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  • Arts & Culture
  • Issue 45

How to become
a Fossil

A short guide to self-preservation. Words by Robert Ito. Photograph by Pierrot.

So you want to become a fossil, perhaps in the hopes that some anthropologist, years on, will come upon your mineralized remains. Setting the specific whys aside, do any of us have a say in who gets to be preserved in the geologic record? 

Unfortunately for individuals interested in this particular strain of immortality, becoming a fossil isn’t easy. As estimated by Bill Bryson in A Short History of Nearly Everything, of the trillions of creatures that have shuffled and slithered and swum across our planet since the dawn of time, less than one-tenth of 1% have had the good dumb luck to become fossils. The vast majority of animals and plants live, die and decompose leaving nary a trace. 


This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Five

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