I'm an anthropology major, and having some of the highest grades at my uni, and knowing a lot of people in the field due to my family name, (redacted, for privacy purposes,
) I was offered the chance of a lifetime: to go to Antarctica, to assist in an archaeological dig.
In the ice of Antarctica, there isn't much to be found. We don't really know what Antarctica looks like below the ice, as we've never really seen it.
The last time it was thawed, that we know of, was during the mass continental drift when it originally broke away from Pangea,
the prehistoric super-continent that all land masses on Earth once belonged to.
This is why it excited me to go.
What could they have possibly found? I played with ideas of finding a new dinosaur species, or uncovering some ruins of an ancient civilization that we hadn't yet discovered.
After a month, I had had my appendix removed, (as is required to work in Antarctica,) and I was fully packed and ready to go.
After several long travel periods, mountains of paperwork, including a confidentiality agreement, and an adjustment period for sleep,
I arrived on the excavation site for the first time to find a *huge* crater. The thing was miles wide.
I didn't understand what we could possibly be looking for after I was told that the whole crater was the dig.
Even with sunny, clear skies I could barely see the other end of the crater from where I stood.
That was when they offered me the helicopter ride.
That was when I finally saw, from hundreds of feet in the air, what we were here for.
I looked down on it, pressed against the ice in the floor of the crater, just below the surface, easily two miles long.
It was sharp, like a shark's. But shaped more like a talon. Pointed at one end, the roots perfectly preserved in the other. Larger than any structure made by man.
The largest tooth I have ever laid eyes on.