- Paul Vanwyck

OWEN SOUND- A world renowned scientist says the object found in the Owen Sound harbor known as the 'Serpent's Tooth' is not a fossil.

In late March it was revealed that a local diver had found a  tooth-shaped object in the waters near Owen Sound's Waste Water Plant.

Using Strontium-90 testing Dr. Fay Kerr says she's established that whatever creature the 10 cm long tooth came from, its teeth were developing within the last 75 years.

A radioactive isotope, Strontium-90 was released into the atmosphere by 100s of nuclear tests conducted by the U.S. and Russia between 1945 and the Partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963. Wind carried the Strontium-90 across the country where it contaminated the vegetation, and thereby the meat and milk supply.

Strontium-90 likes to attach itself to bone and cause cancer, so in the late 50s scientists began collecting baby teeth to see if this environmental contamination was causing an increase in levels found in children.

"Just as the Washington University study of the 60s found an increase in Strontium-90 in the baby teeth of children born after 1945, my testing has found that same increase in the 'Serpent's Tooth'," Dr. Kerr said in a phone interview from her office in Edenborough.

The scientists had also found that the levels were significantly lower in children born five years after the Partial Test Ban Treaty than those born in 1963.

"This means we may be able to date the development of the 'tooth' to the time between 1945 and 1963. I'm not willing to comment on the existence of lake monsters, but whatever this tooth came from it was growing during that period. This certainly isn't a fossil we're looking at."

A peer review committee is currently looking at a paper Dr. Kerr has written about her findings regarding the tooth. She hopes to be able to publish it this summer, but she chose to do this interview now because of comments she's read in the media.

"I saw the piece in which Dr. Irma Skeptik said unequivocally that lake monsters don't exist because there's been no evidence. I'm not saying I think lake monsters are real," she reiterated, "but I believe that people should have all the information available before they make up their minds. This tooth may be part of that evidence."

The tooth will be up for auction in New York later this month.



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