All tagged september 2016

When confronted with the possibility of being devoured, the common gecko is capable of making a somewhat brutal compromise [...] the lizard can shed the entirety of its own tail as an offering to potential predators. During such a transaction, the predator receives a much smaller meal, but the gecko’s life is spared, and its tail eventually grows back.

Eighteenth century explorer José de Almagro claimed to have discovered a much more curious specimen in the mountains of what is today Chile: a gecko which, when threatened, could shed its entire body at once. 

The waters of the River Lethe are said to wash clean the memories of the recently deceased. This process returns them to a tabula rasa state of mind, after which point their souls can migrate to new bodies. What is not clear from myth alone, however, is the mechanism by which the Lethe's waters perform this function. The living often assume that these memories simply dissolve into the imbibed fluid, as though they were merely salt.

Among scorpions, there exists a religion not of tradition, but rather, one of instinct. Though they lack the neurological sophistication required to comprehend such concepts as God or eternity, their genetic memory leaves just enough room to accommodate one curious ritual.

Phlebic White was originally marketed to the public as “the world’s first intelligent lubricant,” a slogan which holds to this day. Rather than passively facilitating motion in the same manner as oil or grease, this pearlescent substance does so actively. Every droplet of the fluid contains millions of individual, microscopic cells, which wobble, throb, and vibrate when exposed to heat. They learn from repetitive motion, as well as from interactions with one another, allowing them to become a churning milk of pressurized horsepower.

Giordano Bruno was of the belief that the sun was just another Earth, and that its glow emerged from eternal forest fires that sprawled across its surface. While such forests have never existed, Bruno’s hypothesis is not entirely incorrect, as stars produce their light by burning that which isn’t there.

The leather-bound cookbook contains three-hundred seventy-seven recipes, including instructions for preparing alligator skin, thickening petroleum into flan, and slow-cooking ingots of iron until they’re tender enough to swallow. Before all of this, however, the text begins with a set of initiatory instructions, required for the chef to “survive their own work.” These instructions are as follows:

“My research suggests that humans are not primates at all. In fact, we’re cervids. Bipedal deer."

"That's going to be a pretty hard sell with the biological community."

"Oh, without a doubt. I don't expect the mainstream to accept it as fact. Ever. In fact, I fully expect the truth to be buried and forgotten. And to be honest, I like it that way."

“Hey, you! Your eyes are untied.”

Decades have passed since she first uttered those words to me. We were in Kindergarten then, yet she spoke them with such certainty that, even as an adult, I couldn’t shake the feeling that she had meant something by them. Whenever I’d ask her to explain what she meant, however, she’d just smile and laugh at me, as though it were obvious. What was it, I wondered, that she could see, yet I could not?