An idea brought me awake one morning in New York, I almost didn't write it down
This is how John Hammond described how he got the idea of cloning dinosaurs in Jurassic Park: Trespasser. He was dreaming about something and awoke. What was he dreaming?
What if a mosquito sucked the blood of a dinosaur, one hundred million years ago? The insect is then covered in tree sap which, over the millennia, becomes amber. The insect is preserved, perfectly. But you see, and here's the clever part, wouldn't the dinosaur blood be preserved as well? The blood holds DNA, a tiny spiral of genetic code. Abracadabra!
THIS is how John Hammond got the idea to clone dinosaurs using ancient DNA. This is how we got Jurassic Park.
But... WHY was John Hammond dreaming this? It was an odd thing to dream for a non-scientist in the 70s. In this article I'll try to come up with a reasonable explanation using what we know about Hammond from the film, novels and Trespasser.
When I was little, I dreamed of a time when the entire world was covered by ancient forest. Great hunters stalked in the cool darkness... among silent huge columnar trees - oaks and sequoias.
The tiny amber jewel held an ancient world.
How did John Hammond got any affinity with amber? I couldn't find anything useful in Jurassic Park material. So, I think we could fill the gap with something outside it. How did the family of John Hammond's actor, the Attenboroughs, got their first piece of amber.
David Attenborough told a very nice story in the documentary film The Amber Time Machine about the first piece of amber he got.