2760: Paleontology Museum

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
(Redirected from 2760)
Jump to: navigation, search
Paleontology Museum
Nowadays the only ones left that do anything are turtles.
Title text: Nowadays the only ones left that do anything are turtles.


In this comic, Cueball and Megan are at a paleontology museum and are looking at the fossilized skeleton of a Stegosaurus. Dinosaurs encompassed a wide variety of species that would be amazing to see alive today, including T. rexes, Stegosaurus, Velociraptor, etc.[citation needed] Cueball is remarking that the "bones" they are looking at are now actually rock, and that 'rocks' then were way cooler (e.g. inside a dinosaur) than modern rocks. He may be under the impression that dinosaurs looked like their skeletons and therefore, were "rocks" that could walk, or perhaps just that their skeletons were actually made of rock, making those 'rocks' more cool than our modern inanimate ones.

The title text suggests that turtles are a form of animate rock. This could be interpreted in two ways. In the first interpretation, you could say that their hard shells make them seem like rocks that are able to move on their own. This gives the latest approximation to modern "rocks" that do more or look cooler than just plain old rocks. In the second interpretation, the text could be generalizing the idea of bone-based armor as "rocks" to other animals. This would include other armored animals like armadillos and pangolins. Extending it beyond bone-based to any hard outer construction could encompass many other life forms - for example, shellfish and corals.


[Cueball and Megan are standing beside each other in what is presumably a museum, and are viewing a stegosaurus skeleton. The skeleton stands on a pedestal and there is a placard on a stand in front of it. The rib cage and head of the skeleton are visible to us; the rear of the skeleton is outside the frame of the panel.]
[Panel of just Cueball and Megan.]
Cueball: Wow.
[Cueball and Megan standing.]
Cueball: Rocks used to be so cool.

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


Turtles aren't rocks. ? 2659: Unreliable Connection (talk) 03:04, 8 April 2023 (UTC)

Maybe referring to shell of turtles? 03:56, 8 April 2023 (UTC)
Neither were dinosaur bones, at least not during the times that they come from. I do believe that that's the joke. 15:06, 11 April 2023 (UTC)

I thought this was a joke where Cueball thinks rocks were cooler in Þe Olde Dinosaur Times, because ÞODT had rocks shaped like dinosaur bones. Maybe I'm completely off. 04:15, 8 April 2023 (UTC)

I appreciate your use of the letter thorn. 09:21, 8 April 2023 (UTC)
You mean þorn 00:31, 9 April 2023 (UTC)
NB, this was someone else's edit. However funny/intelligent it was, it was bad form. 12:10, 9 April 2023 (UTC)
I think you've got it right. My understanding is that Cueball thinks the that ÞODT had rocks shaped like the ones he's seeing in front of him. The turtle comment makes it seem like he knows that those rocks were alive ("did stuff"), but isn't aware that they were covered in more squishy dinosaur bits back then. 15:06, 11 April 2023 (UTC)

My interpretation is that paleontologists picked up all of the interesting rocks, and now only boring rocks are left—and turtles. 09:41, 8 April 2023 (UTC)

Rocks were cool. 13:15, 8 April 2023 (UTC)

heavy rocks are cooler 05:47, 9 April 2023 (UTC)

I interpreted this as a geologist who has always thought rocks were “cool” has, while looking at a stegosaurus skeleton, considered switching to paleontology instead, because that’s way cooler. 20:38, 10 April 2023 (UTC)

It seems unlikely to me that Cueball is referring specifically to the plates on the stegosaur's back. BunsenH (talk) 16:05, 8 April 2023 (UTC)

I added my own interpretation where Cueball thinks that dinosaurs actually were made of rocks, therefore making them cooler than our rocks. 18:37, 8 April 2023 (UTC)

Terrible, wrong explanation. He's referring to how the rocks used to be dinosaurs, obviously. Rocks "used to be way cooler" because they used to be dinosaurs. Duh. 17:02, 11 April 2023 (UTC)

Aren't most dinosaur skeletons on display these days not the actual original rock, but plaster or plastic (or some other material) casts of the original fossil? Dogman15 (talk) 09:57, 11 April 2023 (UTC)

I thought that the joke here is that we are not looking at the actual bones of dinosaurs but fossils, that is, petrified bones, which one might interpret as "cool" rocks.