In The Image is an organization in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which is devoted to the business of helping others. Clothes, shoes, and other daily living necessities have been donated in the past. However, an unusual find was recently discovered inside the store’s donation box.
The tooth of a mastodon, or as children might know it a creature similar to that of the mammoth “Manny” from the hit movie Ice Age, was found inside the box. The tooth is expected to be anywhere from 12,000 to 15,000 years old.
The Christian-oriented charity brought the tooth to the Grand Rapids Public Museum in order to allow children to enjoy the relic. The following video shows interviews from workers who were present when the unique donation was discovered.
Jay Starkey is the director of the charity, In The Image, and he spoke with The Grand Rapids Press about the interest in finding such an object inside the donation box. “I’d love to find out where this was from and the history behind it,” he said before adding, “that was probably the weirdest thing.”
Jay Starkey was not alone in being caught off-guard by the once-in-a-lifetime find. Tim Priest, who is the collections manager for the charity, shared his views on the fascinating find.
“This is kind of an oddball way for something to come in,” Tim Priest said.
Other less-than-typical finds, which the charity has received include: an urn with someone’s ashes still kept tightly inside, unspecified drugs, and a $5,000 painting granted as a donation.
Even though finding a mastodon’s tooth was unexpected, the mammals actually roamed Michigan until becoming extinct roughly 10,000 years ago. As extinct relatives of present-day elephants, mastodons were similar in body structure with a large trunk and tusks; however, a full-size adult mastodon could weigh as much as 10 tons. There are still modern-day efforts to research and excavate fossils of mastodons.
The following video gives an overview of mastodons.