As an avid Beatlemaniac, I have long agreed that the Beatles transformed the world. From men’s hairstyles to social attitudes to musical innovation, their hands touched more than our hearts and their musical instruments.


But who knew that the world’s most famous fossil was named after a Beatles song?

Apparently “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was playing on a tape recorder (!) in 1974 as American scientist, Donald Johanson and his colleagues celebrated the discovery of a remarkably intact, ancient hominid in Ethiopia. I’m glad they had music to accompany them. It’s pretty barren there, so the sky is silent, spacious, and diamond-filled.

At 3 1/2 million years old, this 3 1/2 foot skeleton was among those who began the upright walk out of The Rift Valley in East Africa. My husband, Larry and I traveled to two ancient archeological sites during our trip to Africa last August. Where Lucy used to swing in jungle is now an arid rocky landscape with similarities to parklands in Utah. The Rift Valley has been hypothesized as the site of the Garden of Eden.

It’s also hypothesized that Lucy changed her posture because her rain forest habitat began to change, taking her swinging lifestyle with it. Scientists are fueled by discoveries and hypothesizing.

Climate change is not new to the planet. It was a hot topic then, as now, when Lucy’s jungle became a desert. Lucy was smart; she followed the food.

She invented walking away.