Three years ago, a college student in Arizona found a rare fossil because he happened to look down while walking on the sidewalk. Now, at another university?this time in Canada?a new faculty member found a cache of valuable fossils?stuffed under a ping pong table.

One of these is a pregnant fossil of an ancient dolphin-like creature called an ichthyosaur. In, Andrea Thompson quotes newly-hired University of Alberta professor Michael Caldwell as saying, “It was pretty amazing to realize this valuable discovery had sat under a pingpong table for 25 years, but I suppose that after 100 million years in the dirt, it’s all relative.”

The fossils were dug up in Canada?s Northwest Territories 25 years ago, and somehow ended up under the ping pong table. The fossil of the pregnant creature is what makes this group especially valuable. According to Caldwell, “The embryos are very small, which is why no one had ever seen them before. It’s incredible that we noticed it.” The embryos were visible “right down to their little teeny weeny teeth.”

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