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January 7th is Old Rock Day

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If you don't any plans for today then break out your fossils because it's Old Rock Day!  I'm not sure how or why this started but people have admired the beauty of old rocks for years.  Let's get right into celebrating Old Rock Day!

WHY IS THIS A HOLIDAY?  

I'm really not sure who started this holiday or why they picked this day but we've been in awe of the beauty of old rocks for years. Some people even go as far as making jewelry or art out of these rocks.  Can you remember the first time you saw a fossil in an old rock? It's always interesting to find the imprint of past lives in random rocks, especially when you find them on the tops of mountains!  Geology, the study of solid Earth, has been around since at least ancient Greece in the 4th century B.C. when Theophrastus wrote Peri Lithon, AKA On Stones. It was a book about the gem stones they knew about in that time period. Some rocks are seen as valuable because of their beauty and because they're so hard to find.

In 1074, Shen Kua came up with a hypothesis on how land was formed after observing fossils of shells in rocks up in the mountains of China, hundreds of miles from the ocean.  I remember finding fossils of shells as I was digging in my backyard and we live on the side of a mountain. I was pretty amazed to find that when we live miles from the ocean, in Pennsylvania.  And in the 1800s, William Smith started coming up with a way to organize the different layers of rocks in the Earth by the fossils contained in them.  We still don't have the Earth completely figured out, but these old rocks still have our attention which is as good of a reason to celebrate as any!

HOW TO CELEBRATE 

So how are you going to celebrate today?  Well, you could show someone your collection if you're already collected some fossils or unique rocks.  I know I have a nice collection of stones and minerals that I've gathered over the years.  Or you could go to random shops near you, buy some rocks and make some jewelry or art out of them. Or take the easy route and order some unique rock jewelry ;).
 
Or you can go outside and go on an old rock hunt yourself! There are fossils all over the place and some places even let you dig for diamonds. This is a good way to get you outside and have a little adventure for the day. It'll be a lot more rewarding when you find your special, old rocks.  You could even head to some local museums and check out some fossil-filled rocks they have on display. This is one of the best ways to ensure that you see some truly old rocks and some amazing fossils too.  Be prepared for a lot of "ooo's and ahh's".  Whatever you decide to do, I hope your day is filled with old rocks!





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