photos by Ace Jackalope, used with permission
Well, it was going to be watermelonhenge today, but after encountering some technical difficulties we decided to go with this brilliant entry from the 2009 Kansas State Fair: Stonehenge models made from fossil crinoid stems (crinoids are a kind of sea animal that resembles a lily, more or less, many of them anchored to the sea floor by stems). As our new friend Mister Jackalope posted, “Morgan Reves of Pottawatomie County, Kansas, treated the public to this special exhibit: two models of Stonehenge – past and present – made of fossil crinoid stems.”
Why fossil crinoid stems? We don’t know, but they are common. Presumably Morgan had a bag of them sitting around and was struck one day, as people are, with the idea that she (or he?) could make little Stonehenges with them. What we love is that the two models on display show the monument as it was, or is thought to have been, at its fullest stage, and in its modern, partially toppled condition (seen above).
As you can see on the left, diagrams and explanations of Stonehenge, and possibly of fossil crinoid stems, accompanied the models. Was this a science fair project or some other kind of display? We can only speculate, but we’re glad it was there to add to the weird materials list for Stonehenge replicas!
As relatively common and obvious as fossils are, they were bound to be noticed and used by the megalith builders at least once. While there may be others, the most famous real megalithic site to feature a fossil is the long barrow at Stoney Littleton (yes, they really give places names like that over in Great Britain–Tolkien didn’t make that up!). You can see a photo of the fossil ammonite on a stone at the front of it here. There is no chance that the builders didn’t see it, but what they thought of we can never know.
Score for these crinoid stem henges: 6½ druids. Fine work, Morgan Reves! The diagrams pick up the features, like the bluestones and the ditch and bank, that the models don’t show.
We end with a quote from an email we received from Ace Jackalope himself: “There’s a blog just for Stonehenge replicas? Surely the Internet has now fulfilled its greatest possible potential!”
Yes, it’s true. Just as in the Vonnegut book The Sirens of Titan humans were created in order to build a replacement part for a Tralfamadorian spacecraft that had broken down near Earth (and Stonehenge is a message in Tralfamadorian), so these internets were built for this and this alone. Everything else is simply an outgrowth of this ultimate process. Enjoy!