A fossilized radiolarian from the Barbados Islands. Radiolaria are single-celled, amoeboid protozoa that produce intricate mineral skeletons, typically with a central capsule dividing the cell into inner and outer portions, called endoplasm and ectoplasm. They are found as zooplankton throughout the ocean, and their skeletal remains cover large portions of the ocean bottom as radiolarian ooze.

Image courtesy of Linnea Rundgren, Linear Photography

The Signs as random Magic the Gathering Creatures















The images shown above are scanning electron micrographs of the internal siliceous skeletons of Radiolarians.  They are an amoeboid protozoa and have existed since the beginning of the Paleozoic era, producing an astonishing diversity of intricate shapes during their 600 million year history. Their silicate skeletons have pores through which pseudopodia (false feet) of protoplasm project. As it floats in ocean currents, the pseudopodia trap food particles on which the radiolarian feeds.

See more amazingly intricate Radiolarian skeletons

Radiolarians are found as zooplankton throughout the oceans of the world. Individual are normally in the size range of hundredths to tenths of millimeters. Some, however, may reach a millimeter or more, large enough to be seen with the naked eye. When a radiolarian dies, it’s shell sinks. After millions of years of radiolarian shells raining down on the sea floor, they accumulate in great quantities. Much of the sea floor of the deep oceans are covered in this radiolarian “ooze”. 

All images above © Manfred Kage / Science Source


a bowling alley, no
a train tunnel and headlights rain, no
sewer amoeboids on the planet aquatos,

making sense of it,

french toast the scent and sound of a bird
turning pages to the sizzle of butter,

life happens in a pile not in sequence,

door slams toilet refills stomach gurgles,
kisses speaks phone bacon syrup drips a
specimen twenty two and three he said,

keys door books on roof and drives away
talking radio data connections lost papers,

refrigerator clicks a lock shut,
cavanaughs on a poem
eye charts the reconstruction of zero

all the time like out of eggs


If you were looking at two shapes—specifically, a pointy, jagged polygon and an amoeboid-like splotch—which would you name “bouba,” and which would you name “kiki”? In most scientific research, upwards of 90 percent of people will associate the pointy one with “kiki” and and the rounded one with “bouba.” This worldwide phenomenon is known as the “Bouba-Kiki Effect” and has been recorded in many languages, and even with toddlers. Why most of us share the same tendency to link certain nonsensical visual and auditory stimuli isn’t clear, but cognitive psychologists like Kelly McCormick have several compelling theories.


What do all these strange microscopic organisms have in common?

They are all amoebas!*

 This strange group of organisms are actually very diverse. Some of them are spiky, some of them have shells, and some of them build tiny little homes made of debris and dirt. 

*well, sort of. Amoeba now refers to any organisms that exhibit amoeboid movement. To be more specific, they are all protists of the Sarcodina phylum, AKA the original amoebas.