some bad movie geology.

This is what happens when movies get made with no dogs involved—all the common sense is stripped right out of them.

Comments

  1. PaulC says

    I read through the whole thread, but it seems like the punchline must be in the YouTube link that I studiously avoided to follow (I don’t even have sound on this computer).

    I miss the days when people used to communicate in writing. I suppose it’s only going to get worse.

  2. says

    OK, the video: some geologists are in the cone of a volcano. They dig around a little, and find…a fossil ammonite. From the Devonian or whatever.

  3. Steve_C says

    Sounds like the location scout and production designer won the argument over the science consultant.

    “Finding fossils in a volcano is both impossible and stupid”

    “So, it looks freaking cool! Makes a great gimbal shot.”

    “ok, get props to bring the fossil in… let’s put them near the steaming vent”

  4. Steve Watson says

    You also don’t usually find oil around active volcanoes (in a stupid flick that a bunch of well-known respected actors should have been ashamed to appear in).

    And the less said about this turkey, the better…but its earlier version has the redeeming features (for Trek fans, at least) of seeing Wil Wheaton get deep-fried in magma, and Terry Farrell without the spots.

  5. says

    Now we know how ammonites went extinct: by threwing themselves in boiling lava. They had sensed, thanks to all their tiny furry tentacles, that the future had nothing more to offer but silly TV shows.

  6. Carlie says

    Wow. I’ve always held that The Core is the worst geology movie ever made, but now I have to see this one. The Core could still win for overwhelming numbers of errors, but that one scene wins for sheerest stupidity of the sort a kid coming out of 8th grade science wouldn’t commit.

  7. says

    Well, Carlie, I only saw the first few minutes of this one, and I left out stuff like the first volcano erupting catastrophically with no warnng until moments before the eruption.

    And given that the plot involves The End Of Humanity, I bet there’s more.

  8. Dunc says

    […] Terry Farrell without the spots.

    But I liked her spots! It was a huge disappointment to me that she airbrushed them out in “Trials and Tribblations”… ;)

  9. says

    Ow, my brain hurts. Ow.

    On the bright side, now I get to pull my kids in here and see who can spot the science goof first… the 5YO or the 7YO? (My money’s on the 5YO. He’s been into geology lately.)

  10. BruceJ says

    Ugh, just reading the comments lets me know that it was one of the Sci-Fi channel groaners, wasn’t it. [peeks at link] Yup.

    This is one reason, back when I was in the science fiction club at our public library we HATED the term ‘sci-fi’. It always connoted something really cheesy and horribly made.

    “Eureka” is ok, though, any show that celebrates nerd-dom like that is cool in MY book!

  11. craig says

    The worst science movie of all time is “Special Report: Journey to Mars” starring Judge Reinhold.

    “When the worlds first spaceship is close to its goal, Mars, the TV-network GNN begins it’s live coverage of the last two hours. Then the problems starts. The landing-computer malfunctions, the captain Eugene Slader gets very sick and back on Earth it is discovered that big financial corporations have an interest in the failure of the mission – and we, the viewers, can see it all live on televison.”

  12. says

    The fossil is a problem on oh-so-many levels:

    A) Fossils are exceedingly rare in igneous rocks, and most especially in those which form the cone of a volcano!!

    B) Yes, ammonites are from the Mesozoic and the Devonian, but also from the intervening Carboniferous and Permian.

    C) Most importantly of all: ICELAND IS TOO YOUNG FOR AMMONITES!!! Iceland sits atop the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, in the middle of oceanic crust. Geologically, the rocks down its middle are extremely young, and even the oldest parts of emergent Iceland are only a few million years old. To find Mesozoic rocks in the Atlantic ocean basin you’d have to fly hundreds of miles east or west (although if you went to continental masses like Greenland or Scotland you could find them well enough).

  13. llewelly says

    It seems everyone has forgotten Jules Verne recorded an entire biome of prehistoric critters deep within the bowels of a volcano in Iceland. So why not a lone Ammonite?

    (Did anyone else get the feeling Verne was trying to poke fun at paleontologists in Journey to the Center of the Earth? )

  14. stogoe says

    Dunc @9: Well, how would they explain a Trill appearing on Kirk’s Enterprise a hundred or so years before anyone knew they existed?

    I was sad she left DS9, but really, the new Dax was almost equal in fanservice (but a total drag in personality and usefulness, of course).[/trekkie]

    PaulC: Yeah, it kinda sucks, but that is the direction of things. It’d be nice if people would include a text summary or transcript or something, though.

  15. Leszek Pawlowicz says

    You’re not giving the writers enough credit. Obviously, this was a laccolith, and the fossils come from the sedimentary layers pushed to the side. Mt. Elden in Flagstaff is a perfect example; I’ve pulled Mississipian crinoids, worm burrows and scallops off the slopes of this volcano, and there’s a notable Devonian placoderm quarry on its slopes as well.

    The Iceland part is a bit tougher to explain away ….

  16. folderol says

    Now you know how I, a horse trainer, feel watching ANY movie that has a horse in it. So many errors on so many levels. Yeesh.

  17. says

    It seems everyone has forgotten Jules Verne recorded an entire biome of prehistoric critters deep within the bowels of a volcano in Iceland. So why not a lone Ammonite?

    Well, I don’t think they were actually under Iceland by that point. They got erupted back up in Italy, remember? (Not that trying to rescue 19th C. SF from its errors is really a worthwhile endeavour. BTAIM, Verne’s place in the literary pantheon is assured.)

  18. elissa says

    I’m confused. You see, from the Young Earth Creationists, I *know* that ammonites didn’t run as fast as snails. So how’d it get so high?

  19. says

    Folderol, I feel your pain. For me it is damn near anything dealing with SCUBA diving. Except Jacqueline Bisset, of course.