Mystery Fossils Found Wintertime Lake Michigan Beach


Winter 2010/2011

Most years, Lake Michigan’s wave action and chilling temperatures pushes ice and snow into huge mounds over the shoreline as high as twenty feet (shown above). In order to actually see the big lake you have to climb the mounds without falling in. Danger lurks around those edges where people can and have fallen through.

It’s January 2013 and the second consecutive season where the sand is left bare of winter’s icy layers; which I can’t stress enough how extremely rare that is. Looking towards the horizon over Lake Michigan, you would normally see a frozen tundra of stillness. Not this year. Compare the photo above taken winter 2010/2011 from the photo below taken winter 2012/2013.

Lake Michigan 2013

Lake Michigan Unfrozen January 2013

Case in point; due to the season’s whirling winds, minus the layers of snow, and less tourist traffic, fossils are more exposed from the continuous movement of sand. Below, are several interesting samples of fossils I found on Oval Beach, Saugatuck, MI (USA) winter 2012/2013. I haven’t been able to fully identify these species partly due to their smoothed surfaces, so please feel free to make suggestions. I have provided a few best guesses.

Coral Fossil, Geode or both?  Mystery Fossil 1

Coral with embedded crinoids

Crinoids embedded in coral or chunk of seafloor, Mystery Fossil 2

Fossil Coral

Sponge or Coral? Mystery Fossil 3

Fossil Coral

(reverse side of fossil above)


6 thoughts on “Mystery Fossils Found Wintertime Lake Michigan Beach

    • Not only that, I work there in the summer and it’s probably my most favorite job of any I’ve had. Wrote about Oval Beach and my job there at my hubpage column if you wanted to check it out. Thanks for stopping by today! Kathi :O)

  1. Wow Kathi, love your photos 🙂 So many cool finds too! I’ve heard that after big storms on the lake, or in the Spring after the ice recedes, there is a lot of “new” material ashore to look over. I know people in Petoskey, Mi. will do that to find Petoskey stones that were hidden before. The same must be true for any part of the lakeshore I would think. Makes me want to go out looking 🙂

    • You know, I never heard that before, but it makes perfect sense! So this Spring, right after the melt (cause we finally got snow) I will be sure to go fossil hunting! I’m way further south from Petosky, but we find plenty of them here too! Thanks for stopping by! Happy hunting yourself, KAthi :O)

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