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93-pound Petoskey rock to be displayed in Detroit

Oct 10, 2017

Most Michiganders have spent hours walking up and down shorelines, hoping to spot a Petoskey stone or two for their collection.

Hunting for Petoskey stones can be tough - they're often small, hidden among thousands of other little rocks and their distinctive pattern is only visible when wet.

But none of that was a problem for Tim O'Brien of Copemish, who came across a 93-pound (42-kilogram) Petoskey stone - or more aptly, boulder - near Northport in 2015. The avid rock collector managed to take the massive fossil home by digging it out with a trowel.

Unfortunately for O'Brien, it is illegal to remove more than 25 pounds worth of rocks or fossils from state land, a limit this rock exceeded by 68 pounds. The boulder was later seized by state conservation officers.

Now the boulder will be permanently displayed in Detroit.

State parks chief Ron Olson tells The Associated Press that the big specimen will be moved to Michigan's popular Outdoor Adventure Center, east of downtown near the Detroit River. He says it probably will be displayed under an indoor waterfall in November.

The Petoskey stone is Michigan's state stone. It's considered a fossilized coral, and most weigh a few ounces.