As they went to the site, workers' faces caught Funk's attention. Gasps replaced the sound of their boots on the greasy sand. It had just been a regular day on the job before Funk had made this monumental discovery.
He had the impression that he was suddenly part of a sci-fi movie. He saw things that he couldn't believe. Something that could only be seen to be believed sprang through the rock. It was what?
For miner Shawn Funk, it was simply another day at the office. Funk had operated heavy machinery for 12 years and worked as a construction worker, so he had seen his fair share of buried stuff.
Funk believed that he had seen everything, from priceless gems to meaningless rubbish. He had no idea he would see something incredible just a few moments later. It would be like nothing he had ever seen.
Funk headed to the backhoe at the Millennium Mine in Alberta, Canada, and got ready for another long day of digging. Funk cherished his work. He was content as long as he was outside, working with nature surrounding him.
He was fascinated with natural abnormalities and secretly wished to one day discover one. He ought to have known that today was the day he'd remember forever.
A Vivid Imagination
Funk used his excavator as he always did for several hours. Huge rocks were lifted into the air by its strong crane after being swallowed up from the ground. Everything was operating well.
He was making a sizable ding in the bitumen-laced, sand-and-oil-filled terrain. He returned with every dirt he lifted. He always wished he'd find something interesting.
Nothing But Stone
He recalls the news report about the miner who discovered an old egg hidden beneath rock and mud. He grinned as he regarded his hole of soggy stone and sand. Nothing except stone, sand, and oil, he muses.
He kept on digging. He heard a loud crack, though, as he was about to swallow another chunk of old soil. He struck a target.
He exited his excavator after releasing the earth bits to see what had fallen out. He put the rock fragments in the back of his vehicle to explore after noticing something odd about them.
He returned to his position and looked into the large hole. But he couldn't believe what he saw. It would be something that would be beyond his wildest dreams.
He ran back to his truck and made a call for authorities and support. Nobody was present when he had a look around. He observed a different excavator operating in the distance. He needed more time and needed to move swiftly.
He took a shovel after spotting the growing crack and began to excavate. With the adrenaline rush, his strength doubled. He needed support since it was still insufficient.
No Time To Lose
Funk still needed more time. He was attempting to beat the clock and release soil that might quickly fall and bury him and his oddity. He had to act soon if he didn't want to lose it.
He acted instinctively since he had little time to consider. His instincts warned him to keep this safe since he had no idea what this thing could have been. He just had to be prepared for anything with this job.
Coworker Come To Help
It had returned. They came in large numbers. They planned to raise the enormous rock into the air by bringing a sizable crane and pillars. To keep the boulder in place, they excavated beneath it and added wooden boards.
Funk assisted while keeping a cautious eye on the takeoff preparations. He became deeply involved in what he saw and was unable to look away from this mind-boggling phenomenon.
A Cracking Sound
Funk felt himself unwind after the group of construction workers had successfully airlifted the large boulder from the eroding surface. However, it wasn't quite over.
A piercing noise shook the sky just before the crane lowered the boulder to the earth. The rock broke in two, revealing something that Funk had to see to believe.
What Is It?
A team from the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology rushed to the scene. Funk watched as their eyes popped in shock and amazement as they realized what they were called for.
Funk explained everything, and they spent hours carefully digging through the shattered bits of rock, piecing together something you could only see to believe. What was it?
Incredibly, Funk discovered a real-life fossilized dinosaur that had been petrified from its snout to its hips. This meant it was miraculously well preserved since its death 112 million years ago.
Not only did it have teeth and bones, but also its skin and remnants of its intestines - a phenomenon as rare as winning the lottery. How?
How Did It Get There?
Scientists speculate that the unlucky dinosaur died and was swept into the river by a big flood. It was kept afloat by gases in its body which washed its belly-up carcass far out to sea.
After a week, the carcass burst and sank back into the ocean floor. Minerals seeped into the skin and armor and supported its back, immortalizing its form as tonnes of rock piled on top.
Researchers from the museum and worldwide worked tirelessly for six years to test, preserve, and prepare this dinosaur's remains while piecing together his unbelievable story.
Scientists concluded that this dinosaur was a four-legged herbivore covered in armor-plated skin and spikes with a long tail. It was a brand discovery of species called a Nodosaur.
In its petrified state, the Nodosaur weighed about 2,500 pounds - which gives scientists a reasonable idea of how much it weighed when it was alive.
They estimate that the Nodosaur weighed in at around 3,000 pounds! This means that the Nodosaur would have been a fairly solitary creature when it roamed the land 100 million years ago.