BLASDELL, N.Y. (WIVB) — A fossil dig at Penn Dixie Fossil Park and Nature Reserve nearly three years ago has officially earned the Blasdell attraction a Guinness World Record.
Penn Dixie set out to earn the inaugural title of “World’s Largest Fossil Dig” in August 2018 when nearly 1,000 people descended on the reserve. Over 2,000 fossils went through a strict examination process to land the organization the title.
The dig happened on August 25, 2018, the reserve had to find and bring in dozens of volunteers to monitor the dig participants, Penn Dixie officials said. The park made sure participants were coordinated, digging for 30-minutes each with the proper tools. The park designated zones where participants could be monitored during the dig.
Each person who took part in the dig submitted two to three fossils that underwent that stringent examination process to ensure everything met Guinness standards. Some fossils were disqualified, bringing the total number of participants whose work counted towards the big dig to 905 people.
Those who participated in the dig can register to receive an official Guinness World Record certificate through Guinness’ website or a certificate of participation is available through Penn Dixie.
“It’s incredible how well things came together for our record attempt” Keith Wesolowski, Penn Dixie director and chair of the Guinness World Record Event Committee said.
“We hosted international guests from a sister preserve halfway around the world. Dr. Amati, New York State’s Paleontologist, was on site for an initial review of fossil finds. We coordinated a swarm of volunteers to monitor the dig and keep everyone on track. And then came the Science of studying and documenting the fossils… This new recognition cements Penn Dixie’s place in the geologic and paleontologic community, and we’re confident that we can provide an immersive educational and scientific experience, even in our new socially-distanced world.”
Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.