Jurassic Coast


Since I’ve been watching Broadchurch, a fascinating British series taking place around the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, UK, I fully admit I might have caught the “Broadchurch Effect“.

The coast’s cliffs are Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous. This is where Mary Anning discovered the first complete Ichthyosaur fossil.

I’ve written a very short text, inspired by the past, present and possible future of the Jurassic Coast.

Bat’s Head from Durdle Door © Copyright Colin Smith and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence.

Jurassic Coast

When domesticated Dorset was a fern forest, dinosaurs feasted on bright palms or small mammals. Our ancestors hid and waited, drinking in jungle brooks, running under giant leaves. The wind was strong and living meant surviving.

A time came when forgotten remains got buried deep in the fertile earth, ferns became fuel and mammals grew. They now stand on the Jurassic cliffs, watching pink sunsets over calm seas, their dwellings conquering the ancient coast. Meadow green carpets over sugary sand, milky walls hiding ashen corpses under a soon starlit sky.

Yet the bony cliffs are crumbling into iridescent ashes, readying themselves to reach a new stage, lifeless and dull as a burnt moon.  Not tropical, wild and magnificently dangerous ; no more grazing, landscape gardens or coastguards.  Tangled roots and rubber boots, gigantic ferns and boat sterns, ammonites and Sunday tourists, ichthyosaurs and fossil collectors, bloody strives and TV dramas…

Not yet a red barren rock being swallowed by a nearing star, layers of tombs buried in more tombs… A beautiful scenery in suspended belief.


Featured image: “Bats head and portland dorset” by Jim Champion – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org

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