Somewhere in the back of the natural history museum of Vienna there was a big stone and within glimmered fossilised ammonites captured in stone. They shimmered red and bronze with beige speckles all over their rippled surface. They looked like snakes curled up, sleeping but they were not.
They lived in ancient waters for hundreds of millions of years alongside giant crocodiles, Mosasaurus and other beasts of the deep. They too were long gone but none of their remains shone as beautiful as these ammonites.
I walked up closer and touched the smooth stone in which they were imprisoned. It felt cool like the sea as if I touched upon glass. However beautiful they were and no matter the time they spent on earth, longer than dinosaurs and longer than mammals, their lives were simple.
Inside their shells they had chambers they could either fill with water or release it, float or sink down deeper. And it was only the outermost chamber where they actually lived, where they were most alive. There, their tentacles filtered food out of the water.
For over two hundred million years they floated in the blue oceans. They were there when reptiles rose to power, when one giant continent broke apart, when dinosaurs dominated the world and when they died out again and then they too were gone. They were always there but saw nothing. They were beautiful creatures within a sea of monsters, all of them long gone.