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Buckingham Palace’s building blocks contain Jurassic-era fossils

A scientific study in Australia has led to the revelation that Buckingham Palace and other famous buildings around the world contain microscopic fossils in their building blocks.

Australian National University researchers found that oolitic limestone had been used to build Buckingham Palace.

Oolitic limestone is a material containing microbes that date back to the Jurassic period 200 million years ago.

“Our research has highlighted yet another vital role that microbes play on Earth and in our lives,” said co-researcher Dr Bob Burne of the Australian National University in a media release.

The researchers found that “ooids were made of concentric layers of mineralised microbes, debunking the popular ‘snowball theory’ that ooids were formed by grains rolling on the seafloor and accumulating layers of sediment,” according to the release.

“We have proposed a radically different explanation for the origin of ooids that explains their definitive features,” said Dr Burne.

These microbes were found in building blocks at Buckingham Palace, The Queen’s official London residence. Oolitic limestone is often used for building because it is lightweight but strong.

Buckingham Palace is undergoing renovations to the tune of £369 million. It was announced by the Treasury in November 2016 that the Palace would undergo essential upgrades over a ten-year period. The renovations are supposed to begin this spring.

“We take the responsibility that comes with receiving these public funds extremely seriously indeed,” said Tony Johnstone-Burt, the Master of The Queen’s Household, at the time.

“Equally, we are convinced that making this investment in Buckingham Palace now we can avert a much more costly and potentially catastrophic building failure in the years to come.”

Buckingham Palace was initially called Buckingham House before King George III purchased the building from Sir Charles Sheffield in 1761, and remodelling began in 1762. King George IV decided to further renovate in 1826, to create a palace, with the help of John Nash.

Queen Victoria was the first sovereign to use Buckingham Palace as her official residence, and it has remained so ever since.

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