A Godzillus lived in Cincinnati 450 million years ago

Citizens of Cincinnati, be grateful that none of you were alive 450 million years ago, because if you were, you'd have to deal with a monstrous Godzillus. Not a Godzilla, but a Godzillus, and an amateur paleontologist has just dug up a fossil of one of these fearsome creatures.

It does sort of just look like a rock-colored lump, but paleontologists affiliated with the University of Cincinnati say that they've found something very big and very weird. According to the guy who dug this thing up, "imagine a saguaro cactus with flattened branches and horizontal stripes in place of the usual vertical stripes. My personal theory is that it stood upright, with branches reaching out in all directions similar to a shrub. The upper-most branch would have towered nine feet high."

So yeah, it sounds like this mystery thing is more of a plant than an animal, and the fact that it's half a billion years old makes that a virtual certainty. That long ago, proto-Europe was busy colliding with North America, and the rest of the world was covered with continents and microcontinents that don't even exist anymore, like Avalonia, Baltica, and Laurentia. There were no animals (or trees) on land, and under water, fish were just starting to figure out that it was kinda cool to have bones.

Meanwhile, as far as this fossil goes, the anthropologists say that they're "sure it's biological. We just don't know yet exactly what it is," and nobody that they've asked has been able to find anything even remotely similar. Whatever it is, they're thinking of calling it Godzillus, because "like Godzilla, it's a primordial beast that found its way to the modern era." Maybe not quite as scary as a giant radioactive lizard of doom, but I bet if it fell on you or something, it might be at least a little bit annoying.

Via UC

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