Skip to content

how to spot a geologist


To spot a geologist in the wild, look for:

+ Hand-lens, compass, pen-knife, handcuffs etc. tied round neck with string.

+ Someone awkward and unsure around people who don’t know the difference between a rock and a mineral

+ Someone with a beard and Sandals… Jesus was a Geologist (actually, carpenters back then were also stonemasons, so there is some truth to that statement)

+ Someone who owns a pet rock and is not eight (in the case of paleontologists, this will be their closest friend), with said ‘pet’ often found hanging from keys.

+ Someone who only includes people in photos for scale, and has more pictures of his/her rock hammer and lens caps than of family and friends. Especially someone who uses their new baby for scale (Oh God..the horror!)

+ Someone lighting a cigarette with a hand-lens focusing the sunlight, or a coat hanger stretched between the battery terminals of a University van.

+ Someone with hair in a ponytail (this applies to male or female geologists).

+ Someone who eats dirt and claims to be “getting an estimate of grain size”

+ Someone who will willingly cross an eight-lane interstate on foot to determine if the outcrops are the same on both sides.

+ Someone who can pronounce the word molybdenite correctly on the first try.

+ Someone who knows that Lagerstätten isn’t beer, but wishes it was.

+ Someone who wears hiking boots constantly, even for formal functions, and occasionally sandals with (obligatory) socks

+ Someone who often explains how their boozy coffee with whipped cream resembles a layered igneous complex.

+ Someone who knows the phylum, kingdom, and genus of every ancient creature lodged in stone, some of which look nothing like an animal, but can’t remember his/her mother’s, or spouse’s, birthday.

+ Someone who uses a geologic hammer to halve a boiled egg, open a coconut, open a melon, crack nuts, or generally open any tough to get at food.

+ Someone stuck on the side of the road without a spare tire because it was removed to make more room for samples or alcohol (or the spare is already being used on the other side of the van).

+ Someone who, when asked what this rock is says, “Leverite, so leave her right there.”

+ Someone unwilling to improve their personal situation, resigned to the fact that the sun will explode in 5 billion years anyways.

+ Someone who walks out of a bathroom and asks if you noticed the fossils in the stall dividers.

+ Someone prone to Linnean mnemonic devices such as Keep Privates Clean Or Forget Getting Screwed.

+ Someone whose shorts expose way more leg than you ever wanted to see.

+ Someone whose sentences begin with the phrase, “Let me tell you what happened here.”

+ Someone who has to point out that your kitchen worktop is NOT made of granite and after a seemingly nonsensical crash course in petrology (involving many ‘diagrams’ and supposed ‘writing’) will even produce their trusty hand-lens to show you.

+ Someone who gets really upset when the counter top, which is obviously mafic/aphanitic/metamorphic, is called granite and takes 20 minutes to tell you why you’re wrong.

+ Someone who can’t use a street map because it doesn’t have contour lines.

+ Someone who always carries a small squeezy bottle of vinegar in their pocket

+ Someone who insists on wearing shorts and flip-flops in the dead of winter “so their toes can breathe”. Only in really cold weather will they wear hiking boots with their shorts.

If you remain unsure, ask the subject to draw an annotated diagram of a trilobite. A true geologist will immediately reach for their waterproof notebook – this is your opportunity for escape.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: