Japanese bay full of fish scales could mark start of the Anthropocene

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Sardines

Sardine scales could help define the Anthropocene

Lisa Top/Alamy

A bay in south-west Japan could become the place on Earth that geologists use to officially establish the start of the Anthropocene, thanks to an abundance of sardine scales and other evidence revealing humanity’s growing influence on the planet.

Beppu Bay has now formally joined 10 other sites being considered by researchers trying to find the planet’s best candidate for a “golden spike”, a clear signal in Earth’s geological record that can designate a new epoch shaped by human impact.

In 2006, scientists on the Anthropocene Working Group (AWG) …

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