Sunday 28 April 2013


Image: Nuytsia@Tas
Chitons! They look like... like... nothing else! I'm sure this style was in vogue a few hundred million years ago, but these days they're really going out on a limb. Not that they have a limb.

Friday 26 April 2013


Image: Roger R. Seapy
If you were expecting to see a technologically advanced human, mermaid or alien, I can only apologise. Atlantids are snails. Microscopic, swimming snails. So... I guess I don't apologise at all. You can see mermaids and aliens any time you want and when can't you see humans? Nah. Consider yourself lucky to see a microscopic, swimming snail for once.

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Elephant's Foot, Dioscorea elephantipes

Image: alijava
Dioscorea elephantipes
Yikes! If that's an elephant's foot, I have just one word to say: moisturise.

Sunday 21 April 2013

Deep Scenes from Wiring the Abyss

Here's a fantastic video from Ocean Networks Canada, featuring some highlights from their Wiring the Abyss expedition of 2012.

This Sea Cucumber is one of my favourites. What else would you expect to see if you opened Pandora's Box and unleashed all the evils of the world? A big, black cloud of noxious gas? A great, big dragon who lets out a big, black cloud of noxious gas every time he huffs and puffs? A pile of fortune cookies with stuff like "hate is cool" written inside?

Nope! Of course it's a Sea Cucumber! A small, translucent Sea Cucumber with weird little legs and weird little muck-plungers around its mouth. And a strange suggestion of devil wings on its back, as it floats in the darkness with ease, leisure and malevolence.

Let's cross our tentacles and hope they're not all quite so fiendish down there!

Friday 19 April 2013

Oh, For FLIPS Sake!




"He just took a big header."

So it was the day the crab flipped.

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Horned Guan

Image: guppiecat
Oreophasis derbianus
Oh! OUCH! Someone's taken a terrific knock on the head. I'm surprised he can stay standing!

Sunday 14 April 2013


"Hey! Look at that tiny owl! Who knew owls could be so small? David Attenborough never said anything about this! Maybe it's a new species? Of owl."

"Oh. Actually, I think it might be some kind of insect. I will call it 'Owlfly'. Because it looks just like an owl. EXACTLY like an owl. Amazing!"

That probably never happened. But what about their young? Do they look more like owls?

Friday 12 April 2013

Badger Bat?

Image: DeeAnn Reeder, Bucknell University
Niumbaha superba
Turns out the Wicked Witch of the West was way ahead of her time. On our long journey to achieve the technological holy grail known as "Flying Monkeys", mad scientists have recently announced their latest advance: a flying badger. It's also a munchkin, oddly enough.

Thursday 11 April 2013

The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, US Edition

A quick note to inform you all that The Book of Barely Imagined Beings: A 21st Century Bestiary by Caspar Henderson is finally out in the United States.

You can get it from Amazon and wherever else. Also, yeah, I'm afraid that there is one of those affiliate links where I get tuppence (maybe even two!) for anything anyone buys after clicking on it. I think I get a percentage, so its a shame they don't sell houses or something on there.

Barring real estate, you could get The Book of Barely Imagined Beings! I wrote a little review when it came out in the UK. It's a great book! Taking us through the myths and legends inspired by animals through the ages, and the knowledge and inspiration that life at its weirdest can still hold for us.

It's full of wonderful examples of how boring, old, natural reality can be just as awe-inspiring as the most beautiful stories we can come up with.

I quite like that. Also Caspar Henderson seems to be ridiculously clever and well read. Just... stupendously so. He probably doesn't have a Facebook account or anything. Proper "book guy"!

You can check out his blog here, which includes the quote "we are monkeys with money and guns" from Tom Waits. Good stuff!

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Venus Comb Murex

Image: museoscienzesgt
Murex Pecten
Ow! Comb? You're calling that a comb? Your hair-dresser pulls that thing out and you're seriously suggesting that the combing of your hair is the first thing to pop in your mind? Really?

Sunday 7 April 2013

Fireworm, Chloeia

Image: mentalblock_DMD
Red-tipped Fireworm, Chloeia viridis
Fireworms! Because sometimes beauty causes a painful rash.

Friday 5 April 2013

Marine Spider

Image: _liana
Marine! Spider?


Wednesday 3 April 2013

The Majestic Spirit

Aglow in the submersible lights...

A ghost slowly inches its way toward the camera.