These monstrous boxes remind us of The Luggage, one of our favorite recurring characters in the late, great Sir Terry Pratchett’s indescribably awesome Discworld series. The Luggage is a large chest made of sapient pearwood, “half suitcase, half homicidal maniac,” that will follow its owner absolutely anywhere and serves as fearsome bodyguard, battering ram, henchman and, of course, luggage carrier.

Inspired by the shape-shifting Mimic monsters from Dungeons & Dragons, these fantastic Mimic Monster Boxes are the work of Mellie Z of Fine Line Leather Design based in Lehighton, PA. They’re handmade using leather (usually resembling the hide of a fantasy beast) that’s sculpted around a wooden base. They’re brought to life with the addition of vivid paints, expressive glass eyes, beastly fake teeth, and sometimes patches of fur as well.

Mellie Z makes a wide variety of other fantasy-themed leather goods and also takes custom orders for her Monster Boxes, which can be made anywhere from 3 inches to 3 feet wide. They may not be able to sprout hundreds of tiny legs or devour your worst enemy, but they are wonderfully fearsome and each clearly has its own unique personality.

Visit the Fine Line Leather Design website, Facebook page and Etsy shop to learn more and to check out Mellie Z’s other awesome creations.

[via Demilked]


The Featured Creature: Orbicular Batfish: This Leaf Looks a Little Fishy…

Juvenile orbicular batfish (Platax orbucularis) resemble dead leafs to a T – from the rusty brown color of its scales right down to the very way it moves in the water, it puts up quite the skilled mimetic performance.

Make sure to watch the video here: http://buff.ly/1lmDezw !

photo(top): vimeo still, (bottom): Flickr user dachalan


Scarlet Bodied Wasp Moth (Cosmosoma myrodora) - 

Wasp moths have evolved to mimic the appearance of wasps to avoid predators.  It is native to Florida and areas just north of Mexico.  Their transparent wings, red bodies and metallic blue stripes make them easy to spot in fields. 

Larvae feed on only two kinds of plants; a climbing hempweed, and a twisting vine related to daisies.  Males and females differ in the males have two white pouches on the underside of their abdomens while females lack this.  Males are able to extract toxic chemicals from a type of dogfennel and store the poison in these pouches.  The males spray this chemical over the female just before mating to protect her.  This is a behavior unique to these moths. 

Photos: (top) (middle left) (middle right) (bottom