Exploring a UNESCO World Heritage Site at Miller Museum of Geology

Mistaken Point in Newfoundland was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other sites in Canada include Fort Henry and The Rideau Canal right here in Kingston. Mistaken Point is infamous for a unique collection of fossils that have been unusually preserved. These types of fossils have never been discovered anywhere else in the world.

The Miller Museum of Geology features an exhibition on Mistaken Point. The display includes a large cast suspended on the wall with imprints of the first single-cell soft-bodied creatures that inhabited earth. This is type of fossil is incredibly rare given the soft-bodied nature of the species. Generally this type of creature is not fossilized. In this circumstance a layer of fine volcanic ash blanketed the fossils on expansive planes of land. What remained was imprints of what the sea floor would have resembled approximately 565 million years ago!

Mark Badham, the curator when I visited, was an incredible resource with worlds of knowledge about fossils, minerals, and all things geology. Miller Museum of Geology is a hidden gem inside Miller Hall on Queen’s University’s campus. The museum includes dinosaur fossils, an extensive mineral and rock collection, and the geological history of Kingston and the surrounding area. Visit today and discover Mistaken Point and so much more right here in Kingston!


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