Louisville Magazine

AUG 2018

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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highlandsfest.com 52 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 8.18 blog Louisville Fossils and Beyond since 2008. Popp is a computer guy who hap- pens to be interested in fossils, the result of growing up on three acres in Lanesville, Indiana, on the other side of the Knobs from west Louisville. ere, not knowing what they were, he would find crinoids and brachiopods in a limestone creek, the same fossils that are so ubiquitous here. Eight years ago, Popp and a cousin had 20 tons of Waldron shale, from a quarry in Clark County, Indiana, delivered to a field. And then they let the big pile sit. Out in the elements, the soft shale began to crumble away, bringing the harder fossils into the sunlight for the first time in 400 million years. After two years, Popp discovered what he now puts on a blue handkerchief at the Heine Brothers' on Taylorsville Road. I can only describe it as a creature from another planet. If you told me this was life discovered in the oceans on Jupiter's moon Europa, I'd believe you. "It's insane," Popp says. He shows me this near-perfect trilobite, its head intact, raised above its body so in profile it makes a curve like a tilde: ~. Usually, you only see the tail of a trilobite. Popp discovered the head and then metic- ulously screened the shale through a metal grid until he found the tail and could glue the animal back together. is 3.5-inch arthropod now looks as if you could wave a wand and re-animate it. Paleontology is a kind of resurrection. Falls of the Ohio State Park's inter- pretive center was renovated in 2015 to the tune of $6 million. Down a hallway, around a bend, and suddenly — you are at the bottom of an indigo sea. A world I had previously only seen in limestone appears in vibrant color. Hills of coral. Purple tentacled florets popping out of pink honeycomb corals. Crinoids swaying in the current, pink feathers on long orange stalks, bigger than a daisy but smaller than a sunflower. Fat horn corals with orange anemone-like tentacles reaching out of the top. Snails the size of Frisbees. Trilobites hiding in the nooks and scampering across the sand. An ammonite swimming with its many tentacles behind it. You are living on the bottom of a sea that is no longer here. But with a little imagination, you can breathe life back into the ghosts all around you. Thanks for voting us Best Brunch!

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