How long does it take a fossil to form?
People are conditioned to think about millions of years and evolution whenever they hear the word “fossil.” But is this really a valid conclusion or just storytelling?
Near York, England is the Dripping Well of Yorkshire. This place is famous for turning soft cuddly teddy bears into stone. Since the 1600’s, this has been a tourist attraction where people have hung clothes, hats, shoes, and, yes, even teddy bears under a waterfall that has turned each into stone.
The waterfall’s water originates underground and has an extremely high mineral content. As the water splashes onto the hanging objects, the mineral calcite (calcium carbonate) is deposited along with small amounts of other minerals. Over the months, these deposits build up and coat the object with a crust of rock. Petrifaction time depends on the size and porosity of the object. Small teddy bears turn to stone in three to five months. Larger teddy bears take six to twelve months.
This is not the only place in the world where petrifaction has been observed. Australia has its own petrified water wheel that has become totally encased in stone in only decades, while New Zealand has a petrified bowler hat on display. It does not take millions of years for petrifaction; it just takes the right conditions.
(Source: Inspired Evidence – Monty White, The Amazing Stone Bears of Yorkshire, Creation Magazine June 2002)