A point in southeastern Newfoundland, at the tip of the Avalon Peninsula, most famous for being a rich fossil site for many varieties of Ediacarans, the earliest known complex life. Scientists believe that Mistaken Point's fossils are as old as 575 to 540 million years. The presence of the mineral zircon in the volcanic ash that helped preserve the fossils allows scientists to date the many layers in the site.

Guided tours are required to view the fossils. They are free, but must be booked in advance. They run May to October, because otherwise Are ye daft, b'y? It's winter!

Most of the fossil site is found within the Mistaken Point Provincial Ecological Reserve, which is also a bird sanctuary. The Mistaken Point Canadian Important Bird Area is a nesting area for many birds including purple sandpipers and common eiders (source of eiderdown).

Mistaken Point is seven kilometers southwest of Cape Race. The name comes from tragic errors of navigation. Mistaking Mistaken Point for Cape Race and turning north leads a ship not into Cape Race harbour, but onto nasty sharp rocks.

It was under consideration as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the World Heritage Committee designated Mistaken Point a World Heritage Site in July 2016.


You can learn more, or make a tour reservation, at the Newfoundland and Labrador web site.

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