If There’s a Prize for Strange Storage Solutions, This Is a Winner
In the early 1900’s the University of California at Berkeley began building its reputation in paleontology. The early collection included sabre-toothed tigers, mastodons, giant sloths, birds, mollusks and, rather amazing, the long-extinct North American camel. Many of the fossils were discovered by oil companies as they explored for petroleum in such places as the La Brea Tar Pits and the Baldwin Hills of Los Angeles, which once resembled an African savanna.
Even in 1913, when the collection was assembled, the university was hard-pressed for storage space. Coincidentally, in 1913 a bell tower was being built on the campus. An unknown facilities manager had the bright idea to turn all the vacant space in the hollow tower into fossil storage. Shelves, cabinets, and racks were built against the interior walls of the tower’s first five floors, and the fossil collection remains in the tower to this day, a valuable resource for paleoecologists and paleoclimatologists. An added bonus: Researchers get a daily noontime carillon concert. The full story is at NPR: http://n.pr/1xLHSZv
As storage experts, we have to wonder if this is the safest long-term storage for this unique collection. Any paleontologists care to weigh in on the question?
Photo © alarua46 – Fotolia