One of George Frandsen's prize possessions weighs over 4 pounds, hails from the Miocene Epoch, and is named "Precious." This paleontological treasure also happens to be a huge piece of fossilized coprolite—aka prehistoric poop—and nearly 1,300 similar samples like Precious have catapulted Frandsen to a Guinness World Record. The 36-year-old has entered the 2017 edition of the record book with the "largest collection of coprolite," gathered from 15 states and eight countries. Frandsen, who runs the Poozeum website, secured his Guinness spot with 1,277 samples, but his site notes he's gathered "several thousand more" since the August 2015 count. Per an article over the summer on Earth Touch News Network, Frandsen became "immediately hooked" on hardened dung when he came across a sample in a Utah fossil shop as a college freshman, earning him the first entry in his collection.
These types of fossils don't pop up very often, but they often offer valuable insight into what animals of a particular era ate. Another highlighted piece in Frandsen's collection is one that shows signs of "aborted coprophagy"—meaning an animal tried to eat it and then spit it right back out. Guinness notes that an expert in this sort of thing has indeed verified each and every piece in Frandsen's collection (they're rock-hard and emit zero smell, if you were wondering how awful that job must be). For other dream-seekers looking to make their mark in Guinness, Frandsen offers this nugget: "Have … lots of passion for whatever [you're] doing. Mine is … fossilized feces … whatever your passion, you should follow it." (Headed to the UK anytime soon? There's a poop museum you can visit.)