If someone told you that in Parnassos you will be skiing on a tropical sea, with small islands, coral reefs, lagoons and tidal fields, something like the modern day Bahamas, would you believe it? It may be hard to believe but it’s true; all you have to do is make a “small” journey in time with your mind and go 120 to 150 million years back in the late Jurassic and the early Cretaceous periods.
The rock of the Parnassos zone was deposited during this period, 220 to 50 million years before today, and was shaped and soared into high mountains immediately after that. In the ski centre area and the ski runs, the strata formed during the upper Jurassic and the lower Cretaceous periods, i.e. 150 to 100 million years ago, are evident. This area was located then, in paleogeographic terms, near the northern edge of the zone at the time, which today due to torsion is eastern. The dominating elements were coral reefs with spectacular coral colonies and a large variety of large and small organisms, such as sponges, gastropod molluscs, a wide variety of multicellular and unicellular algae, protozoa, thick crusts of bacteria and many others.

Today of course, we can observe all the above in the shape of fossils embedded in the stone, while with the slow erosion of the limestone from the rain, we see them in relief on the rock's surface. Naturally, these species lived only during that period and only in areas with similar ecological conditions (climate, bathymetry, currents, food supply) and provide miraculous evidence of life in the past as today there are no descendants for many of them, while the descendants of the remaining species are very different due to the continuous evolution and the adaptation of all the organisms in constantly changing conditions.
Dr.Nikos Karras
Geologist – Micropaleontologist of the Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration (IGME)

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