How I became addicted to Orogeny

Can a Mountain Be Older Than Bones?

Greetings My name Is Koraki AKA Damien Knight, and this is today’s Vlogmas post. Let’s dive in, shall we?  A little background about myself first. I studied geology and obtained my bachelor’s degree in geology in 2020. I have wanted to be a paleontologist since I can remember and have loved dinosaurs since I was three years old. It is safe to say that I was very much “addicted” to paleontology but not so much Orogeny.

What is orogeny? Oh, I am so glad you asked. An orogeny is, according to Merriam-Webster, the process of mountain formation especially by folding of the earth’s crust. In other words, an orogeny is a mountain building event. I could go into great detail about how mountains are formed, but the YouTube algorithm prefers shorter videos. I am already certain this one will be longer than I want it to be.

Many have seen the pictures of Mount Everest and the Himalayas. The Himalayas formed during the appropriately named Himalayan Orogeny. They are young virulent and TALL compared to mountains in America. Of course, they are! They formed between 45-50 Million years ago. These impressive mountains particularly, Mount Everest, played a role in my obsession with mountains. I longed to conquer my life in the same way legendary adventurers conquered its peak.

In contrast to the Himalayas, the Ancient Rocky Mountains started forming 285 million years ago. That said, those aren’t the Rockies of today. The modern Rockies started 75 million years ago during the Laramide Orogeny. Still older than the young Himalayas, but not as old as Bones. Speaking of…

I am sure you all have seen the memes about the Appalachia Mountains. Here I will show some of them now.

According to the memes, they are older than the rings of Saturn, older than the Atlantic, and of course the most terrifying and doubted claim, older than bones.

The Appalachian Mountains of the Appalachian orogeny is actually a tale of three orogenies, the Taconic, the Acadian, and the Allegheny. The Taconic being the first of the orogenies ended around 440 million years ago taking place throughout the Ordovician. The second Orogeny, the Acadian, occurred during the Devonian period about 416-359 million years ago. And the last Orogeny, The Alleghenian? That occurred during the Permian around 300–250 million years ago.

The current mountains are the eroded nubs of once tall, proud, and ancient giants. The Appalachian Mountains are OLD. There is no doubt about that. But are they older than bones? Can a mountain really be that old?

Well, let’s find out how old bone formation is. Thank goodness I studied biology because I wanted to be a paleontologist, but I digress. Originally, bone formation in sea creatures was thought to have only occurred after the Cambrian, then scientists discovered a fossil from the Ediacaran with a skeleton. That was back in 2012 (you know when the world was supposed to end).

This means bones are at least 550 million years old. The meme which falsely claims Morrill’s cave (I assume they meant this cave anyway) is also 550 million years old didn’t say marine, though. They said terrestrial. With that in mind, let’s look at when skeletons walked on land. If we assume TikTaalik was one of the first boned fish to leave the ocean, then we are looking at 375 million years ago.

When I initially saw the meme once more and replied on Facebook about it, I said 400 million years ago. Guess my recollection wasn’t too far off. While the cave cited in the meme certainly isn’t 550 million years old the Appalachian Mountains are very close being a stately 480-million-year-old grandfather of a mountain (approximately anyway) That my friends is older than Terrestrial bones and reason enough to be addicted to orogeny.

Well, that wraps up for today, thanks for being here and if you liked this video, don’t forget to hit the like button. Want more content like this? Sure, ya do. Hit the subscribe button and notification button to see more content like this. Thanks again.


Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2007, February 9). Alleghenian orogeny. Encyclopedia Britannica.

Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2016, February 2). Taconic orogeny. Encyclopedia Britannica.

Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2018, March 14). Acadian orogeny. Encyclopedia Britannica.

Dykeman, W. (2020, October 29). Appalachian Mountains. Encyclopedia Britannica.

Geology and Ecology of National Parks. (n.d.). Geology of rocky mountain national park. Geology of Rocky Mountain National Park | U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from,raised%20the%20ancient%20Rocky%20Mountains.

Grimley, M. (2013, February 13). Spelunking the highlands: Owning the Caves. Appalachian Voices. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from,as%20a%20trek%2C%20was%20straightforward.

 Matchen, David “Appalachian Orogeny.” e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia.

17September 2014. Web. 14 December 2022, from”orogeny,from%20Newfoundland%20to%20northern%20Alabama.

