Dinosaur Valley State Park - Atlas Obscura

Dinosaur Valley State Park

Tracks near this Texas nature site were once thought to support the Creationist belief that man and dino coexisted. 


The giant dinosaur statues that now loom over Dinosaur Valley State Park in Texas could lead visitors to believe that thunder lizards once roamed that very ground, and they’d be right. However some of the tracks preserved in the ancient limestone led some others to believe that there were humans walking right alongside them, and that would of course be wrong.

The Paluxy River that runs through the park marks what was once the shore of a Cretaceous ocean along which dinosaurs once plodded, leaving deep footprints in the mud. Fast forward millions of years and those footprints have hardened into remarkably clear fossilized stone features. While most of the tracks have retained a distinctive saurian outline, a number of them have eroded away to fit the profile of what some observers considered human. This seeming evidence of man-dinosaur cohabitation was like a siren song to Young Earth Creationists who instantly began citing the tracks as concrete proof of their beliefs.

Unfortunately for twelve year olds everywhere who have been dreaming of dinosaur riders forever, the “human” tracks were soon proved to be nothing more than weathered down dino tracks. To conflate the issue even further, some locals admitted that they had created some of the tracks themselves as a bit of hokum to grift some scratch from the rubes that passed through during the hardscrabble depression.

Humans may never have ridden dinosaurs in the past, and it doesn’t seem like they get to ride them in the present either since the parks massive dinosaur sculptures are fenced off. Young Earth Creationist beliefs may not be rooted in fact, but they sure do seem like a lot of fun.

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