Fossil- og Mo-clay Museum

History

The past in the local Mo-clay | From ocean to Mo-clay

History of the Fossil- and Mo-clay Museum

The Fossil- and Mo-clay Museum was founded in 1988, as a department under the Morslands Historical Museum. The museum has an amazing collection of fossils, which are at an international standard. Most of the fossils were found in the Mo-clay on Mors. A local and passionate expert on Mo-clay, Bent Søe had a huge personal collection of fossils, and he was the inspiration and base for the founding of the Fossil- and Mo-clay Museum. The museum’s collection of fossils and knowledge about Mo-clay, are constantly growing thanks to both enthusiastic fossil collectors and the museum. Some of the finds are classified as Danekræ (fossil trove), but each year, there are a number of other important finds as well.

The museum has a high level of activity, with many guided tours and events. The visitors get a chance to study the fine fossils, go hunting for fossils, or simply take a stroll along the nature trails, that provide access to the beautiful multi-layered Mo-clay cliffs, and are seasoned with stunning views of the Limfjord and the mainland beyond.

History of the Mo-clay

A stone is split across with a small pickaxe. The inside reveals the contours of a bird, a fish, or maybe a tortoise, that lived and died in this place more than 55 million years ago. It is difficult the comprehend this time span, but in the Mo-clay, we find witnesses of a time when Denmark had a subtropical climate, with volcanoes and animal species that are unknown today. Fossil hunting is a way to experience that Denmark, and at the same time enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery in Denmark today. It is an unparalleled experience.

The unique Mo-clay was created 55 million years ago in the area we today call northern Mors. Then, there was nothing but ocean here, and at the bottom, Mo-clay was formed as a mixture of fine clay and microscopic diatoms, which lived, died, and sank to the bottom of the sea. During a period of 1,5 million years, the Mo-clay layers grew 60 metres thick, which is more than at any other place in the world. Yet the Mo-clay is broken by 200 layers of volcanic ash, which bears witness to multiple volcanic eruptions, both major and minor, during those three million years. These layers are clearly seen today, in the beautiful curvy lines created during the last ice age, about 20,000 years ago.

It is in those curvy layers of Mo-clay, that you find the fossils of birds, fish, and insects, which lived in and around the Mo-clay sea. Even large logs have sunk to the bottom of the sea, and settled into the clay over millions of years. That is, until the fossil hunter in excitement uses the small pickaxe in the hopes of stumbling on yet another unique find.

Fossil- and Mo-clay Museum

Skarrehagevej 8

7900 Nykøbing Mors 

Phone: +45 97723421

Find the Fossil- and Mo-clay Museum on the map