Nfld. & Labrador

Worthy of UNESCO world status? Do Mistaken Point fossils have what it takes?

Eager residents on Newfoundland's Southern Shore, including those in Portugal Cove South, must now wait until July 2016 to find out if fossils at Mistaken Point will become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Could a world class designation bring more people and more money into small town Newfoundland?

Once again 'In' is digging deep into fossils, as residents of Newfoundland's Southern Shore welcomed a visitor this week from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

This is a unique place in the world.- Andrew Kerr, visitor to Mistaken Point

Mistaken Point, a stretch of beach near Portugal Cove South, is in the running to become one of the next World Heritage Sites as designated by the United Nations Educational Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The fossils at Mistaken Point are said to be between 560 to 579 million years old and are marketed as some of the "world's oldest and largest complex multi-cellular organisms."

There are 1,031 UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the globe. Three are in Newfoundland and Labrador — Gros Morne, L'Anse aux Meadows and Red Bay.

Towns that line the path to Mistaken Point buzz with excitement at the possible spinoffs that global recognition could bring. But residents will have to wait. 

The UNESCO decision won't be made until July 2016.

Kenny Sharpe's In: A series

This has been the seventh instalment of In, a series that aims to take you inside places we don't often see. If you have a place, event or topic that you think Kenny Sharpe should explore, send him an email ( or follow him on Twitter.


Kenny Sharpe


Kenny Sharpe is currently reporting in Europe as part of the 2022 Arthur F. Burns Fellowship for Foreign Correspondents. Originally from Newfoundland and Labrador, he reports on daily news with a focus on the environment, mental health and politics.