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Surprise, surprise, surprise

[ by Charles Cameron — astronaut in a cathedral, nuclear reactor in Gabon ]

I enjoy scoping and snoping out strange claims, and had to check out possible anachronicities not once but twice today — first, to verify the presence of an astronaut in Salamanca’s seventeenth-century (1513-1733 to be more precise) “New Cathedral”:

SPEC DQ cathedral astronaut african reactor

and then, of a nuclear reactor from two billion years ago in Gabon, West Africa.


Neither one turned out to be von Däniken fool’s gold, but both certainly glisten enough to be worth a mention.

The Salamanca cathedral astronaut is there, carved in stone, all right — but as part of a 1992 renovation. And what’s most interesting to me is that it’s entirely in conformity with tradition for an artist working today on such a restoration to “sign” his work with a contemporary flourish of this sort. It is thus faithful to what Benedict XVI would call the hermeneutic of continuity.

And 2 billion year old nuclear reactor?

It’s not as old as the sun, of course, by about 3.6 billion years, nor as close to us, nor as vast — but it’s there, it’s there.

Hat tips:

  • for the astronaut, Jeff DeMarco
  • for the reactor, Cheryl Rofer
  • 2 Responses to “Surprise, surprise, surprise”

    1. Trevor Fountain Says:

      Similar to the Salamanca cathedral astronaut, I’m a huge fan of the ‘Alien’ gargoyle at Paisley cathedral in Scotland (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-23810978). It’s my go-to for shaming people who point out anachronicities like these…

    2. Charles Cameron Says:

      Nice one, Trevor — thanks!

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