For farmers, finding something strange on your property is actually relatively common. After all, fences are rarely enough to keep wildlife and ruffians out. However, one morning while on a walk, farmer Jose Nieves made a most mysterious discovery on his property. The farmer had never seen anything like the strange object he had found. Soon, the unusual item became the talk of the town. Then, in the blink of an eye, the police arrived at Nieves’ front door.
Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, a different farmer made a similar discovery while doing some routine digging on his farm. How could these two strange objects be connected? They’d soon discover that the mysterious item would change the course of history.
Farmer Jose Antonio Nieves decided to take his dog for a walk on a bright, clear Christmas morning in 2015. He took them along the perimeter of his property, as he had hundreds of times before. However, this time he made quite a mysterious discovery. As Nieves passed a stream on his property, something extremely bizarre caught his eye. At first, it looked to the farmer as though a huge stone had suddenly appeared on his farm, a large, rounded stone-like object. One Nieves had never seen in his life stuck out from the bank of the stream.
As you might imagine, the farmer felt overwhelmed with curiosity and went to examine the item. From the trail, the foreign object appeared to be a huge stone. However, as Nieves got closer, he realized that it wasn’t a stone at all. Still, even up close, the farmer found it impossible to identify the item due to its location. Mud covered almost half of the object, making it hard to determine what exactly it was.
Determined to solve the mystery, Nieves tried to remove the caked-on mud to get a better look at this mysterious discovery. However, the task proved harder than he anticipated. In a few minutes, Nieves realized he could not clean the object with his bare hands alone. So, he decided to return home and call in some help.
After about 10 minutes of taking off mud, Nieves realized two things: some of the dirt was too hard to take off, and there was too much of it. Even worse, to completely clean it, he would need to dislodge the object from its location in the riverbank. So, the farmer returned home, knowing just who to ask for help.
Back at home, Jose Nieves asked his wife, Rita, to come help him clean the mud off the object. Not only that, but he thought she could perhaps help him identify what this mysterious discovery was. Curious as well, Rita agreed. Neither could know that they were about to make the discovery of a lifetime.
By this time, Nieves had started to come up with a theory about his mysterious discovery. Still, it sounded crazy even inside his head. So, Nieves decided to try his theory out on his wife. At first, she actually thought he was joking. “My husband went out, and when he came back, he said, ‘Hey, I just found an egg that looks like it came from a dinosaur,’” Rita recalled. “We all laughed because we thought it was a joke.” However, while it seemed like a joke, Nieves’ theory was not too far from the truth. And when they arrived at the object, Nieves’ wife could not help but agree with his description of the item.
When they arrived back at the stream, Nieves and his wife immediately got to work cleaning the unusual object. They worked delicately and slowly, making sure they didn’t damage anything. Luckily, as farmers, the two had quite an array of tools at their disposal. As the mud gave way, revealing more and more of the object, Nieves’ guess seemed more and more correct by the minute. If it wasn’t a dinosaur egg, it was undoubtedly some fossil or something similar. The couple felt as though they were standing in front of a hugely important historical artifact.
However, as they continued to dig around the object, the farmers realized it was far too big to be a dino egg. While Nieves and his wife first believed that the object was just a stone, they then thought they were in front of something far more unusual. However, it turned out that the bizarre find wasn’t actually a giant relic that could have been a prop on the set of the Jurassic Park franchise. At that moment, the couple was utterly confused as they didn’t really know what to expect. After all, it’s not every day that you stumble across such a mysterious object on your own farm.
However, Nieves and his wife would soon learn the astonishing truth about the strange object. As Nieves and his wife, Rita, uncovered more and more of the item, they started to comprehend its massive size. It measured three feet along its longest portion, much larger than either had initially anticipated. What could it possibly be? The object was not only significant in size, but it also weighed a lot. Unfortunately, when the couple finished digging out the item, they realized they could not remove it themselves. If they wanted to solve their mystery, Nieves and his wife would need assistance from someone else. So, the couple decided to call the police and ask them what to do next.
Nieves and his wife felt hopeful that the police could help them identify the unusual object or at least remove it. The police responded quickly, with multiple officers coming over the very next day. However, Nieves soon realized that the police officers would be of no help at all. Just like Nieves and his wife, the police officers had absolutely no idea what the strange object could be. In fact, they told Nieves they thought his mysterious discovery was nothing more than an old, large rock.
Thankfully, something rather unexpected would soon happen, something that would change the officers’ minds and make them realize they were dealing with more than a giant stone. Once Nieves and his wife invited the police over to take a look at their object, the word got out quickly. After all, word spreads rapidly in a small town. All of a sudden, hundreds of townspeople crowded around the Nieves’ farm to take a look at the strange object and snap pictures.
