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Fossil re-buried and exposure to elements


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Before asking this question, know that the events that took place were poorly thought out and were extremely stupid to do having known the age of these fossils and rarity. So please disregard this post if you are only wanting to lecture, teach or complain, etc me for the stupid actions that occurred.

For reasons not needing to be explained, a box of extremely old but well preserved fossils I own containing some petrified wood, skulls, and teeth was wrapped many times over with strechwrap then placed into another storage container and wrapped numerous times again and finally taped around all edges(to hopefully keep water out) and places in a 4 to 5 ft deep hole dug into the soft ground of my yard where it stayed for about a year. Today when they were dug up I immediately noticed that water had penetrated all the layers of the containers and wrap and was a dark greenish black colored. Everything was soaked but no holes were in any wrap layer or box. It reeked of rotten eggs, fro. Which I believe to be a bacteria that resulted from groundwater or rainwater penetrating and acting on the fossils. They have since been dried and seem to be somewhat okay but brittle and more fragile. Can anyone shed some light as to what happened and what it was that caused the smell. I still do not see how water could ha e entered either box with the amount of wrapped plastic I put around them. Any Info is appreciated

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If you have the plastic still, I’d recommend wrapping something up like a rock and throwing it in a bucket.  In a couple days see if it leaks.

In my experience with waterproofing when using plastic it has to be a very thick plastic and if it doesn’t come with a zip seal, O-RIng seal, it needs to be sealed shut with a heat gun.  I’ve waterproofed stuff for rain and also for SCUBA diving to depths of 130 feet.  Also found out a 100 foot waterproof watch will usually leak at about 50’

I think the technical term may be capillary action about how the water traveled between layers of plastic.

This wasn’t Fenn’s treasure was it?

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Hydrostatic pressure of the water is going to push through any gaps in the plastic into the interior void. You would need some kind of seal and not just overlapping layers to prevent this from happening. You may be fine in low moisture environments or for a short duration but as you found out it will not work long term.  

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