230 Million Years of Cool

I can’t think of very many things that have been cool as long as dinosaurs have. Of course, they got a pretty good head start, and they were around a lot longer than the average band or popular television show. Still, I consider it quite a feat for something to captivate human interest for as long as dinosaurs have. Man first discovered their fossilized remains sometime in the early 1900’s, and we’ve been in love with them ever since.

Next time you go out, look for dinosaurs. If there isn’t a dinosaur or something with a dinosaur on it, I’ll bet there is nearby.

I never thought about this until I started working in a fun little retail store this year. We sell a little variety of toys, and the few dinosaur items we have are some of the biggest sellers. Tubes of little plastic dinosaurs. Big plastic dinosaurs. Growing dinosaurs that hatch out of eggs. Kites with dinosaurs on them. I loved dinosaurs as a kid, but I didn’t realize how much kids still loved dinosaurs until I started selling them.

It isn’t very often kids today still like what you liked as a kid 25 years ago.

Adults have always liked dinosaurs too. Plenty of movies and television shows for older generations involved dinosaurs. The original King Kong and the goofy Land of the Lost series comes to mind. Adults still like dinosaurs. Even in the past 10 years, there have been plenty of television shows and movies involving dinosaurs, from documentaries like Walking with Dinosaurs and Dinosaurs Decoded, to science fiction  shows like Primeval. I understand the new season of Dr. Who will even have some dinosaurs in it.

I think maybe the coolest thing about dinosaurs, what really gets people interested, is that they were so different from what we see on Earth now. They were crazy big monsters, and they actually lived here. Sure, we’ve got Coelacanth and the tuatara, we’ve got birds and reptiles, but they’re not quite as impressive as their ancestors were (though they can still be pretty neat).

My unofficial theory on life, the universe, and everything? I think Earth was here for the dinosaurs. After all, they dominated  for close to 130 million years. If there was a creator, he/she/it thought dinosaurs were pretty cool too. Nothing lasts forever, though, event omnipotent attention spans.  Conditions on Earth were getting kind of rough for the big guys, and then somebody dropped a big rock in the terrarium. Earth was already shoved into the back of the closet part of its galaxy anyway, so he/she/it just left it there. Like an abandoned fish tank, the algae took over.

Makes as much sense as anything else. As far as algae goes, we’ve done some pretty cool things. We discovered dinosaurs, for one.

Then we slapped some lasers on them. How cool is that?



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