As if branded with a hot iron

A “vast number” of prints were found in the snow on the morning of Feb. 8, 1855 by the inhabitants of Topsham, Lymphstone, Exmouth, Teignmouth and Dawlish in Devonshire. These were found in "all kinds of unaccountable places: in gardens enclosed by high walls, and up on the tops of houses, as well as in the open fields.“ The marks were about 8 inches from each other, in straight lines, somewhat like longish hoof prints. The spacing did not vary from town to town. Suggestion was made that the culprit was a kangaroo. An observation by a Professor Owen was that "whatever it may have been that had made the marks, it had removed, rather than pressed, the snow.” The snow looked “as if branded with a hot iron.”

–Charles Fort, The Book of the Damned, p. 307-310 (The Complete Books of Charles Fort, Dover, c1974).

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