via Flickr/Dill Tom

Dinosaurs are fascinating, but a lot of what we know about these magnificent beasts is, of course speculation. Speculation based on evidence and science, but speculation nonetheless. There are plenty of convergent theories about them, all of which are interesting. For example, there’s a lot of debate as to how the dinosaurs died out: was it a volcano? A meteor? Something more gradual?

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Or, there’s the TV show “Barney & Friends”, which theorizes that all dinosaurs were bipedal creatures that could talk. And then there are the Young Earth Creationists. These are Christians who believe that, as the Bible says, the world was literally created in 7 days, which means that humans and dinosaurs coexisted (and died either in the flood that Noah’s Ark survived, or in the immediate aftermath.)

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Enter Texas’s Dinosaur Valley State Park. The park has been preserved thanks to the impressively well-preserved set of dinosaur tracks left in the ground. This part of the country was once the shore of a large body of water, and the footprints left in the stiff mud dried and became fossilized. Of course, there was a good bit of erosion on them over millions of years, so some of them have changed shape and size… and some might even look a bit like human tracks.

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All of the controversy was made more heated by the fact that some locals made fake fossils with human footprints alongside dino tracks, which they sold. George Adams was one man who made money during the Great Depression by making moonshine and fake fossils, according to his granddaughter.

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Either way, visiting this almost-real-life Jurassic Park and seeing the tracks is a pretty mind-blowing experience. Many are located in the riverbed, so try and go on a day when it’s dry out so you can see them. The park also boasts 20 miles of hiking trails, fishing and swimming in the river (where dinosaurs swam!), camping, and, naturally, some giant dinosaur statues originally displayed at the New York World’s Fair of 1964.

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If that’s not enough dino craziness for you, then check out a few of America’s craziest dinosaur parks!

A guide to America’s craziest Dinosaur Parks on Roadtrippers

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