Friday, August 19, 2016


"Pelagia Mori (Japetella)" by Troy's Work Table. Frost Park Chalk Off for Friday 19 August 2016.


The inspiration: I've been reading up on Japetella diaphana, a relatively small octopus that lives its entire life in the "middle" of the water column. Other than that, not much is know about it. It differs in many ways from other octopods, and marine biologists are finally starting to research its life cycle, feeding habits, and behavior.


Things I like about it: Most of its body is translucent, allowing it to "disappear" in the water. That also means that its internal organs and eyes can be seen through its skin. Its mouth is bioluminescent and Japetella can control the intensity of its illumination. The female swims with her eggs tucked up beneath her arms until they hatch, not eating while she tends to getting the eggs to that point.


In my chalk version: I imagine Japetella drifting about in the vacuum of space, an avatar of Mother (the Cosmic Octopus) hovering over a cosmic spark. Is she tending to its care? Is she about to devour it? Does she carry a bit of it within her already? Is she attracted to it or repulsed by it?

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