Mother asked me out of the blue to look up “shaligrama”s. They’re this rock that people worship, something to do with Vishnu. She happened to come across a big bunch of them on TV and was curious.
So I googled it. You find these rocks on the banks of the river Gandaki, in the Himalayas. They’re black, and very very coveted. You’re not supposed to buy or sell them, appraise them, or even discuss what you think they might be worth monetarily, or else you will, and I quote, “live in hell until the time of universal destruction”. Fascinating. This, of course, dashed mother’s hopes of acquiring one of these for herself.
That’s not all though. It turns out that these rocks are actually fossils. Ammonite fossils to be precise. (Omanyte the Pokemon). That there is a religion that unwittingly (I presume) worships fossils is somehow deeply gratifying to me. Especially in an age where more and more people are “skeptical” about the existence of fossils altogether.
This was #11.