I’m a viral ‘Fossil Daddy’ —my rocks will knock your socks off

Fans want him to make their bed rock — thanks to his rock-hard abs and his rock-solid knowledge.

Meet Fossil Daddy — a 36-year-old, queer paleontologist from Massachusetts who is using his platform to educate people about science and the study of fossils by using pop culture to break it all down — with a healthy amount of thirst traps thrown in there, too.

Fossil Daddy, who prefers to go by his nickname due to safety concerns regarding his family, boasts more than 195,000 followers across four social media platforms since he rebranded in 2020.

“I think modern audiences have very, very little exposure to the study of paleontology, and I feel like a lot of people don’t really like to learn about it, because it goes over their heads,” the TikTok creator told The Post.

“So how can you bring it back down to Earth in a way that they can understand?”

Fossil Daddy shows off some fossil trilobite heads and butts--which he calls "trilobussy."
Fossil Daddy shows off some fossil trilobite heads and butts — which he calls “trilobussy.” Trilobites are extinct marine arthropods.
Fossil Daddy

On his fossil hunts, Fossil Daddy has come across dinosaur footprints.
On his fossil hunts, Fossil Daddy has come across dinosaur footprints. Fans don’t mind his rock-solid muscles either.
Fossil Daddy

As a paleontological father figure, he might not be old enough to be their father, but his fans want to bone their Fossil Daddy. Hoards of fossil freaks are swooning over him and his sexy semantics.

On his TikTok account, he makes fossils fun for adults by describing them in ways that people can understand. In one video, he brings the Pokémon character Kabutops to life, explaining what kind of fossils the creature is actually based on, and describing some of the character’s traits — Fossil Daddy says they’re both “dom tops.”

In another, he tries to explain what the personality of a Kosmoceratops dinosaur would be like today, sharing that it was nicknamed “the horny-est dinosaur ever.” He even used an audio sound to make the animated dino say, “I got banged!”

He has also taken the playful comparisons to YouTube, where he titled a recent video, “Prehistoric Boss Babes: The Dinosaurs and Creatures That Would Have Recruited You to an MLM [multi-level marketing] Scheme!”

“It’s opened more windows and doors for me than working in academia ever did,” Fossil Daddy admitted to The Post about his social media platform.

Fossil Daddy started his science career in marine biology in 2008, but after growing frustrated with the industry, he went back to school to study environmental geology shortly thereafter, which led him to a life in paleontology, something that he describes as his “very first love.”

His fondness for fossils and environmental science started when he was little, as a child growing up in Brockton, Massachusetts. He explained that the street he lived on was pretty dangerous, so he would escape to the nearby woods to collect bugs, rocks and leaves, recording all of his findings in a journal.

His interest was further catapulted when he discovered Pokémon.

“The Pokémon Omanyte, which is based off of very real ammonite fossils, is what really snowballed my career, I’d say, in paleontology, because as obsessed as I was with wild animals and plants and rocks, it was fossils that I always kind of came back to,” Fossil Daddy explained.

And that passion for Pokémon even translates into his business today. On his website, he sells what he calls “Daddy’s Balls” — fossils that he has found during his hunts, neatly packed inside multicolored Pokémon balls.

Fossil Daddy showing off some of "Daddy's Balls," or "Daddy's Dive Balls," which come with a real fossil Megalodon tooth.
Fossil Daddy showing off some of “Daddy’s Balls,” or “Daddy’s Dive Balls,” which come with a real fossil Megalodon tooth.
Fossil Daddy

Fossil Daddy shows off some more dinosaur footprints.
Fossil Daddy shows off some more dinosaur footprints.
Fossil Daddy

“Once you start learning about the history of other living things, you start to value living things,” Fossil Daddy said.

Before 2020, he had already been documenting his fossil findings on Instagram, but wasn’t really expressing his true personality — he wasn’t even showing his face. His following was mostly older “rockhounds” — people who like to collect rocks — Daddy told us.

