SCRANTON, Pa. (WBRE/WYOU-TV) – The detailed images in the video above may look like paintings, but they are actually fossils that predate humans by many millions of years.
The set of fossils found in boulders at a landfill site outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania are an estimated 300 million years old.
“It speaks to such a long time ago. I think it’s amazing that we can look back that far in history and see a souvenir,” said John Hambrose, regional spokesman for Waste Management.
It’s believed the fossils are from ferns and parts from a tree. The formations are so pronounced that they have a noticeable texture when touched. If you look closely you can see the trunk and one branch still showcasing its fibers from its bark. The plants ended up dying over time in water.
“Over the years, sediment settled on top of those plants and began to press those plants and compacted them, some of those plants, into coal,” said Hambrose.
Hambrose says the fossils were discovered inside two-ton boulders at Waste Management’s facility earlier this month.
The artifacts have now been placed on display for the public at the site of a local coal mining tour.