Saturday, July 08, 2006
Mum(my)'s the word
Recently we had a discussion over at Jeffrey's blog about mummification (naturally-ocurring, not the Egyptian bandage-wrapped kind), which is something I find fascinating/repulsive at the same time. It's like seeing the dried-out leathery husk of something that had once lived... it's skin and bones, sort of distorted and withered. Of course after the process is complete all moisture is gone, and that's the really nasty part of a carcass. There's a flurry of activity immediately after death.... bloating, decomposition and the slow-motion heaving and writhing caused by maggots and other flesh-devouring scavengers... nature's cleanup crew. Then you're left with something resembling a dried-out leather glove with a few sticks in it that's been laying beside an Arizona highway for a few years. Nice image, huh?
Anyway, the pic above is not really of mummified creatures (some pretty weird critters, that's for sure!). They're actually made entirely of paper, modeling paste and bamboo by Japanese artist Hajime Emoto. They're from the Museum of Fantastic Specimens, a website where they're displayed like real specimens. If you click on that link it'll take you right to the Japanese website, which can get you lost in a hurry... clicking on the pretty pitchure above takes you to a blog about it with some helpful navigational links that can make the journey more pleasant.