Popcorn Kernel Fell Out Of 10,000 Year-Old Skeleton In Battle Creek Museum in 2020
Have you ever had one of those experiences where you'll discover the most off-the-wall thing in a place it shouldn't be and ask yourself, "How the hell did that get there?" What could be the best example of that may have happened in 2020 at the Kingman Museum in Battle Creek as they were moving out of the museum building and noticed something fall out of the nasal cavity of their 10,000-year-old saber-toothed cat skeleton.
At first, they thought this small white object was a tooth but ended up being a partially-popped popcorn kernel. Now, how the hell does something like that end up there? They were actually able to make sense of it all when they discovered a 1972 Battle Creek Enquirer article talking about the then director of the Kingman Museum, Robert Learner's money-saving idea to use popcorn to pack away the skeletons:
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What do you do with a couple 10,000-year-old skeletons that are in the way when you want to do a little spring cleaning and redecorating? Why, just pop a lot of popcorn, put the skeletons in a crate and then fill it up with the popcorn. The museum is now being remodeled and the problem of what to do with a skeleton of a saber-toothed tiger and dire wolf, two animals that lived in this area during the Ice Age, presented a little bit of a problem. At first Learner figured he would have to crate the skeletons, packing them with chipped styrofoam. But when he discovered that would be quite an expensive operation, he had to come up with some other plan.
Overall, 56 pounds of popcorn kernels were used to make the packing corn, and that popcorn had been lodged in the skeleton nose for 48 years. Clearly, it made for great packing material and a good long-term snack.
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