Lonely Planet Writer

Woman collecting sea-shells stumbles on dinosaur footprints in Western Australia

A woman out collecting sea-shells on an Australian beach stumbled upon something much bigger – dinosaur footprints.

Bindi Lee Porth
Bindi Lee Porth Image by Bindi Lee Porth on Facebook

Bindi Lee Porth was walking along the popular tourist destination of Cable beach in the town of Broome in Western Australia, when she noticed the prints. While the BBC reports that the town was already known for its 130-million-year-old set of dinosaur footprints, the sort of fossilised footprints the 37-year-old came across were not previously known to exist there.

Ms Porth shows her foot next to the dinosaur footprint.
Ms Porth shows her foot next to the dinosaur footprint. Image by Bindi Lee Porth on Facebook

Ms Porth said she thought the prints could not be real when she first encountered them. She told ABC Australia that when she lifted her boot up off the ground she saw a “bit of an indent in the sand.”  She said that when her own print washed away it showed a beautiful dinosaur footprint underneath. It was an “amazing experience” to stand in footprints belonging to a creature over 130 million years old, she explained. Ms Porth said that in total she found six prints, which palaeontologists now believe, came from two different dinosaurs. In fact, she said she had been in contact with two experts who were very impressed with the look of the dinosaur footprints.

Bindi Lee Porth compares her hand to the dinosaur print.
Bindi Lee Porth compares her hand to the dinosaur print. Image by Bindi Lee Porth on Facebook

Palaeontologist Steve Salisbury, from the University of Queensland, said the imprints were found centuries ago by indigenous Australians. He told the BBC that although not new, they had been hidden under the sand for about 38 years. He said he was delighted Ms Porth had noticed them because they didn’t think that they would be seen again because of the dynamic environment around those beaches. A number of palaeontologists including Dr Salisbury are due in Broome to view the prints over the next few weeks. In the interim, Ms Porth is guarding the footprints. She said she has hardly left the area since discovering them, adding that they “feel like my babies.”