A book recommendation and a question…

I’ve returned from Easter at the Illawarra coast in New South Wales with a book recommendation and a question.

Roaming the coal cliffs and rock platforms along the beach,

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I was reminded of Tracey Chevalier’s fascinating book, Remarkable Creatures. Below is an excerpt from the Washington Post –

Remarkable Creatures is about Mary Anning, an unjustly forgotten, real-life figure in 19th-century paleontology. She was the daughter of an amateur fossil hunter and cabinetmaker who died young (and once tried to overcharge Jane Austen). Mary helped support her impoverished family by combing the shore for (little understood) curiosities or fossils that could be sold to gentleman hobbyists. Mary was the inspiration behind the tongue twister, “She sells seashells by the seashore.”

Mary’s seaside fossicking occurred at a time when few understood the significance of these fossils. To give some perspective, Charles Darwin was two when Mary Anning was twelve. Remarkable Creatures is a triumphant tale of female adventure. It not only highlights the immense social and perceived ‘intellectual’ gulfs between men and women back then, but also generally of class, religion and science.

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On the beach this Easter, I imagined what it might have feel like to be Mary Anning, discovering amazing fossils , asking questions, and being accused of fraud by the scientific community.

Now to my question.  🙂

Please look at my photos of the rock pools first –

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What if we perceive our existence on Earth in the same, finite way that these creatures do, ie, that their rock pool (planet) is all that exists—is all that’s important in the universe?? (I don’t know, perhaps crabs and anemones have deep thoughts, I’m just assuming … )

It’s an interesting question that makes me feel … small.

Remarkable Creatures reviews:




This entry was posted in fossils, Mary Anning, paleontology, Remarkable Creatures, Tracey Chevalier and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to A book recommendation and a question…

  1. Great photos! I love rock pools – and I like to think there’s more to existence than the small amount we are able to perceive through the filter of our senses and the conditioning of our minds.

  2. There’s more to existence than what I’d envisioned thirty years ago, ha ha!
    The old, ‘the more you know, the more you know you don’t know’. 🙂
    Hope your darling dog is better.

  3. I think it is a matter of perception and scale. Some see the world as revolving around themselves, others see a little wider and so on till we’re looking out beyond anything we know and completely understand. Maybe we’re all little crabs to some degree. 😉 x

  4. As I’ve grown older…my wanting to expand my world has become an objective for sure…a little further…all of the time!

  5. Hi Marilyn. I’m with you there! 🙂

  6. HazMo's Mama says:

    I love rock pools. And the contemplation of the finite and infinite that comes from pottering about at the ocean or staring out at the stars. Or when you look at your small people who are asleep. My biggest small person has an obsession with space and the universe and black holes and the big bang and how it all began and will end. It has led to many very cool conversations about our conceptions of existence and our place here in this little earth rockpool. xx

    • I knew you’d understand. I think your biggest small person would love Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Universe episode – ‘Stardust.’ So might you, for another reason. 🙂
      Thanks for visiting. x

  7. Lee-Anne says:

    In answer to your deep and existential question – I don’t know! But as long as we keep our minds open…perhaps that’s the key. What did Hamlet say again? “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio…”

    Gorgeous pics, Susan. 🙂

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