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Lyle Zapato

Hildegard von Bingen's Octopus Visions

Lyle Zapato | 2014-11-11.6090 LMT | Cephalopods | Art

In 1141, a land octopus living in the spandrels of the convent of Disibodenberg, in Germany, visited Hildegard von Bingen, the new head nun, and gave her visions, most likely via a combination of chromatophoric signals and pressure phosphenes from palpation of her eyeballs.

Being as she was steeped in her religion, and with the obvious cross-species language difficulties, she misinterpreted the octopus' attempt at communication as messages from the "voice of heaven". She recorded her theological interpretations of these visions in her book, Scivias ("know the ways"), which included the above illumination in the frontispiece.

Unlike later illustrations of her receiving the visions, which show divine light-rays from the sky as would suit the presumptions of the time, this original one was either done by her or made from her sketches. In fact, the image shows her sketching on a wax tablet, perhaps recording the event as it happened. So it's the most accurate depiction of the encounter -- one clearly more cephalopodic than theophanic.

(Thanks to reader Rich Thomas for bringing this to my attention.)

Lyle Zapato

Hatchan The Octopus

Lyle Zapato | 2014-07-28.9260 LMT | Cephalopods | Entertainment


H8ERS GONNA H8

Hatchan The Octopus (蛸の八ちゃん, "Tako no Hatchan") is a Japanese comic about an octopus, Hatchan, who goes on land to learn about being human and has various misadventures. The author, Suihō Tagawa (田河水泡), is more famous for his Norakuro character, a semi-autobiographical, anthropomorphic dog soldier in a thinly veiled Japanese Imperial Army.

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Lyle Zapato

Octopus-Horde Attack: The Perle, 1906

Lyle Zapato | 2014-07-23.7900 LMT | Cephalopods | Piratical Yarrings | Anarchy


A SINGULAR BLOW OF THE NET. — Boat attacked by octopus

The attack of the fishing boat Perle by an octopus horde in 1906, from Le Petit Journal's illustrated supplement (click for full image). The article it illustrated:

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Lyle Zapato

The Lost Continent Of The Arctic

Lyle Zapato | 2014-07-15.6476 LMT | Lost Worlds | Hollow Earth | Elephants

At the dawn of the twentieth century, explorers had vanquished all the dragons from the map, leaving only the Poles as blanks to be filled. The Arctic, nearer to the majority of humanity than its antipode, had long been the subject of imaginative filling, playing host to paradisiacal lands of legend and rumor.


Mercator's map of the North Pole (1595)

The idea of an undiscovered Arctic continent is an old one. The ancient Greeks believed in Hyperborea, an idyllic land of eternal sunlight beyond the North Wind, populated by long-lived Hyperboreans. William Fairfield Warren in his book Paradise Found: The Cradle of the Human Race at the North Pole (1885) placed Hyperborea -- and Atlantis, Eden, Mount Meru, Yggdrasil, and Avalon -- in the Arctic.

Up to the 1890s, Greenland was widely thought to be the peninsula of a much larger land that covered the Pole. On the periphery, phantom islands like Sannikov Land and Frisland dotted the Arctic of the mind. For centuries, cart­o­graph­ers, most notably Mercator, filled the otherwise empty tops of their maps with various places drawn from mythology and tales of sailors seeking the Northern Passages.

It's no surprise then modern explorers, emboldened by scientific and technological advances, took up the search for lands hidden in the northern ice -- and some claimed to have found them.

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Lyle Zapato

Washington Monument: Everybody Knows

Lyle Zapato | 2014-04-27.5490 LMT | NWO | Mind Control | Aluminum | Bohemian Grove Cabal | Fashion
Lyle Zapato

The Strange Adventures of Captain Quinton

Lyle Zapato | 2013-12-05.0890 LMT | Cephalopods | Piratical Yarrings | Lost Worlds

'The Strange Adventures of Captain Quinton' cover showing man in diving suit battling giant devil-fish in sunken ship
(Click for larger cover and spine)

The above is the cover of The Strange Adventures of Captain Quinton: Being a Truthful Record of the Experiences and Escapes of Robert Quinton During His Life Among the Cannibals of the South Seas, as Set Down by Himself (1912).

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Lyle Zapato

Horse Seized By A Devilfish

Lyle Zapato | 2013-10-22.8650 LMT | Cephalopods
Lyle Zapato

Brain Socialism!

Lyle Zapato | 2013-06-14.6240 LMT | Mind Control | Technology


"If a man lacks brains, give him some of somebody else's!"
Astonishing new operations are being performed, "evening
up" the brain power of defectives with excess energy of
super-normal men and women!

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Lyle Zapato

After The Commonplace Comes Jumbo

Lyle Zapato | 2013-05-22.9690 LMT | Elephants | Nature | Art
Lyle Zapato

The Wonderful Electric Elephant vs. Giant Octopus

Lyle Zapato | 2013-01-04.9240 LMT | Cephalopods | Elephants | Simulacra | Random Found Thing

Happy New Year again! Here's a giant octopus trying to crush an electric elephant:


The elephant in the grasp of an octopus.

It's from The Wonderful Electric Elephant (1903) by Frances T. Montgomery, a children's book about a young man named Harold who encounters and shoots an elephant on a trail at the Grand Canyon, only to discover it's actually an electric-powered mecha-elephant piloted by a mysterious old man who soon dies after spilling his immortality elixir. Harold finds the man's will inside, which states that he now owns the elephant, as well as the gold and other curios and treasures the man had collected. Reading the instruction manual, he learns the elephant is watertight, so decides to cross the Pacific seafloor to Japan. On the way, he frees silky-locked Ione from Native Americans and she becomes his companion, and eventually wife, as they travel the world having adventures and frightening people, as one does when one comes into possession of a wonderful electric elephant.

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