by Emily Bingham,

smallcurio from Austin, TX [CC BY 2.0 (]

If you could arrange for a time machine to whisk you back through the ages and deposit you somewhere in Michigan some 430 million years ago, you’d need to pack scuba gear — and nerves of steel.

Back then, the land that we now call Michigan was actually the floor of a shallow tropical ocean situated just south of the equator. Scientists have found evidence that this underwater land was at the mouth of a lagoon: Quiet, warm and protected, it would have been an inviting place for certain creatures.

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