Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The soft animal of your body

Here is a prize-winning photograph by Kevin Raskoff of Monterey Peninsula College, from the December 21 issue of Nature -- a siphonophore, a kind of colonial jellyfish, like a Portuguese man-'o-war, about 30 centimeters long, from under Arctic ice. Those bulbs are propulsive "swimming bells." The flamelike tangle at the bottom are tentacles and reproductive organs. You can click to enlarge.

A photograph like this requires no comment. My only response is to say with Ursula Goodenough: Hosannah! Not in the highest, but right here, right now, this.