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Exciting discoveries can be found in the most unremarkable of places... like, on this rusty car door, for example.

Field Museum scientists and their collaborators came across this 1984 Ford Bronco parked on the side of the road in Puerto Rico during a research expedition. They were looking for lichens: plant-like organisms that are comprised of a symbiotic relationship between an algae, and a fungus. After trying to figure out how to get the entire vehicle back to the Field in Chicago, they settled on taking the door. Today, we're still learning new things about the lichens that call this rusty door home.

More 60 Second Specimen stories:
Murder by Birder: https://youtu.be/F-ohbDZaYVg
The playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

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Created by:
Emily Graslie -- Brandon Brungard -- Sheheryar Ahsan
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This episode is filmed at and supported by The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois.
http://www.fieldmuseum.org
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Museums house all sorts of interesting specimens in their collection. You might think of an unusual bird or a remarkable mammal. But would you think of a rusty car?

This driver's side door from a 1984 Ford Bronco was collected by Field Museum scientists and their collaborators, who noticed it parked on the side of the road during a field expedition in Puerto Rico. What caught their attention was the car's abundance of lichens, plant-like organisms that are comprised of a symbiotic relationship between an algae and a fungus. The scientists had spent some time marvelling at the lichen diversity that covered the decommissioned automobile, and after some serious consideration for how they'd manage to transport the entire truck back to the Field Museum in Chicago, they eventually settled on taking the door, paying 20 dollars for the accession to the car's very confused but accommodating owner.

So far the scientists have identified more than 50 different species of lichen growing on it, many of which fluoresce under UV light, and one of which may be a brand new species to science. That just goes to show you that scientific discoveries can be found in the most unremarkable of places.