Turns out it’s a little creature whose scientific family dates back to the Cambrian period, 90% of which are extinct. They’re called Radiolaria and they are protozoas that make finely detailed mineral skeletons – hence the fossilized remains are of that skeletal structure.
These little creatures measure between 0.1-0.2 mm and even to this day, some creatures in this family of animals live in our oceans. They can be found in the zooplankton that floats through the water.
When they die, they settle to the ocean floor and after many years, they become part of that ocean floor in the “siliceous ooze” areas. I guess that’s where scientists find them.
What amazes me, though, is the uniformity of shapes that we have in the world. Sure, this radiolarian looks like a UFO, but it’s also shaped like many flowers (Canterbury bells spring to mind), and for that matter, we make bells to ring in that kind of shape. It’s a funny world, isn’t it?
Til the next time!