Of course, everyone that arrived told the farmer how much they looked forward to finding out what the object was. However, even as the photos went viral, no visitors or commenters could identify Nieves’ mysterious discovery. Soon, the farmer and his wife felt that they would never receive the answers or help they needed.
After their initial visit, the authorities returned a few times. However, they continued to be just as stumped as Jose Nieves and his family. Soon enough, the farmer started to feel fed up with the entire situation and just wanted it to end. Then, help came from the most unlikely source.
One morning, Nieves took his dogs for a walk, just as he had when he made the mysterious discovery. This time, however, one of his dogs started behaving oddly. Before he could even react, the dog took off towards the object. Little did any of us know his dog was about to provide a hint about the true nature of the unexplainable object.
After Nieves’ dog ran over, he started exploring the area of the riverbed where the big mysterious object sat. As he moved closer to the object, the curious dog started barking and sniffing at it. At that moment, Nieves realized there must be something more to the item. After all, his dog would never bark at a simple stone, no matter how large, since animals don’t get excited by natural objects like stones.
Nieves recorded his dog’s reaction as proof that the authorities needed to investigate more. To his surprise, the video ended up being just what he needed to push the police over the edge. The pressure was quickly mounting on local authorities. At first, they had simply dismissed Nieves’ claims. However, after hundreds of locals flocked to his farm to witness the incredible object, they had to return. Now, with his dog’s reaction, Nieves managed to convince the police to put more effort into the investigation.
Once again, together, the authorities and Nieves decided to call in some experts. Within the week, the government reached out and called in two experts, archaeologists from the nearest university. If they were lucky, the two archaeologists could identify the strange object quickly and cheaply.
Unfortunately, it wouldn’t exactly turn out that way. The two archaeologists arrived on the scene within days and immediately got to work. They actually produced some preliminary results quite quickly. Without a doubt, this object came from an ancient period; moreover, it was almost certainly biological or was at one point.
However, for any further answers, they would need to take the object to a laboratory for testing. However, the archaeologists knew that to do so, they would have to remove the object from the mud carefully. So, they called more colleagues from their college to help transport the item back to their lab.
The most challenging part of the entire journey was about to begin. As the archaeologists started to remove the heavy egg-shaped object from the riverbed, they realized how difficult the task actually was. After all, it weighed two tons. Because of the remote location of the creek, they could not easily get large construction equipment there. Worse still, the item continually sunk back into the mud.
Many workers needed to wade into the mud and water to ultimately remove the object from its resting place. Finally, they managed to extract the object and carefully load it onto the truck for transport to the lab. Nieves and the police hoped the lab would finally answer all their questions. However, no one could have foreseen the strange discoveries they would uncover at the lab.
After the experts moved the large items safely to their lab, they ran an extensive battery of tests. As they ran age and tissue tests, other scientists examined samples of every inch of the mysterious shell-like structure under the microscope. Still, these answers did not come quickly. Every new piece of information that they discovered just meant that they would have to run more tests to confirm more information. Nieves, his wife, the police, and the townspeople all patiently waited for news.
Meanwhile, as they waited, thousands of miles away in Michigan, another farmer made another similar mysterious discovery. Just like Nieves, farmer James Bristle made his mysterious discovery while looking around his farm. You see, the farmer was searching for the best spot to place a natural gas line on his farm. After some consideration, he chose a barely used soy field on his property and began digging. While digging, Bristle made the discovery that would change his life.
As you might imagine, digging for a natural gas line requires some heavy-duty equipment, specifically, Bristle needed to use what’s known as a backhoe. With winter wrapping up, Bristle immediately got to work. However, after just a few days of using the backhoe, Bristle hit something hard. Confused, the farmer got out of the digger to investigate.
Soy fields are supposed to have soft and fertile soil. Along those lines, there should never be any large rocks or hard roots. As a soy farmer, Bristle knew this already. So, imagine his surprise when the backhoe hit something extremely hard deep in the field. As Bristle leaned over the muddy hole he had been digging, he saw something long and slender, like a pipe. However, it was far too rugged and twisted to be a pipe.
So, Bristle jumped into the hole and started digging the object out with his hands. The farmer quickly realized that the object was huge and was no rock or tree root either. But what could it possibly be? Besides the larger piece, Bristle found more objects as he continued to dig. While some were smaller, they were all larger than anything he had ever found on his farm before. As he took mud off one item, Bristle realized he held a bone in his hands.
However, even as a farmer, Bristle had never seen a bone like it in his life. He immediately knew that he had discovered something entirely out of the ordinary. The bone looked like some massive rib bone from an elephant or something along those lines. But there were no elephants in Michigan at that point.
