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Mindhut

10 Unappreciated Geniuses

By Becky Ferreira Jun 13, 2013

3 of 11

Mary Anning

Mary Anning was so devoted to paleontology that she braved deadly landslides to go fossil hunting. That's commitment, folks. She hugely influenced our understanding of the Jurassic period, both because she wrenched so many of its remains out of the ground and because she had a good head for interpreting the evidence. But most 19th Century scientists thought women were dum dums, especially women from the working class like Anning, so they stole her ideas, passed them off as their own, and somehow slept at night. Reflecting upon this injustice, she wrote "the world has used me so unkindly, I fear it has made me suspicious of everyone." Thankfully, male scientists no longer fear cooties from their female colleagues, and so Anning has been redeemed as the badass brainiac she was. She is also the inspiration for the famous tongue-twister, "she sells sea shells on the sea shore," though the verse fails to note that those shells were 200 million years old.

Tags: science, slideshows, life, geniuses, nikola tesla, thomas edison

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About the Author
Becky Ferreira

Becky Ferreira is a writer, performer, and raptor based in New York.

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