The Texas Horned Lizard That Was Entombed for 31 Years

The Texas horned lizard is a hardy creature, but its hardiness might have been overestimated. The Native American legend holds that the rugged species could survive up to 100 years in hibernation.

So when a 4-year-old boy named Will Wood caught a horny toad in Eastland County, Texas, one July morning in 1897, his father, Eastland County clerk Ernest E. Wood, decided to use the reptile to test the ancient belief. The horned lizard (named Blinky by Will) was placed in a cornerstone of the Eastland’s under-construction courthouse along with other time capsule memorabilia, including a Bible, several newspapers and coins, and a bottle of alcohol.

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Texas horned lizard

Texas horned lizard. Photo: Paul Hurtado/Flickr


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