Student Finds “Snitch” Hiding 185-million-year-old Sea Creature.

How are passions born? Perhaps by chance: we start to think that something is extremely interesting and we continue to fuel this little fire; or we inherit it from someone: a parent, a loved one, a friend who shared his passion with us. Aaron Smith is not sure where his passion for fossils came from, but for years he has collected them and explored the sea in the hope of finding treasures. He found several, but he is particularly proud of one of them: it is a large “snitch” who hides an ancient fossil inside.


image credit: yorkshire.fossil/instagram

Aaron is in his 20s, a medical student, and has found several fossils in his life on the beaches of Whitby, Yorkshire. This one, however, far surpasses all the others: the boy found a fossil on Sandsend Beach, locked in what at first glance appears to be a large snitch. It is actually a rock covered with iron pyrite – also known as “fool’s gold” – which can make the material shine when polished.


image credit: yorkshire.fossil/instagram

The young man says that most of the time nothing is found, but every once in a while, with a bit of luck, you can find something extremely rare, as in this case. You just have to be patient, be careful, and don’t stop looking. For Aaron, it is extremely exciting and satisfying to find a fossil after months of searching. After polishing the stone and opening it, he found inside the fossils of a spiral-shaped cephalopod creature. The most famous cephalopods today are the squid and the octopus. According to the boy, the fossil could be an object from the Lower Jurassic period and therefore the fossil could date back to around 185 million years ago.


Snitch-shaped spheres with an inner core are more common than you might think, and it is not uncommon to find one of these wonders along the Yorkshire coast. On the other treasures waiting to be discovered? According to Aaron, there certainly are and on Instagram. On his page ” yorkshire.fossils “, he also shares photos and videos of his discoveries.

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