Jurassic Park was probably my first honest fictional obsession. I read the book until it fell apart, and watched the movie as many times as I could, and suffered through the video game, and listened to the soundtrack, and mentally wrote myself into the story in a million different ways. I bought the ridiculous merchandise, and my mother encouraged this--she even bought me a set of Jurassic Park sheets once when I was like sixteen--I think because she was secretly enamored of the idea her teenage daughter wanted to be a scientist.
Sometimes I think if the internet had existed when I was properly little, I might have hung on to that past the first semester of college (probably not, Chemistry kicked my butt good). I spent a lot of time on dinosaurs, but nobody told me about Mary Anning. Nobody told me the story of a little girl playing on the cliffs of Dorset with her brother, who found a fossil that changed the world. Who went on to become one of the first paleontologists ever.
Also, apparently the closest word spell-checker can come up with for plesiosaur is applesauce.