haniver

There are honest mistakes made by imaginative sailors who’ve been out to sea too long, and then there are “Jenny Hanivers.” Ulisse Aldrovandi, who published this image in 1640, described it as “basilicus ex raia,” indicating an awareness of the illegitimacy of the creature. Neither mermaids nor basilisks, the carcasses of dried rays or skates were mutilated to resemble human-fish hybrids, lacquered, and sold to tourists. 
Follow #bhlMonstersRreal on Twitter and Facebook to learn more about the real animals that many legendary monsters are based on. See more historic monster illustrations from the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

GIF based on Aldrovandi, Ulisse. Serpentum, et draconum historiæ libri duo. 1640.

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Here’s an old and particularly strange form of taxidermy. These strange creatures are called Jenny Hanivers. While they might look like dried demons or monster jerky, “a Jenny Haniver is the carcass of a ray or a skate which has been modified and subsequently dried, resulting in a grotesque preserved specimen.”

"One suggestion for the origin of the term was the French phrase jeune d’Anvers (‘young [person] of Antwerp’). British sailors “cockneyed” this description into the personal name “Jenny Hanvers.”

For centuries, sailors sat on the Antwerp docks and carved these “mermaids” out of dried skates. They then preserved them further with a coat of varnish. They supported themselves by selling their artistic creations to working sailors as well as to tourists visiting the docks. Jenny Hanivers have been created to look like devils, angels and dragons.”

The earliest known picture of a Jenny Haniver appeared in Konrad Gesner's Historia Animalium vol. IV in 1558. Gesner warned that these were merely disfigured rays, and should not be believed to be miniature dragons or monsters, which was a popular misconception at the time.”

Top image from the Zymoglyphic Museum collection, bottom image and quoted text via Wikipedia.

[via TYWKIWDBI]

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Jenny Haniver is the carcass of a ray or a skate which has been modified and subsequently dried, resulting in a grotesque preserved specimen. For centuries, sailors sat on the Antwerp docks and carved these “mermaids” out of dried skates. They then preserved them further with a coat of varnish. They supported themselves by selling their artistic creations to working sailors as well as to tourists visiting the docks. Jenny Hanivers have been created to look like devils, angels and dragons. Some writers have suggested the sea monk may have been a Jenny Haniver. The earliest known picture of a Jenny Haniver appeared in Konrad Gesner's Historia Animalium vol. IV in 1558. Gesner warned that these were merely disfigured rays, and should not be believed to be miniature dragons or monsters, which was a popular misconception at the time.

Gamer Jenny Haniver's Site: Fantastically Funny and Oh So Disheartening

Gamer Jenny Haniver’s Site: Fantastically Funny and Oh So Disheartening

Via Not in the Kitchen Anymore

Belatedly discovered the fantastic Jenny Haniver’s website, Not in the Kitchen Anymore, just now. If you’re a woman who plays team video games, you’ll find the recordings of her xBox Live chats as she plays Call of Duty familiar, funny and fucking depressing.

Ditto goes for the comments, which run the gamut from:

“On behalf of the Male species, I’d like to apologise…

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Book Review Saturday - 'Predator's Gold'

Book Review Saturday – ‘Predator’s Gold’

Predator’s Gold, first published in 2003, is the sequel to Mortal Engines, the first book in the Mortal Engines quartet. I read Mortal Engines last year, and absolutely loved it; it’s taken me longer than I’d have liked to hunt down and devour Predator’s Gold, but now I have, I’m delighted with it.

Image: thelookingblog.blogspot.com

The Mortal Engines books take place in a world which has been…

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