National Geographic : 1955 Aug
173 British Petroleum Co., Ltd. Experts Seeking a Clue to Rocks' Geological Age Focus on Wafer-thin Slices In London's Beaufort House laboratories, 3,000 miles from the Persian Gulf, scientists assay oil poten tialities in submarine rocks gathered by the Cousteau expedition. Tiny sea shells embedded in the rock help determine its age. Here paleontologists identify the minute fossils. tion, two of them New Englanders, brought the entire rosters of their schools, and one couldn't climb a ladder without spilling several Girl Guides. Small fry marched in endless ranks down the long jetty to visit Calypso. The French consul gave us a monumental party at a tropical hotel right out of Joseph Conrad. Artists had hung murals of Aqua lungers and mermaids in silver on black velvet. Far into the night we danced waltzes in double time, and our crew turned up in 19th-century straw sailor hats, still the bonnet of the islands' harbor navy. The Seychelles are one of the few outposts one cannot reach by landplane. A wartime survey for emergency landing strip sites in the Indian Ocean found the islands too moun tainous. The only way to reach there is by the Bombay-Mombasa-Durban boat or by an occasional cruise ship. Sometimes it takes air mail four months to or from the islands. Consequently, there are few tourists, but there is lavish hospitality British Petroleum (o., Ltd. Doodling Pad? No, Magnified Fossils Technicians slice the rock on a diamond-impreg nated wheel, then grind each piece to transparency. This limestone section, enlarged 100 times, may show traces of corals, sea urchins, and fish teeth and bones. A favorable analysis will lead to drilling.