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I have seen footage and articles that show living lizards walking out of a stone, when the stone is cracked open. Is this a reliable fact? Is it possible that a lizard (or in some cases, a beetle) lives inside a rock for thousands of years when that stone got formed?

See for example About.com

"Being at my seat near the village of Meudon, and overlooking a quarryman whom I had sent to break some very large and hard stones, in the middle of one we found a huge toad, full of life and without any visible aperture by which it could get there. The laborer told me it was not the first time he had met with a toad and the like creatures within huge blocks of stone."

Another reference from the same site

The soldier pried a stone slab away from the quarry face when he saw "in a pocket in the rock a large toad and beside it a lizard at least nine inches long. Both these animals were alive, and the amazing thing was that the cavity they were in was at least 20 feet from the top of the quarry face

  • can you provide some proof of these articles/films? – Ryathal Aug 28 '12 at 18:10
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    Wikipedia provides suitable notability: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entombed_animal – Oddthinking Aug 28 '12 at 18:38
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    Wikipedia, quoting a writer for Nature: "One thing is certainly remarkable, that although numbers of field geologists and collectors of specimens of rocks, fossils, and minerals are hammering away all over the world, not one of these investigators has ever come upon a specimen of a live frog or toad imbedded in stone or in coal." – Tacroy Aug 28 '12 at 20:35
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    I wonder if some of the accounts are based on not distinguishing hardened mud from rock. Lungfish can live in hardened mud for months, I wouldn't be surprised if there were toads that could do the same. – Larry OBrien Aug 28 '12 at 21:22
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    Skeptoid podcast #223: The frog in the stone – user22865 Jun 28 '17 at 15:39
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No. But they definitely can reside inside the cracks and crevices of stones.

Is it possible that a lizard (or in some cases, a beetle) lives inside a rock for thousands of years when that stone got formed?

No. The longest living vertebrate is the Galapagos Tortoise which only lives for 100-200 years. And the oldest living insect is the Queen of Termites which can live about 50 years. Both of these are far from being "thousands" of years old.

http://thelongestlistofthelongeststuffatthelongestdomainnameatlonglast.com/long328.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gal%C3%A1pagos_tortoise

Seeing as this stands so far outside the realm of theoretical possibilities I would put this in the category of logical fallacy.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Logical_fallacy

But some microbes have been known to live for thousands of years in solid materials...

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2012/05/18/millennia-old-microbes-found-alive-in-deep-ocean-muck/

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/feb2005/2005-02-24-05.asp

"Being at my seat near the village of Meudon, and overlooking a quarryman whom I had sent to break some very large and hard stones, in the middle of one we found a huge toad, full of life and without any visible aperture by which it could get there. The laborer told me it was not the first time he had met with a toad and the like creatures within huge blocks of stone."

If this were true it would be a major scientific discovery. This is likely a worker hoaxing his gullible boss. If the worker said that "it was not the first time he had met with a toad and the like creatures within huge blocks of stone", then this would indicate that the event is reproducible. In which case it might be able to stand up to the scientific method, and have the ability to produce real scientific merit.

http://web.archive.org/web/20170627224725/http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-authority.html

The soldier pried a stone slab away from the quarry face when he saw "in a pocket in the rock a large toad and beside it a lizard at least nine inches long. Both these animals were alive, and the amazing thing was that the cavity they were in was at least 20 feet from the top of the quarry face

This is probably due to something called memory distortion. Which can easily and often does lead people to recall events inaccurately. The rock could have been loose and had a crevice on one side that the person didn't notice, which the animals were hiding in. Then after he pried the rock away he convinced himself they were sealed in there.

See the "The Hindsight Bias"

http://psychology.learnhub.com/lesson/4818-memory-101-distorted-memories

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/2507

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    Could a tadpole slip into a water-filled crevice in a rock and grow into a toad which is too large to get out? – Nick Aug 29 '12 at 12:41
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    @Nick, in order to grow, they need to eat. Tadpoles eat plants, but toads each insects and worms and the like. Where would the get that? – Oddthinking Aug 29 '12 at 13:00
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    I suppose if it had a food source and fresh water that flowed in and out to give them oxygen. The tadpoles would need algae and oxygen in the water. Eventually they would need larger food like insect eggs and cadavers (dead tadpoles) etc. But if their food source or oxygen is limited they will actually stop growing. Plus I just read 99.7% of tadpoles don't live. But I think the tadpole would swim out before it grew too big. Unless it had a constant food source and oxygen-rich water flowing in. So I guess there's a 1/billion chance that something like that could occur. – DerekIsBusy Aug 29 '12 at 13:15
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    I thought the longest-living vertebrae was the greenland shark, supposedly living for some 392 ± 120 years, according to wikipedia – Joseph Doob Jun 29 '17 at 8:51
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    @JosephDoob It looks like that wasn't known about until 2016, after this answer was written – rtpax Oct 4 at 17:34

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