It wasn’t until he got a disturbing comment that he wanted to turn things around.

“The comment was like, ‘I love this community, it’s one of the queer-free places on the internet, and I don’t have to worry about P.O.C’s [people of color] invading,’ ” he recalled. “And here I am, like a queer P.O.C., a faceless queer P.O.C. at that time. I was just like ‘Huh, I need to show people who I am.’ “

So that’s what he did — he decided to post some more risqué content, including a picture where he wasn’t wearing a top — but it backfired with his community at the time.

He went from 2,100 followers to less than 1,300 on Instagram almost overnight, as he described the rockhounding community as a place that’s not always safe for queer people because it’s traditionally been a male-dominated hobby.

Men account for 62% of those working in the environmental science field, according to Zippia.

But instead of taking the loss as a hit to his system, he decided to rebrand as “Fossil Daddy” in order to reach a more niche audience.

This ended up working for him, and when his friend suggested that he get more comfortable making video content, he joined TikTok in 2020, and the rest is history.

He told The Post that he wants to make his platform a safe space for both queer individuals and people of color to talk about paleontology.

Fossil Daddy has grown a following to the point where he has been recognized in the wild. When he was in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for a family member’s wedding last summer, someone spotted him wearing a maroon suit, eating Doritos and singing “The Spice Girls” around town. It was just one stop on his nationwide fossil hunt.

In his thick Boston accent, he said that this was the “craziest” experience he’s had from the app so far.

Here Fossil Daddy is climbing out of a gaping hole.
Here Fossil Daddy is climbing out of a cave.
Fossil Daddy

Fossil Daddy takes hammers and a crow bar on his local fossil hunts.
Fossil Daddy takes hammers and a crow bar on his local fossil hunts.
Instagram / fossildaddy

Fossil Daddy posing on one of his fossil hunts.
Fossil Daddy posing on one of his fossil hunts.
Instagram / fossildaddy

As with any social media platform, Daddy has faced his fair share of trolls, especially those who don’t believe in science or those who are creationists. Some have called him a threat to their religion or beliefs. He’s made some response videos addressing them, but told us that he doesn’t go after just anybody.

“I really leave it to really the dumbest comments,” Fossil Daddy explained.

But trolls aside, he doesn’t let that stop him from going digging.

The paleontologist’s fossil hunts have taken him all around the world, from England and Scotland to more local sites in Colorado and Connecticut. He says he does a lot of research before he goes out on these hunts, which typically take him about a week.

“As soon as I get to the spot, I look out for the rock that I know is the fossil bearing rocks, such as limestone, sandstone, shale,” he said. “And then I take out my hammer and my tools, and I just start splitting rock.”

When Fossil Daddy is looking for dinosaur footprints nearby, like in Connecticut, he brings in a crowbar that he says is twice the length of him. He also brings saw blades in order to carefully extract the fossils that won’t come out of the rock so easily.

One of his best finds includes a Plesiosaur paddle bone, which he came across when hunting on the Jurassic coast of England, right after a cliff fall. It’s his favorite, because he found it in the hometown of Mary Anning, an English paleontologist who is his childhood hero.

“Her house, or what is now the Lyme Regis Museum, was in plain view of that site,” he described. “So I was like, literally, like within viewing distance of her home when I found that. That’s just a memory that I’m always going to treasure and that’s the fossil that I’m always going to treasure.”

When he doesn’t use the fossils for his own personal collection or to sell on his website, he donates them to institutes and universities to be studied further.

But his ultimate goal is to open up a museum of his own that would be free for the public to visit.

“I want to create, like, a really healthy learning environment where everybody’s welcome,” Fossil Daddy said of his future vision.

He plans to have an entire section of the museum dedicated to fossils that inspired certain Pokémon, and possibly even an animation section.

Until then, he plans to keep digging for fossils and making content, so that he can keep on being Fossil Daddy.

2023-03-15 18:02:00