gallery > detritus

The wings of the endangered Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis) encircled around itself, AA, is an example of a near-spontaneous calcification of a creature’s remains. This phenomenon, first discovered in the 1990’s with the calcified remains of the now extinct Levuana Moth (Levuana iridescens), has baffled scientists who have yet to discover exactly how an organism can achieve spontaneous fossilization after death. The process has never been witnessed and is impossible to recreate in a laboratory environment. Notably, all spontaneously fossilized remains are of endangered or newly extinct species. In her poem, “Not Dust but Stone” (excerpt below), Nigerian writer Oni Okoro interprets the spontaneous fossilization of animal remains as an existential assertion in the face of extinction:

what was in flesh
remains in stone

my final defiance
(you will not erase me)