Friday mystery object #200

I’m not quite sure how I’ve managed it, but this is my 200th mystery object. 100 objects ago I said that I was running out of ideas for new objects and time for writing answers, but clearly that problem hasn’t stopped me.

However, once again I feel as though I’m in a similar situation, especially with regard to the time I have available for writing answers. Therefore, I have decided to have a go at making the mystery object fortnightly, the answers being published a full week after the mystery object.

This longer turn-around for the answer will let me open the mystery object up for more guest contributions (since getting the answer over a weekend is usually a struggle) and hopefully that will make it more fun for everyone!

On to the object:


Do you have any idea what this might be?

Leave your questions, comments and suggestions below – preferably in a cryptic format so others can have a go.

And don’t forget, the answer will be posted next Friday. Enjoy!

37 thoughts on “Friday mystery object #200

  1. It looks small against the painted background. The regular shapes make me think it’s a shell of some sort. Apart from that, no idea. Congratulations on getting to 200!

  2. Gonna miss the weekly Friday-Monday cycle, but it’s your decision to make. Lack of metric scale here – is that a clue (it looks a touch like an electron micrograph)?

  3. I wonder if you’re being super cheeky / cunning. Either that or I’m going to go wildly over the top and say something very stupid… Anyway, it looks like a chiton, with those regular positions bumps on something relatively short and sort of oval, but the surface is completely wrong. So I think it’s a chiton that’s then been covered by a sponge or bryozoan.

  4. I remember when I was doing palaeontology many years ago at university that there were funny little things called ostracods. They were these microscopic baked bean shaped crustaceans whose shells looked a lot like this image. I don’t know what the scale is on this image, so it may be larger than those, but I’m going to guess some sort of crustacean as a result.

  5. Wow, 200, well done!

    Those ridges look like it’s gone through some kind of process of pressure/release – like water ripples or a strong digestive process or regurgitation. A digestive tract would also compress the material. So, I’m wondering if it’s a bezoar of some kind that’s been regurgitated – but at 12 cm it would be big even for an eagle owl pellet – something that’s gone through a snake?

  6. So has it been dried weirdly to give it that odd texture? It does look like a preservational artefact, which makes it appear fossilised.

    I think I’m in agreement with the welly-wearing crowd on the ID of this one.

  7. Looks like a mould of a pine cone from Pompei (ie someone put plaster in the hole left by an evapourated pinecone.)

  8. Congratulations with your 200th mystery object Paolo, and it’s a pretty difficult one! If this thing is made of bone, maybe it’s one of those pieces of bone inside the skin of some crocodiles

  9. Great job on 200 objects Paolo – really enjoy this blog!

    From your feedback and the clues of others I think I might have managed to get it – did it used to be redder than the picture – firey even?!

    I’ll be honest – if I’m right, I hadn’t even heard of the animal group until I read this post.

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