Wednesday 30 January 2013


Oh dear. Are you sure that was a cave you entered? Or was it a really huge nasal passage? It's an easy mistake to make!

Sunday 27 January 2013


Image: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, INDEX-SATAL 2010
You don't get lions and tigers in the sea. You barely get crocodiles, either. Go a little deeper and you even run out of sharks! Here is where Bathysaurus reigns supreme.

Friday 25 January 2013

The Hidden Life in Pond Water

ALIENS! They're all aliens! Aliens from outer space! Either that or pond water. I always get outer space and pond water mixed up. It's probably the main reason why my astronautical ambitions have been so thoroughly frustrated all these years. There are only so many times you can ruin a good spacesuit before the powers that be lose all confidence in you. That's what I've discovered.

But enough about me.

Do you remember Daniel Stoupin and his fantastic video Microscopic Worlds: Life That We Don't See? It was an amazing glimpse into the ridiculous otherness of microscopic life.

Well, he's only gone and done it again!

Daniel Stoupin
A little more about The Hidden Life in Pond Water
Check out his microscopic photography!

There are lot's of our old friends, too!

Water Fleas, those transparent crustaceans in all their jittery, hyperactive glory (unless and until they get eaten alive);
Bryozoa, colonial filter filters who are perhaps the closest any non-cnidarian can get to the weirdness of coral;
Ostracods, those crustacean heroes in a whole-shell;
Hydra, those Towers of Malice, stinging hunger and expandable gut. You even see them eat! Horror.

There are also Water Mites, which we barely touched on a million years ago (rounded to the nearest million), with their flailing, feathery legs;
Insect nymphs, larvae and pupae in all their abhorrent detail;
and Ciliates, those protists with their cilia waving away to draw food toward them.

And of course, glittering baubles of algae. Where would we be without glittering baubles of algae? Probably on a moonbase, staring down at a dead and desolate world. But we're not! So I guess I don't need to be an astronaut after all. I can just go to the pond.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Chocolate Chip Starfish

Image: wildsingapore via Flickr
Protoreaster nodosus
Run, run as fast you can,
You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!

Stroll, stroll as slow as you wish,
I barely move, I'm the Chocolate Chip Starfish!

Sunday 20 January 2013

The Blues II

Image: Pierre Dalous
Alcedo atthis
I hope you're feeling suitably miserable and depressed in preparation of tomorrow's solemnities!

It's Blue Monday! Mathematically proven by some PR guy to be the most miserable day of the year because it's cold, Christmas is gone and you've already failed your New Year's resolution to stop being such a horrible failure.


Of course, there are creatures out there who are blue all year round. They do quite well on it, too.

Friday 18 January 2013

Unidentified Floating Object

Alien spaceship with tentacles attached?

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Giant Ostracod


Look at that Ostracod! It's HUGE! It's GIANT! COLOSSAL! Of exceedingly great size and it's looking right at you!

Sunday 13 January 2013


Image: Matthias Tilly
It's Tubifex! Also known as Sludge Worms and Sewage Worms. For good reason. Yaaaaaaay!

Friday 11 January 2013

Cyclosa and the Mirror of Death

Image: Phil Torres
You spot it from a distance. The dry husk of a dead spider haunts the centre of its web, legs splayed in a morbidly victorious death-grip.

Wednesday 9 January 2013


Image: David R. Maddison
"Protura" comes from the Greek for "first tail". Proturans get that name because they... don't have a tail at all. Right.

Monday 7 January 2013

creepypasta for Bogleech

So I sent in a story for's creepypasta, horror, do-a-story thing and I was a runner-up! Sweet!

Apparently, if he was made of money he would of sacrificed bits of his body and spent it on sending us runner-ups a free shirt. Which leaves me wondering how many kidneys he has and just how serious he is about this.

In any case, you can check out my efforts if you like, it's called The Snail's Shell.

scythemantis, the Monster Master over there, got over 100 entries so if you ever feel for a weird story, there's a whole bunch of them waiting for you.

And of course, the rest of his site is there if you want something weird that isn't a story.

Great stuff!

Sunday 6 January 2013

Atlantic Cranch Squid

Image: Michael Vecchione, NOAA
Teuthowenia megalops
Oh. Err...

Those are eyes. Definitely eyes.

Friday 4 January 2013

Rubber Eel

Image: brian.gratwicke via Flickr
Typhlonectes natans
It's the Rubber Eel! Occasionally called the Sicilian Worm!

"Sicilian Worm"? Oh dear. Oh dear me, no.

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Escape of the Tiger Beetle Larva


Looks like someone can't wait for 2013 to end.