Here's an image of something quite astonishing: the fossilized remains of a jellyfish, preserved in fine-grained sedimentary rock in Utah, in the southwest of the United States.
It is one of a number of exceptionally well-preserved fossil jellyfish which display trailing tentacles, radial muscles, subumbrellar and exumbrellar surfaces, and even possibly gonads -- enough soft-tissue features to definitively categorize them as jellyfish fossils.
There have been other instances of extensive preservation of numerous jellyfish fossils, such as the amazing discovery of numerous large jellyfish imprints (or "trace fossils") in Wisconsin, but those fossils were found in sedimentary rock created from much coarser sand, and thus they do not preserve the same exquisitely-preserved features of the more-recent Utah find. Some skeptical paleontologists have even speculated that the Wisconsin jellyfish impressions could have been made by something other than jellyfish (see this article about the Wisconsin jellyfish fossils for some discussion).
Incredibly, the Wisconsin sandstone containing the numerous jellyfish fossils (some of which are two and even three feet in diameter) has multiple layers of sandstone containing other jellyfish fossils -- at least six different layers! According to the conventional theory, then, these amazingly unique conditions for preserving jellies took place numerous times in the exact same spot, so many thousands or millions of years apart that the fossils were preserved in successive layers in the sedimentary stack!
"It's a spectacular find," says one paleontologist quoted in the article linked above, and that article's author continues: "More so, he adds, because the hapless jellies are found in several different layers of fossilized beach. 'It's not just a one-off event, it happened at least six times.'"
The exact mechanism by which these ideal conditions preserved the jellyfish are not precisely described, either. We are left with a kind of vague "hand-wave" and the assurance that the right conditions would preserve a jellyfish for millions of years in stone. This type of vague but confident description is not unusual or uncommon when describing hard-to-explain marine fossils (I remarked on it in the post entitled "Crinoids on Mount Everest?" here as well).
While it is possible that such ideal conditions somehow cropped up once, it is difficult to believe that they did so over and over again. In light of this improbability, it would certainly seem to be advisable to seek a better explanation, and Dr. Brown supplies one in his book, which is available to study online in its entirety for free at this location (hardbound versions can be ordered from the same site).
In this page of his book discussing the principles of liquefaction, and the way that liquefaction would have created sedimentary layers during a catastrophic global flood, Dr. Brown explains how the formation of these layers of jellyfish fossils could have been created:
Multiple liquefaction lenses, vertically aligned during the last liquefaction cycle, trapped delicate animals such as jellyfish and preserved them, as the roof of each water lens gently settled onto its floor. [See section 8 on the page indicated].
Dr. Brown gives more detail about these "water lenses" and how they are supported by geological evidence and are consistent with the principles of liquefaction and physics on this page of his book. A previous post discussed this aspect of Dr. Brown's theory in light of the fossil record at the so-called "Dinosaur Dance-Floors" which have been found in sites in both North and South America.
Dr. Brown's theory would also help to explain another aspect of the mysterious jellyfish fossils which is not mentioned as a "problem" in any of the conventional articles about jellyfish, and that is the fact that these jellyfish -- supposed to have perished over 500 million years ago -- are almost identical to modern jellyfish. In fact, the authors of the paper about the jellyfish in Utah note that the features of the fossil jellyfish pictured above suggest that it may be a narcomedusa. A modern narcomedusa is pictured below.
They do not go so far as to definitively categorize the fossils as belonging to a specific taxon of jellyfish, saying:
Still, even with the level of detail preserved, we hesitate to definitively assign any of these fossils to a specific taxon because taphonomic factors can conspire to make particular features of specimens difficult to interpret and even modern jellyfish possess few diagnostic features. We do, however, discuss distinctive features exhibited by these specimens that indicate they share affinities with certain modern cnidarian clades.
They do point out strong similarities to modern narcomedusae and to modern box jellies.
The lack of transformation of these jellyfish over a period of many hundreds of millions of years would seem to be somewhat problematic for conventional theories, and particularly for supporters of Darwinian evolution. However, if the fossils were created all at once during a catastrophic flood event, then it is no longer necessary to maintain that they were created five hundred million years ago and that jellyfish have stubbornly refused to change over the intervening millenia (even as dinosaurs supposedly evolved out of some predecessor species and then evolved into birds or something else in the interim).
Thus Dr. Brown's theory solves that difficulty of explaining these jellyfish fossils, just as it solves the problem of having to posit incredibly rare (and vaguely understood) conditions arising over and over to preserve jellyfish in successive layers of sediments over long periods of time in the same location in Wisconsin (and then again in Utah).
Of course, any theory which undermines Darwinism will be vigorously resisted by conventional academia. Thus we can expect that the sensible and precisely-described mechanism Dr. Brown offers for the creation of jellyfish fossils will be ignored by most paleontologists, who will instead offer speculative, vaguely-described, and highly-improbable scenarios (with great confidence and certainty). This is regrettable, because the presence of these jellyfish fossils seems to invite reconsideration of the conventional theories, and should certainly undermine the easy confidence with which ancient fossil-forming mechanisms are often described.
It is important that the general public be made aware of the amazing discovery of thousands of jellyfish fossils in recent years. These fossils would appear to be yet another strong piece of evidence which supports the hydroplate theory of Dr. Walt Brown.