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Orogeny definition & meaning. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from

MinWage. (2021, February 21). Tumblr thread: Grasping the age of the Appalachians. Cheezburger. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from

R/whitepeopletwitter – they’re older than Saturn’s rings by nearly 400 million years. reddit. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2022, from

Roy, A. B., & Purohit, R. (2018). Himalayan orogeny. Himalayan Orogeny – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from

University of California – Riverside. (2012, March 8). Oldest organism with skeleton discovered in Australia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 12, 2022 from

Wikimedia Foundation. (2022, December 6). Tiktaalik. Wikipedia. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from

Grand Canyon Karst Seminar

By Damien Knight

Ben Tobin gave this seminar over the karst regions of the Grand Canyon. I arrived late to the seminar, but it was very interesting. When I entered Ben was talking about the morphology of the caves. They are following the fractures into the canyons itself. They mapped the caves from faults and fractures traced in the groundwater. To do that, they had to do dye traces of the different cave entrances.

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Science and Technology USGS Seminar Summary

By Damien Knight

Pete Cinotto came to campus November second to talk about science and technology from the USGS Water Science Center’s perspective. He talked about his early career and study first and how he joined the USGS. Pete then focused on how USGS operates. He says that everything is changing rapidly and starts his talk with the slide “Science for a Changing World.” We live and work in a rapid changing world. Science must change with it.

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Mammoth Cave Connections Seminar Summary

By Damien Knight

On October 19th Chuck Decroix gave a seminar on Mammoth Caves history. His talk summarized the cave history and the connections with WKU. First, he discussed the new visitor center dedicated in 2012. In 2012 Mammoth Cave was 400 miles long. Today Mammoth Cave is 412 miles and is the longest cave in the world.

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Industrial Regulatory Term Asbestos and Minerals It Involves

By Damien Knight

Asbestos has become a common household name. Its hazards a concern blared across our TVs during lawsuit commercials. We all have heard of it, but what is it? Why was it mined? To understand asbestos, we first must define it. Here we will describe the minerals defined, talk about its use, mining, and health effects.

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Paleontology: A New Way to Study Fossils

By Damien Knight

The traditional study of morphology in paleontology is changing with the use of X-ray and tomography technologies. X-ray Computer Tomography (CT) Scanners and other X-ray techniques are aiding our understanding of fossils in greater detail. Traditional paleontology required digging fossils from their matrix which destroyed the samples to study them. New technology can penetrate dense rocks with resolution in the microns.

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New Age of Morphology: Presentation Outline

New Age of Morphology: Presentation

By Damien Knight

Traditional Paleontology Is Changing

A. Traditional Paleontology required digging fossils from their matrix and destroying samples to study them.

B. New techniques in tomography are changing the study of morphology in paleontology.

C. CT Scanners and other techniques are aiding our understanding of fossils in greater detail.

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Two Weeks Until the Mojave

by Damien Knight

March 9th I leave for my geology trip to the Mojave Desert. I am responsible for talking to my classmates about folds, faults and strike and dip measurements. I will also make sure to take a lot of photos and post on the blog daily (if I manage internet access) about the trip. My next post will be posted today or tomorrow and will be a summary of what will go in my power point concerning faults and folds. I will also post a quick tutorial on taking strike and dip measurements. As you can see, I was very busy this last month preparing for this trip. See ya’ll soon out in the Mojave!


Asbestos: Commercial Uses

By Damien Knight

Every time one watches T.V. one cannot avoid hearing the commercials for “asbestos” and its dangers. “Have you been diagnosed with Mesothelioma?” the ad asks. This paper discuss what asbestos is and its applications in commercial industries. We will first define “asbestos”, describe the minerals defined, talk about its use in our economy and speak in depth about the serpentine mineral chrysolite.

The confusion over asbestos health risks is due to the term does not refer to a single mineral. Asbestos is an industry term that covers six different naturally occurring minerals. These minerals or “asbestiforms” all have a fibrous habit that is strong and flexible. The fibers are soft like fabric and can be spun into yarn or made into felts. This makes them useful as a fireproofing and insulation material.

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The Dolomite and Aragonite Problem: A Summary

By Damien Knight

A work in progress

The dolomite problem is a problem in how the formation of massive dolomite beds occurred. Dolomite is CaMg [CO3] 2 that differs from limestone in that magnesium substitutes for half the calcium. The problem is dolomite only forms in lagoons or extreme environments in smaller quantities today, the formation of dolomite beds is a mystery. It is hypothesized that these dolomites resulted from extra-terrestrial planting.

The aragonite problem is that aragonite is its more soluble than calcite. It would make sense that aragonite which is formed biologically in seashells not be formed at all. According to the one article I found the aragonite forms in magnesium rich seas. As magnesium increases the amount of calcite decreases until all that is formed is the more soluble aragonite. Continue reading