Friday 30 December 2016

Orange Fan Sponge

Image: Richard Ling
Echinoclathria leporina
It's the most absurdly dramatic sponge in the world!

Wednesday 28 December 2016


Video: Dr N Kimura

At up to 1.5 metres (5 feet) long, the Japanese Giant Salamander is the second biggest amphibian in the world, second only to its closely related and almost identical, Chinese cousin.

Seeing them yawn is, well, you know how Jonah spent three days in the belly of a whale? This is probably about as close as you can get without getting your feet wet.

Friday 23 December 2016

Merry Christmas!

Original image: NOAA
Lapland looks truly magical this time of year. The trees decorate themselves, you know. So does the moon. Even the tentacles have a warm, fireplace glow about them. It's a wonder how Santa Claus can bear to tear himself away.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas! I know I sort of dropped off for a good 2 months or something crazy like that, but I reckon this year I'll give myself the gift of lots and lots of monstrosities. And of course, I'll share. Should be great!

Video: Wayne Jagdeo

Thursday 22 December 2016

Shaggy Scarlet Cup

Image: Kathie Hodge
Microstoma floccosum
Did you know Santa Claus had his own range of bespoke cups?

I sure didn't.

Image: Patrick Harvey
Line 'em up, drink 'em down
They don't have 'Best Father Christmas in the World' written on the side, or even 'Only Father Christmas in the World'. No. They have fur, instead!

That's... inconvenient. It looks nice, though. And Christmas is nothing if not the season for inconvenient things that look nice.

Image: Dan Molter
Santa's little mulled wineglass is the Shaggy Scarlet Cup, a mushroom found in parts of North America and Asia. They grow on rotting logs and sticks on the forest floor.

If you'd like to give Santa a nice surprise and leave the milk in his favourite tumbler alongside the cookies, you may be interested to know that they particularly enjoy half-buried branches of oak.

Image: Dan Molter
The cup reaches less than 1 cm (0.4 in) across and rests on top of a stalk about 1 to 5 cm (0.4 to 2 inches) tall.

Perfect for your favourite, Christmas tipple!