If you've ever been a fan of dinosaurs- or if you still are!- the Isle of Wight has a hidden surprise for you. A small island off the southern coast of the United Kingdom, the Isle of Wight is a paleontologist's dream. The bones of over 20 different species of dinosaurs have been discovered there, and all sorts of fossils can be found all over the island to this day!
However, there's one special feature, naturally worked into the shores of the island's Compton Bay, that will make any visitor feel like they've taken a trip to Jurassic Park- well, Jurassic Park before the dinosaurs escaped, anyway. This feature, however, can only be seen a few hours each day at low tide. In this enlightening video, Tiktok user @adellbaker reveals the beach's special secret... the sands are scattered with dinosaur footprints! Check it out!
WOW. Talk about a blast from the past! These stone foot casts naturally formed in the real fossilized footprints of dinosaurs. Though they have been moved from where they were originally discovered, they seamlessly integrate themselves into the beach's landscape, making coming across one a special treat! But curious dinosaur enthusiasts must act quickly to see them- when the tide comes back in each day, the footprints are once again hidden by the waves.
One commenter, @maddscc7, explained how these stone casts naturally formed over vast ages of time: "The “casts” are the prints…over millions of years sediments filled their print to form a solid rock formation, the outside rock weathers away." Wow, thanks Madds! There's your geology lesson for the day.
If dinosaur footprints alone don't scratch your dino obsession, though, the Isle of Wight holds more in store for you! User @sradamse93 reminisces: "Found a lot of fossils there as a kid, mainly in Sandown," referring to the Sandown seaside resort. User @lolabbunnyy3 also advises "I'm from here! You have to go to the dino museum, it's so cute!"
Between the museums, fossil collecting, and curious hidden treasures like Compton Beach's dinosaur footprints, there's plenty for each T-Rex lover and Stegosaurus stan to enjoy on the Isle of Wight... though one wonders if it was only dinosaurs that used to stalk these shores. As @metaphysique mused in the comments, "I prefer to think they were Dragons!" Hmm...something to ponder!