Halloween special: Newly-discovered species are stranger than fiction

In the spirit of today’s holiday, National Geographic recently featured 9 species of creepy creatures “discovered” by humans in 2011.  Yes, those Nat Geo explorers (and others, such as scientists from the California Academy of Sciences) are still finding new macrofauna on this planet.

(Of course the sheer number of undiscovered microorganisms utterly dwarfs the novel biodiversity of animals we can see with the naked eye.)

Lord knows enough people in this world live in urban cocoons and think the entire natural world is creepy (my favorite quote by a sophisticated young Manhattanite, over a decade ago in a NYTimes article: “Trees are scary.”).  I don’t want to feed that perception.  But you have to admit, the cyclops shark is wicked weird.

Other than that, I’d say these marvelous creatures remind me, as a writer, that only nature can exceed imagination for sheer inventiveness.

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