A journey amongst the weird, the wonderful and the downright ugly of the natural world.

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Latest Blog Posts for Real Monstrosities

  • Angaria
    on Jun 24, 2016 in gastropod
    Image: ShellnutHere come those snails again, showing us once more that you don't need to live fast to leave a good-looking corpse.Image: ShellnutA. sphaerulaAngaria is a genus containing about 15 species of snails found in the Indo-Pacific region, Au...
  • Jellynose Fish
    on Jun 22, 2016 in bony fish deep sea
    Image: fishpix.kahaku.go.jpWARNING: High concentration of gelatinous material in the schnozzle area.It helps protect them against, erm... bumping into stuff? I guess?Image: fishpix.kahaku.go.jpAteleopus tanabensisAteleopodiformes is a tiny and rather...
  • Big, Voluminous Sleeves
    on Jun 15, 2016 in cephalopod deep sea
    Big, voluminous sleeves... the trend that keeps on giving. And billowing. After all, who doesn't want to look like a rakish buccaneer or ostentatious wizard?Video: EVNautilusAnd if they billow just right you might appear to have muscles that bulge li...
  • Carpet Anemone
    on Jun 12, 2016 in cnidarian
    Image: Nevit DilmenNylon? That's just plastic. Wool? Keep it, sheep. Tiger pelt? I'd rather a live, trained tiger to do my bidding.No. When it comes to carpets, it's teeny-tiny tentacles tickling my tootsies from now on.Image: Samuel ChowAnd it's all...
  • Lophogastrid
    on Jun 10, 2016 in crustacean deep sea
    Image: Alexander SemenovIt can be difficult to describe things you've never seen before. Just think of the medieval bestiaries. Beavers have fish tails, don't they? Rhinos are covered in ornate steel plate, aren't they? Elephants... Where do you even...
  • Snaggle-tongue of the Gumboot Chiton
    on Jun 8, 2016 in other mollusc
    Cryptochiton stelleriYuck! What devilry is this? It's like that bit in Jurassic Park with the giant T. rex eye except he's made of mash potato and appears to be staring actual daggers.What it really is, is the despicable tongue of the Gumboot Chiton.
  • Microdon
    on Jun 3, 2016 in insect
    Image: N SlothIt sounds like a dinosaur but it looks like a... slug?I know, I know. It sounds like my last marble has finally slipped out of my grasp, hit the ground with a thunderous clink and is even now rolling away with a peculiar air of regret.
  • Bryozoa Nudibranch
    on Jun 1, 2016 in gastropod
    Image: Donna PomeroyThis has to be one of the more eye-bending examples of camouflage out there.It might be difficult to believe when it's so lacy and frilly and, er, uncooperatively resting on a dark background upon which it sticks out like an ornat...
  • Cusk-eel
    on May 29, 2016 in bony fish deep sea
    Image: NOAA/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research InstituteI'd like to call this thing a "fish-shaped lump of flab" but it's scarcely even fish-shaped!At least it actually IS a fish. What it isn't, is any kind of eel. Or indeed, a Cusk, which is a whole oth...
  • Kinabalu Crested Dragon
    on May 27, 2016 in reptile
    Image: Bernard DUPONTHypsicalotes kinabaluensisI love miniature dragons! So much more convenient than the full-sized ones, wouldn't you agree?Sure the little dragons can't burn down entire villages in a single breathe but that kind of thing is widely...
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