How would you like to go back to a time when mastodons and rhinos roamed the grassy plains of history? What if you could visit a place where the history of these magnificent creatures is discovered daily?
In 2000, road construction led to the accidental discovery of a treasure trove from the Early Pliocene Epoch. As a result, the road was re-routed, and the excavation continued. It’s still going strong today.
They’ve discovered more than 31,000 fossil specimens and identified 200 plant and animal species. These include tapirs, alligators, rhinos, camels, elephants, saber-toothed cats, and red pandas. Over time, the museum has grown around the site to help visitors experience this important and fascinating find.
If you live in Georgia, the Carolinas, or Tennessee, you’re in easy driving distance to one of the most extraordinary paleontological dig sites in the entire country. The prep lab cleans and re-assembles fossil specimens and prepares them for long-term storage while the staff, students, and volunteers conduct research.
The Paleo Hall is full of exhibits showcasing many of the on-site fossils. Upstairs, visitors can view work in the prep lab and collections room. Additionally, the Paleo Viewing Deck lets you see what’s happening on the worksite.
The three-story Paleo Tower is an excellent way to get active and hands-on with replicas of newly discovered fossils on-site. Hands On! Discovery Center brings science to life for kids, young and old, with various exhibits just waiting for you to discover them.
These are just a handful of the exhibits you’ll find here. Check out the Tesla Theatre in the Atrium, which honors the great inventor, Nikola Tesla. Or the Air Rockets exhibit where kids can build a rocket and experience the effects of varying air pressure. You’ll find more places to explore in the Main Exhibit Hall, like Air Cars, Colorful Shadows, and Everbright.
If you love the thrill of discovery and the adventure of combining history, science, and imagination, then you must find your way to Hands On! Discovery Center and the Gray Fossil Site and Museum.
You can get started at VisitHandsOn.org. There’s also an Ingles ten minutes up the road, so you can stock up and fuel up for your drive home.
It’s an experience like no other. Don’t miss it!
To learn more about Ingles Market, visit their website at ingles-markets.com.