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Bizarre moment air bubbles float around inside 20 MILLION-year-old amber fossil 

This video shows the bizarre moment air bubbles move through an incredible 20-million-year-old amber fossil. 

The fossil was discovered in the Dominican Republic and is thought to be 20-30 million years old, experts say. 

It is extremely rare to see fossils with air bubbles inside them, since there first must be water in the fossil, a phenomenon known as enhydro. The air bubble is then trapped in the water pocket. 

Amber is made of hardened tree resin and normally encases and immortalises forest-dwelling creatures.

Amber fossil

Amber fossil

Amber fossil

Amber fossil

This video shows the bizarre moment air bubbles move through an incredible 20-million-year-old amber fossil

The Twitter account ‘Fossil Locator’ posted the fascinating video of the air bubbles flowing through the fossil. 

How is Amber made?

Amber is fossilized tree resin.  As the resin is secreted from the tree it collects seeds, insects and leaves. 

Once the resin is secreted, it eventually gets buried. Sustained heat and pressure from layers upon layers of sediment turn the resin into Amber. 

Exposure to sunlight, rain or bacteria and fungi will prevent resin from transforming to Amber. 

Most trees secret resin but it does not form Amber as it is not resistant to the weather or microorganisms. 

In order for Amber to form, the resin must have anti-bacterial/anti-fungal  properties or be buried in conditions that protect it from the elements and bacteria or fungi. 

‘Enhydro (water inclusion) with a moving air bubble in amber from the Dominican Republic, 20-30 million years old, with plenty of insect fossils,’ they wrote alongside the video. 

Amber is fossilized tree resin and its known for its striking orange colour. 

It is often valued as a gemstone and is made into a variety of decorative objects. It has been used as jewellery since the Stone Age, from 13,000 years ago.

Amber normally encases and immortalises forest-dwelling creatures as it captures them, renders them unable to escape and then hardens. 

Amber is found in various countries across the globe. Some of the largest deposits exploited for jewellery and science are in the Dominican Republic. 

Large amounts of it can also be found in the Baltic region of Europe, and Myanmar.  

In the Dominican Republic, amber forms from the sap of the Hymenaea tree.

Last year, a sea creature that lived 99 million years ago was found preserved in amber in an ultra-rare finding (pictured)

Last year, a sea creature that lived 99 million years ago was found preserved in amber in an ultra-rare finding (pictured)

Last year, a sea creature that lived 99 million years ago was found preserved in amber in an ultra-rare finding (pictured)  

Last year, a sea creature that lived 99 million years ago was found preserved in amber in an ultra-rare finding. 

The fossil, found in northern Myanmar, is the first ever known example of an ammonite to be trapped in amber. 

It is thought the amber, which is also home to various land-dwelling organisms, formed on a shell-riddled beach close to resin-producing trees. 

The 33 mm long, 9.5 mm wide, 29 mm high chunk of amber hosts a range of different organisms from the world during the Cenomanian age. 

 

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