Some of the world’s greatest mysteries and secrets are discovered purely by chance. In fact, entire continents have been uncovered thanks to wrong turns, mistaken beliefs, and ill-informed maps.
South America’s Jose Antonio Nievas knows this all too well. Out for a Christmas-morning stroll, Jose spotted something that would raise questions all throughout his small Argentinian hometown. It took a team of experts, though, to uncover the truth.
What had he found whilst on his morning walk? Just take a look for yourself…
Sometimes, our world’s greatest mysteries lie perfectly preserved beneath the soil, waiting for someone to stumble upon them. Few people know this better than Jose Antonio Nievas, a simple farmer from the South American town of Carlos Spegazzini, which lies just south of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
For the most part, the relatively small Carlos Spegazzini saw little in the way of action, as the nearby capital city typically hogged the spotlight. That is, until Jose went out walking one Christmas morning…
It was December of 2015 when Jose took a stroll on his property. Looking for a bit of fresh air and exercise, he never expected to find anything that would change our understanding of history. Regardless, what he found might just have done so…
Jose was walking the river that cut through his property along with his dog when something caught his eye. Partially buried and caked in mud, a huge gray object jutted out of the edge of the riverbed. Upon closer inspection, however, he realized this was no rock…
The “boulder” looked scaly, like the skin of a snake, and at one end was a hole formed by a caved-in portion of the surface. Being a wise man, Jose knew this was something far more significant than he’d previously thought.
Hardly able to contain his excitement, he rushed home to tell his family about what he’d found. “Hey, I just found an egg that looks like it came from a dinosaur!” he exclaimed to his confused family. “We thought it was a joke,” his wife, Reina, said in an interview. But was it really an egg?
When Jose found the egg, it was so caked in mud that he couldn’t get an idea just how large it was. Once he dug away the surface grime, though, he realized just how big an object he was dealing with. In all, it was over three feet wide!
Jose tried lifting the “egg” out of the shallow water only to find that it was heavy, too. So heavy, in fact, that he couldn’t carry it alone. That made him, once again, reevaluate what he was dealing with. No egg could be that heavy—so what could it be?
As Jose and his family spread the word about this enormous object, rumors swirled as to its origins and nature. Could it be some kind of alien egg? Or perhaps a vessel, left behind on an alien expedition of earth? Experts had other ideas…
With so many competing theories as to what exactly they were dealing with, Jose called in the authorities who got to work evaluating the discovery. Likely, they said, it was an armored shell. To what though?
To find the answer, they had to look back in time. That’s where the glyptodon, an ancient creature that resembled an enormous armadillo, came into play. Over 15,000 years ago, these herbivores roamed all over South America. Now, Jose had discovered the remarkably well-preserved remains of one!
Jose’s glyptodon was not a loner in Argentina. In fact, archeologists have discovered similar fossils scattered all over the country. Still, the high-quality preservation Jose found was raising some eyebrows…
Skeptics wondered why the shell was right-side up. Wouldn’t these too-heavy creatures likely have died on their backs or sides? And how did it spend thousands of years buried beneath the surface while suffering so few blemishes?
After further studies, researchers determined the shell was, in fact, legitimate. Thanks to the mud, the shell was preserved for centuries. Still, something left researchers puzzled: an additional hole beyond those for the head and tail.
Kevin Walsh / Flickr
Researchers concluded that, if the damage wasn’t caused sometime while it was in the ground, it’s possible that that wound was what led to the creature’s demise. Whatever caused that injury must have been pretty sizable itself…
Ravel.Riha.CB / Wikimedia
While cousins of the glyptodon have been found throughout South America, none have been as well preserved as the one Jose found in his yard. To think that it was lying there all of those years!
Arent / Wikimedia
Thanks to Jose’s morning walk through his farm, we can now understand our ancient history a little better than we had before. Have you ever seen a piece of ancient history preserved so well?
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