Recently Discovered Fossils That Belong in Your Nightmares

There is no more potent nightmare fuel than a snake the size of a school bus
Recently Discovered Fossils That Belong in Your Nightmares

Should you ever get the opportunity via some kind of ‘90s TV magic, there are lots of reasons not to travel back to prehistoric times: a lack of transferable skills, serious language barriers, no Popeyes franchises, etc. But one of the biggest reasons is the animals that existed back then were monsters more terrifying than anything modern horror writers could imagine. I mean, just in the last few months, we’ve discovered…

A Dagger-Toothed Sea Lizard

In March, scientists in Morocco found fossils of a new species of sea lizard called Kinjaria acuta, which was 25 feet long, likely an ancestor of the komodo dragon, and scary as hell. It had “a demon’s face and teeth like knives,” which were “long, straight and flattened side to side, like a set of daggers, giving it a wicked smile,” according to lead researcher Nick Longrich, an apparent graduate of the Alan Grant School of Describing Dinosaurs.

A Giant ‘Sea Monster’ Skull

If you’re wondering what it takes to get upgraded from “sea lizard” to “sea monster,” the answer appears to be a couple dozen teeth. The entire-human-size skull of what is likely a new species of pliosaur that was found, appropriately, on the Jurassic Coast in December 2023 contained 130 of them, which it used to kill its prey with a single bite. That included other pliosaurs, just to paint a full picture of what psychos they were.

Predatory Worms

“Worms with teeth” seems like a story you’d tell a little kid to get them to stop pulling up the grass, but they were real. The “predatory worms” whose fossils were found in April in Morocco (man, what is going on out there?) had “throats covered in spines, hooks and teeth to trap their prey” and “built tubes around themselves and lived inside of them, waiting for their next victim to crawl by.” They weren’t very big, but you still probably didn’t wanna scoop up a big handful of them. If that sounds like Dune, just wait…

Snakes as Long as a School Bus

Also this month, researchers in India found fossils of an ancient snake that grew up to 50 feet long and weighed 2,200 pounds. Yes, that’s about the length of a school bus and the weight of an elephant. Your only saving grace, should you anger some kind of god and find yourself at a point in time to encounter such a creature, is that it was “a slow-moving ambush predator,” so you could conceivably outrun it if you got the chance, but living your life in constant fear of a surprise land dragon attack would probably kill you anyway.

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