Sea Anemone Fossils | The Institute for Creation Research
Sea Anemone Fossils

The strange and beautiful sea anemone is part of God’s incredible undersea fauna. These gelatinous wonders are members of the Cnidaria, which include an array of stinging cousins such as hydroids, corals, and jellyfish. Like the jellyfish,1 sea anemones appear suddenly and completely in the sedimentary rocks. In fact, fossilized circular footpads (basal disc) characteristic of anemones have been discovered, and “some [anemones] are so intricately preserved they can see the muscles that the anemones used to bend and contract their bodies.”2 Anemones, “therefore [have] not evolved significantly in ‘565 million years,’ a wildly unlikely assertion in the context of macroevolution.”3

Recently, scientists in Illinois were uncovering what they thought were jellyfish fossils4 when “Paleontologists flipped fossilized jellyfish over and realized something quite fascinating: The fossils weren’t of jellyfish at all, but were, in fact, a rarity in the underwater world—fossils of sea anemones.”2

Scientists writing in Papers in Paleontology reported on this discovery:

Sea anemones (Actiniaria) are among the rarest of recognized fossil organisms, even rarer than jellyfish. Here we demonstrate that the most abundant fossil in the Pennsylvanian Mazon Creek Lagerstätte of Illinois, Essexella asherae, is an infaunal [benthic creatures that dig into the sea-bed] or semi-infaunal anemone. Essexella is redescribed based on a taphonomic [the processes of fossilization] analysis of thousands of specimens, as well as associated medusae and trace fossils.5

Sea anemones, such as the thousands of fossil Essexella specimens, indicate “they were buried rapidly in muddy sediments.”2 This is hardly surprising from the creation/Flood model, where a multitude of marine invertebrate animals indicate no real evolution, and where those uncovered in the fossil record are often well-preserved in superb detail.

“These fossils [of sea anemones] are better preserved than Twinkies after an apocalypse,” James Hagadorn, study co-author and Denver Museum of Nature and Science fossil preservation expert says in a news release. “In part that’s because many of them burrowed into the seafloor as they were being buried by a stormy avalanche of mud.”2

A stormy avalanche of mud on such a scale was very likely caused by one particular worldwide catastrophe.

As the late President of ICR said,

Marine fossils are found in rock layers which give testimony to dynamic water processes having deposited them. The layers themselves cover vast areas, sometimes on a continental or hemispherical scale. And they are prominently on today's continents [such as the Mazon Creek Lagerstӓtte, USA]. Rather than demanding the conclusion of long ages of uniformity and evolution, the fossils speak of a time when the oceans fully destroyed the continents, employing catastrophic hydraulic and tectonic forces—a flood on a scale not witnessed today.6

Remarkably, professional and amateur fossil hunters are finding and uncovering more and more mineralized evidence of the soft, jelly-like bodies of animals once considered to be far too fragile for preservation. However, our King has prepared even the most delicate of His creatures as a reminder of His intention to display His wisdom—even through a global judgement upon the earth!


  1. Sherwin, F. 2008. Jellyfish Reveal the Recent Hand of the Creator. Acts & Facts. 37 (12): 14.
  2. Newcomb, T. Rare Sea Anemone Fossils Found in Plain Sight. Popular Mechanics. Posted on March 8, 2023, accessed April 6, 2023.
  3. Thomas, B. Fossil Anemone Tracks Don’t Fit Evolution. Creation Science Update. Posted on March 3, 2010, accessed April 6, 2023.
  4. At 95% water, jellyfish fossils are incredibly rare. See Sherwin, F. “Massively Exciting” Fossil Find. Creation Science Update. Posted on August 1, 2022, accessed April 6, 2023.
  5. Plotnick, R.E., Young, G.A., and Hagadorn, J.W. 2023. An abundant sea anemone from the Carboniferous Mazon Creek Lagerstӓtte, USA. Papers in Paleontology. 9 (2): e1479.
  6. Morris, J. 2004. Where Are Fossils Found? Acts & Facts. 33 (7).

* Dr. Sherwin is science news writer at the Institute for Creation Research. He earned an M.A. in zoology from the University of Northern Colorado and received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Pensacola Christian College.

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