Extras: Fossils and False Fossils

I met up with Dr. Elizabeth Smith from the Australian Opal Centre to discuss items commonly misinterpreted as fossils. Often, miners will present weird and wonderful items that can be fascinating geological formations in their own right, but are not fossilised material.

Here are a few extra photos from the Fossils or Not Fossils filming:

An automatic hoist, ordinarily used to lift opal dirt from below ground to a truck on the surface, has been repurposed as a projector stand for the 2016 presentation of Spark, a multimedia video presentation about the Lightning Ridge experience, culture and lifestyle.

An automatic hoist, ordinarily used to lift opal dirt from below ground to a truck on the surface, has been repurposed as a projector stand for the 2016 presentation of Spark, a multimedia video presentation about the Lightning Ridge experience, culture and lifestyle.

The projector (and hoist!) in use for the Spark experience.

The projector (and hoist!) in use for the Spark experience.

Filming with Dr. Smith. Here, we're discussing weird little stone formations, where it appears the silica deposits have been "squashed" as they've formed, creating something that looks like crushed candy.

Filming with Dr. Smith. Here, we're discussing weird little stone formations, where it appears the silica deposits have been "squashed" as they've formed, creating something that looks like crushed candy.

Elizabeth is explaining the characteristics of a dinosaur bone: smooth surface, some porous regions, certain specific shapes.

Elizabeth is explaining the characteristics of a dinosaur bone: smooth surface, some porous regions, certain specific shapes.

It rained relentlessly during the shoot. We were indoors, so getting wet wasn't a problem. We were inside a gigantic shed, though, so getting good sound was.

It rained relentlessly during the shoot. We were indoors, so getting wet wasn't a problem. We were inside a gigantic shed, though, so getting good sound was.

The front of an old Morris, repurposed in typical Lightning Ridge style as a piece of mining machinery.

The front of an old Morris, repurposed in typical Lightning Ridge style as a piece of mining machinery.

Selfie with the rear of the vehicle. The perforated drum is designed like a clothes washing machine, to spin the opal dirt around and pulverise the sandstone away. Some of these machines, called "puddlers" worked with water (wet puddling), others operated without (dry puddling).

Selfie with the rear of the vehicle. The perforated drum is designed like a clothes washing machine, to spin the opal dirt around and pulverise the sandstone away. Some of these machines, called "puddlers" worked with water (wet puddling), others operated without (dry puddling).

The rear of another puddler vehicle. Like the Morris, this one is a two-in-one machine. You can see the two driveshaft extensions, allowing the miner to "disconnect" the truck's wheels and "connect" the puddler attachment, then when it's time to move again, swap the connections over and drive the vehicle again.

The rear of another puddler vehicle. Like the Morris, this one is a two-in-one machine. You can see the two driveshaft extensions, allowing the miner to "disconnect" the truck's wheels and "connect" the puddler attachment, then when it's time to move again, swap the connections over and drive the vehicle again.