Monday, March 10, 2008

Mary Anning Sells What?

Random bit of trivia for the day:

Bet you never thought too much about the tongue-twister "She sells sea shells by the sea shore".

Well...there's more to it than meets the eye.

Through an odd series of link clickthroughs I found out today that this tongue twister is probably a reference to Mary Anning (1799-1847), discoverer of the Plesiosaur, among other things.

Mary Anning was apparently taught to collect fossils off the Dorsetshire coast by her father. He died when she was about 10, leaving the family close to destitute. She managed to bring in some money by continuing to collect and sell fossils. As time went on, she became quite an expert, eventually, in 1821, discovering the first Plesiosaur.