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Fossil Discovery Assisted by Vaniman Mobile Sandblaster

Fossils - Before/After - Vaniman Master Mobile Problast

This is insanely cool if you are at all interested in natural history…A recent discovery in a quarry somewhere in England produced phenomenally rare fossil findings. Over a thousand ancient crinoid fossils have been uncovered so far, many with their whole body completely preserved in stone.

 The Natural History Museum: Huge Jurassic seabed uncovered in Cotswolds quarry

It’s a fossil enthusiast’s dream site, where an ancient seabed used to be, likely with a great mudslide at some point preserving mature and juvenile marine animals like feather stars and sea lilies. But it’s a secret site somewhere in the Cotswolds (a huge countryside area with open spaces, small villages, and the occasional quarry); it’s kept secret to avoid letting thieves or vandals in. So, while we can’t go there ourselves to check it out, we have heard some fun news on the equipment front: the teams working here have been using the Master Mobile Problast to remove the fossil matrix as part of the process. (See the image above for a before/after.)

This portable little blaster is very well liked out there:

Just thought it might be useful to update you on how things are going with our Vaniman Master [Mobile] Problast unit we purchased around 11 months ago now as it has been in constant use, we estimate over 200 hours operation and that’s conservative. So far it has been working really well and a consistent performer, we are using it on resistant mudstone and siltstone matrix which contain well preserved echinoderms, it has been used to its operational limits at between 80-100 psi so very close to its tolerance threshold we think.

Bearing the above in mind, and the cost of the unit, we are extremely impressed by this machine, it is an excellent piece of kit and is one of the best purchases we have ever made to add to our preparation portfolio.

Dr. Neville Hollingworth, PhD, University of Birmingham
Photos: Bathonian Isocrinids & Echinoids (courtesy of Neville Hollingworth)

You can even spot the nozzle of this blaster doing its job in a time lapse at around 2 minutes into this CBS network segment:

It always brings us joy and pride to see our units out in the field, doing what they do best. Big thanks to our UK distributor ZOIC PalaeoTech for passing us the message!

Fossil nerds in the U.S. can order the Master Mobile Problast here:

If any Vaniman products have helped you make discoveries out in the world, let us know!

In the meantime, we’ll just be here, in bed, dreaming about fossils.

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