The Lying Stones of Adam Beringer

Fossils prove the existence of life at its peak, but in Dr Adam Beringer’s case, they wrote nothing but demise. Almost 300 years ago, he discovered a set of plant and animal fossils near Würzburg in southern Germany that crafted the end of his thriving career. These fossils came to be known as Lügensteine or the ‘Lying Stones’ that caused one of the greatest paleontology frauds in the history of the world. But what makes this deception legendary, apart from a host of moral lessons and conniving turns of events, is the fact that at the butt of the prank was a savant of the field with the highest credibility (until he wasn’t).

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Today, Eibelstadt is a quaint town with vineries and grass carpets. Once, it was the land of the lying stones. Photo: Tilman2007/Wikimedia


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