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A lot of people are unaware that large portions of Europe were submerged in water millions of years ago. As a matter of fact, the continent’s soil served as a bottom of an ocean called Tethys. However, once the gigantic pond retreated due to tectonic reasons twenty million years ago, a smaller sea was formed. Geologists called it Paratethys, or Panonian Sea.


Life was blooming in this large underwater realm, and we can only assume what kind of strange creatures inhabited Panonian pool. Time continued to pass, and the sea vanished as well, leaving a large valley in Europe’s central region. However, some underwater faunal species left their fossilized remains, leaving us with proofs of their existence, and hints what life looked like in the archaic sea. As eastern Croatia’s territory belongs to Panonian valley, it is abundant with these geological findings.
Our reporters followed Ivana Maruscak, an expert in the field and prentice curator, as she routed one geological locality in the vicinity of Slavonski Brod.

Sl. Brod, 23.04.2014 - Na lokalitetu Kamenice 10 km od Slavonskog Broda jasno se vide ostaci Panonskog mora

“You can find urchin and shellfish skeletons, and their age is usually 15 million years,” Ivana explained. “The local Pljuskara canyon features even more findings, and we expect it to become a geological monument in close future. Its oldest layers hide numerous faunal and floral remains, and I hope people will appreciate and educate themselves about geology of these parts.”

Check out our photo gallery below to witness strange and mysterious spirits of Panonian Sea:

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