A ‘gold thread’ was reported in The Times of 22 June 1844 as having been found by quarrymen. According to the account, a few days earlier, the thread was found in a quarry close to Rutherford Mill (Raxton, Borders Region, Scotland) embedded in the rock at a depth of eight feet (1.8 m). The local rock is of Early Carboniferous date (360-320 million years old). The source of the story seems to have been The Kelso Chronicle, a newspaper local to the discovery, which had been sent the piece of thread.
Like all of these nineteenth-century stories, the details are purely anecdotal; there is no supporting evidence that the thread was really found by the workmen, no description of the thread is given and there is no means of knowing the circumstances of the discovery. How securely “embedded” was the thread? How long was it? How was the rock being quarried? Without answers to questions such as these, this anecdote remains precisely that: a tale with no supporting evidence that is difficult to take as serious evidence. And evidence for what? Those who use this type of curiosity often have vague agendas, which may include attempts to undermine our understanding of geological chronology, evidence that humanity has existed on earth for much longer than is usually believed, as evidence for alien visitors and so on.
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