Lost Darwinian fossils rediscovered 165 years later

by Jeff Hargarten

A trove of lost fossils, some of which belonged to Charles Darwin, was accidentally rediscovered in an old cabinet, BBC News reports.

The fossils were lost for about 165 years and were found misplaced within the vaults of the British Geological Survey headquarters.

Howard Falcon-Lang, a paleontologist from the University of London, found some cabinet drawers labeled “unregistered plant fossils.” The contents turned out to contain 314 slides of fossilized plants, including specimens collected by Darwin during his 1834 Voyage of the Beagle.

The fossils were thought to be lost because they were originally misfiled and the geological survey’s collection was moved numerous times.