New York Used to Have Coral Reefs and Truck-Sized Sea Scorpions
According to a report by Nick Lavars of New Atlas, scientists studying samples of 390 year old seawater found that an ancient body of water in Upstate New York used to have coral reefs and truck-sized sea scorpions.
According to the report, the scientists accidentally made the discovery while they were researching arsenic leaches from pyrite. In their research, they found small bubbles in the pyrite and upon further review, discovered that the bubbles were actually seawater locked in the pyrite for 390 million years. And they discovered that the seawater matched the chemistry of a body of water in upstate New York that stretched from Michigan to Ontario, Canada.
And as a side note, they mentioned that this body of water featured vast coral reefs and sea scorpions the size of a pickup truck.
Now until this moment, I wasn't aware that a sea scorpion the size of a pickup truck was something that existed at one point on this planet. There aren't a lot of things that scare me more than regular-sized scorpions as it is. And I'm certainly glad they aren't a thing anymore. Imagine going to take a swim in the ancient sea of New York and a 5,000 pound scorpion emerges from the water looking for a snack? Not interested in that at all.
The scientists also noted that the study could have practical applications in the storing of hydrogen as an energy source. Sandra Taylor, the first author of the study and a scientist at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, said "This study suggests that tiny defects in minerals might be potential traps for hydrogen. So by using this technique we could figure out what's going on at the atomic level, which would then help in evaluating and optimizing strategies for hydrogen storage in the subsurface."
The potential energy applications are interesting enough. But I don't think I'll be able to focus on that potential while I spend the rest of the day wondering how I would survive an encounter with a sea scorpion the size of a truck.