Dallas-area Rock Collector May Have Found Traces of an Ancient Cataclysm

With her father in intensive care, Patti Jones knew she had to fulfill what could be his last dying wish: Tell someone about the rocks.Nearly every day since he had retired from the U.S. Postal Service in the 1980s, Jones’ father, John Tackel, had pulled on his safari hat, climbed into his silver GMC pickup and driven along the banks of the chalk-colored creek beds near his Garland home. There, he would park and explore for hours.The creeks exposed traces of ancient life. An occasional dinosaur bone or footprint mingled with 90 million-year-old shark teeth and shell imprints.But fossils were not what Tackel was after. Instead, he believed he had stumbled onto a much bigger prize: traces of the asteroid strike that had wiped out the dinosaurs and most life on Earth 66 million years ago.One day in 1992, walking the path of a dried-up stream, Tackel spotted an unusual rock. Unlike the pale, smooth pebbles that surrounded it, this one looked like a charred marshmallow. It had a blackened, bubbly crust through which peeked a whitish core. This must have once been molten, he thought. Intrigued, Tackel looked around and found more like it.Some fit into the palm of his hand. Others were the size and weight of concrete blocks. All had bizarre shapes. The most unusual were bowl-shaped, with smaller, spherical rocks stuck inside them like peppercorns piled at the bottom of a mortar.  Continue reading...

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