Offbeat

Fossilized Tobacco Found In Peru: Put That in Your Pipe!

Scientists from the Meyer-Honninger Paleontology Museum have discovered a compact block of fossilized tobacco, about 30 square centimeters (4.5 square inches) in the Maranon River basin in northeastern Peru.

The discovery, which occurred just last week, dates back to the Pleistocene Era some 2.5 million years ago. This block of tobacco is the oldest ever found.

Klaus Hönninger Mitrani is renowned within the paleontological community for his important discoveries. He found the first skeleton of a Megalodon (extinct mega-toothed shark) in 2006, and in 2009, he unearthed the skull of a Saber-tooth tiger in the province of Pacasmayo, Peru, and the 16-million year-old skull of a Kentriodon (an extinct species of toothed whale) with an intact brain.

According to a museum spokesperson:

“This discovery allows us to establish that the plant dates back to the Pleistocene Era, and confirms that it originated in northern Peru.”

It is known that native-Americans smoked and chewed tobacco long before Europeans set foot in North America in the 15th century. They used it for a myriad of diverse things: eye drops, enemas and rituals. They were known to blow smoke in the faces of warriors before battle and on women before engaging in intercourse.

Apparently, to the ancients second-hand smoke was considered a blessing instead of a hazard.

The tobacco plant easily flourished on the South American continent during the early Pleistocene era because the region was not covered with ice during that time.

So put that in your pipe and smoke it!

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