"In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. Therefore ... in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period the Lower Mississippi River was upward of one million three hundred thousand miles long... seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long... There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact." ~Mark Twain.