Oops, this 300-million-year-old “blob” fossil was upside down. After all, it’s not a jellyfish.

Often a discovery is less about gathering new information and more about looking at something from a new perspective. That’s not always easy — except in the case of a newly described fossil sea anemone, where it was so easy to turn a putative jellyfish fossil upside down.

The fossil, first described in 1971, is famous in both scientific and amateur paleontological circles for being such an easy-to-find fossil, despite having no skeleton at all. But the creature’s story turned out to be a bizarre case of mistaken identity, scientists reported in a study published March 8 in the journal Contributions to paleontology (opens in new tab).

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