Just like Nieves, Bristle felt overcome with curiosity and couldn’t stop himself from digging up more. He even started to assemble his own team to help him. And just as the Michigan team started to uncover more bones, Argentina made a significant breakthrough.
As Bristle and his team pulled bones out of the mud, researchers finally determined what Nieves had discovered on his farm. Incredibly, while on that Christmas walk around his farm, Jose Nieves had stumbled upon a fossilized shell of a glyptodon, essentially an armadillo the size and weight of a Volkswagen Beetle.
Glyptodons wandered the earth alongside the dinosaurs. So, you see, Nieves’ guess of a dino egg really wasn’t that far off. In fact, the farmer’s discovery might be even more exciting than a dinosaur’s egg. Nieves found one of the largest and most intact glyptodon shells ever, helping researchers learn more than ever about this incredible animal. Before long, words spread through Nieves’ town that he had uncovered a two-ton glyptodon shell. Not only that, but he had made one of the rarest archaeological finds of the century. As you might imagine, the entire town felt utterly astounded.
Within a few months, Nieves had gone from an ordinary Argentinean farmer to an international superstar in the fossil community. As the news spread around the world, some experts piped up, saying they believed the object to be fake. However, photographs and footage of the relic, as well as expert testimony, soon put any debates to bed. After all of Nieves and his family’s efforts, they finally learned the origin of their mysterious discovery.
Unfortunately, the accusations of lies and hoaxes hit them hard. After all, they had just wanted to solve a mystery that began on their property. Thankfully, many experts around the globe stood up for them. “It would be an ingenious hoaxer who would construct such a thing,” said Professor Florence Lister, a prominent archaeologist in the American Southwest.
“The shell looks like a genuine glyptodon shell, and the hole is wear and tear, not where the head or tail went,” she added. Meanwhile, as scientists in Argentina solved one mystery, the excavation in Michigan continued. Back in Michigan, the excavation continued for days. While digging, farmer James Bristle and his team found yet another bone, this one even longer than the first two. All of a sudden, they found themselves digging deeper and deeper until they were more than 10 feet underground. In just a few days, Bristle’s trench for a gas pipe had transformed into an archaeological dig site, just as it had in Argentina.
The news of Bristle’s mystery discoveries spread throughout his small Michigan hometown. Once again, everyone desperately wanted an answer. Even the local news talked about it almost nightly. Everything looked more and more like elephant bones, but how did an elephant end up 10 feet deep in the Michigan mud?
James Bristle had absolutely no idea how to deal with his mysterious discovery. So, he decided to reach out to Professor Daniel Fisher of the University of Michigan. Fisher was actually the director of the University of Michigan’s Museum of Paleontology. Just a day after he received Bristle’s call, Professor Fisher and a group of his students arrived at the scene. They felt eager and ready for an exciting day of digging and discoveries. Hopefully, they would be able to determine what these huge bones were.
As they continued digging, the experts quickly uncovered a giant skull connected to the bones, one with huge tusks. From there, it took Professor Fisher little time to make his final evaluation. Professor Daniel Fisher and his students could not believe their eyes as they unearthed the skull. Later, they said they were shaking with excitement as they began to comprehend what these bones were and where they came from. They happily told farmer James Bristle that he had discovered an entire woolly mammoth skull.
However, the most amazing part was the skull’s condition. Just like Jose Nieves’ glyptodon shell, Bristle had found a nearly completely intact mammoth skull. Finding any prehistoric bones, let alone skulls, in this condition is extremely rare. Still, the team did not celebrate for long. Now they had to try and remove the skull without damaging it.
Before long, Fisher’s team came up with a brilliant way to move the mammoth skull without harming it. They decided to try and use the excavator and gradually lift the skull from the 10-foot dirty ditch, little by little. Then, they would move it to a lab where they could clean it and test it. A huge crowd gathered to watch Fisher and his team move the skull. They held their breath as they watched the skull slowly inch up through the ditch toward the truck.
In a horrible moment, one of the straps holding the skull snapped, and everyone let out a massive gasp. Luckily, the other straps ended up supporting the skull and saving the day. With that, the fossil left Bristle’s property and traveled to the lab. Thanks to the bones and skull Bristle discovered, scientists have revised what they previously believed about woolly mammoths.
Now, thanks to one Michigan farmer’s discovery, paleontologists changed their theories of where mammoths went after America and how long ago they actually disappeared. Moreover, the Bristle skull also made scientists realize that mammoths were even larger than initially thought. Today, the skull is on display at the University of Michigan Museum.