Spotted in the British Museum (London), a fantastic example of what is termed a “pseudofossil”. The picture (below) shows a wonderful example of what looks like a fossilised, prehistoric plant. However, all is not as it seems.
Not a Fossil Plant but a Pseudofossil
Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur
The photograph shows what looks like a fossil plant. However, the staining on this rock has been produced by an inorganic process. The fern-like pattern has occurred as crystals of manganese oxide have come out of solution as water trickled through the layers of rock. These crystals have been deposited on a bedding plane and they have grown to form this lace-like lattice, superficially similar to the structure of a plant. This fine example can be found in the minerals gallery of the British Museum.
A similar phenomenon can be observed with ice crystals growing on the windscreen of cars and on windows during cold and frosty days. These ice crystals too, form elegant fern-like structures.