Trying to update an oooold spec-evo alien to be more visually interesting and emotive.
Grothia are the sentient race of the ash clouded world Sedah. Due to being amongst the dietary group of Tefravores (animals who inhale the high organic ash of Sedah, usually through pores on the back hunch) the mouth has fused shut. Only special tissue exist there that act as smell receptors.
A transparent shell membrane covers the head like a helmet, protecting the eyes from debris.
Or maybe just your eyes. This is a fish called the barreleye fish (also known as the spook fish) was found in the Pacific off the coast of California. This National Geographic video is older, 2009, but that does not take away the pure awesomeness that is this fish. Inside you can see the tubular eyes pivot within the clear dome of its head. The eyes sit on top of the head but can also be focused forward.
So here we have what appears to be a fish with a transparent head. We can see inside the actual fish and there are two odd green orbs inside the clear dome.
So Is It Real?
This is the
First described in 1939, this deep sea fish has held a number of mysteries until recently. Those green orbs are the fish’s eyes, the eyes are very good at absorbing light and allow the fish to see in almost complete darkness. The eyes are able to rotate in the head from vertical, to look upwards at potential predators/prey, to horizontal to see in front of them at what ever they are trying to eat.
So the green orbs are the eyes, not the dark spots above the mouth(those are actually the equivalent of nostrils). It was actually not until very recently that we knew that this fish looked like alive, the fluid filled shield is very delicate and often is ruined when one is caught in a net. Thanks to ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) we now have actual footage of this animal. Lets take a look:
Thanks for reading the first part of Is It Real?! If you’ve seen a photo of a strange ocean animal (or plant) please submit it to keep the series going!
Last year I gave my self a quest to try and reinvent the mermaid, but I had so much fun I kept going and now my goal is to try and make 100 different mermaid designs/concepts. I kept the style simple so I could focus on shape and concept. These are what I have so far on my deviant art, I figured I’d share this with you all and add more to the site later.
Once I made all 100, I’ll be taking my top favorites and making a cartoon with them. I know for the sure the manta ray mermaid, the seahorse, and the angler are going to be in it.
Here are the lists of the mermaids: Shrimp Mermaid, Squid Mermaid Jellyfish Mermaid, Koi Mermaid, Eel Mermaid, Flying Fish Mermaid, Normal Mermaid, Narwhale Mermaid, Fantail Goldfish Mermaid, Seahorse Mermaid, and Angler Fish Mermaid. Clownfish Mermaid, Manta Ray Mermaid, Seal Mermaid, Ghost Knife Mermaid, Octopus Mermaid, Pufferfish Mermaid, Lion Fish Mermaid, Manatee Mermaid, Axolotl Mermaid, Beta Fish Mermaid, Lobster Mermaid.Whale Mermaid, Ammonite Mermaid, Cuddlefish Mermaid, Another Cuddlefish Mermaid, Bubble Eye Goldfish Mermaid. Hammerhead Shark Mermaid, Hula Skirt Siphonophore Mermaid, Plesiosaurus Mermaid, Yellow Bellied Sea Snake Mermaid, Bothriolepis Mermaid, Sea Dragon Mermaid, Triop Mermaid.Turtle Mermaid, Sea Angel Mermaid, Glaucus Atlanticus Mermaid, Algae Mermaid, Coral Mermaid, Red Seaweed mermaid, Sponge Mermaid, Sea Snail Mermaid, and Green Seaweed Mermaid.Parrot Fish mermaid, Catfish merMAN, swordfish mermaid, clam mermaid, neon fish merMAN, barreleye fish merMAN, sea urchin mermaid/man I can’t decided honestly) Hydra Mermaid, Waterfall jumping mermaid, sea slug mermaid. Predatory Tunicate Mermaid, Glass Squid Merman, Blobfish Mermaid,: Mosaic Jellyfish, Sailfish Merman, Ocean Sunfish Mermaid, Viperfish Mermaid, Vampire Squid Mermaid, Gulper Eel Mermaid, Mantis Shrimp Merman
“Wait… so why am I the one on the naughty list again? It just seems like…”
“What are you trying to say, Callie?”
“NOTHING! Forget I said anything…”
Tetrox turned the TV off, flopped back on the couch and sighed. It felt like forever since Arnick left and he was supposed to have returned home hours ago. Outside, the skies were filled with gray clouds as snow fell heavily. Tetrox remembered when she first saw the snow after moving to the surface. She thought it was absolutely amazing. Unfortunately, it had gotten way too cold for anyone to stay outside for a lengthy period of time and getting your ink frozen was never a good thing. Once again, Tetrox sighed before thinking to herself, “If that guy weren’t so hot headed all the time, I’d be worried he’d of gotten stuck in a block of ice or something.” The mental image of Arnick trapped in an ice block amused Tetrox and caused her to snicker a little.
It had been about 6 months since she had joined the Purple Team and began fighting Turf Wars. Her replica Octoshot complete with Suction Bombs and Inkzooka made her a force to be reckoned with when it came to inking turf. She and Cyanthia had become infamous among other teams for backing players into their own spawn points and not letting them leave. This made their captain, Belladonna, VERY happy. And as for Arnick… Tetrox knew she never had to worry about anyone sneaking up on her, because Arnick always had her back.
From outside, the sound of stomping boots could be heard. They grew louder until they stopped right outside the apartment door. Tetrox knew exactly who it was and was glad they had finally made it back home.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
Tetrox ignored the knocking knowing that if it was actually Arnick behind the door, he would have just used his keys to get in.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK!!
Once again, Tetrox ignored it. For all she knew, it might have been more Jellovah’s Witnesses. She swore those two jellyfish in the shirts and ties would never shut up and leave. Ever since then, swore to never open the door for anyone unless she knew who it was. But it was then that a familiar voice called out.
“TETROX! I KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE! OPEN THE DOOR!” Arnick’s unmistakable voice could be heard from the other side.
“WHAT’S THE MAGIC WORD, SUGAR?!” she hollered back.
Tetrox could hear Arnick mutter under his breath before saying, “PLEASE!”
“THAT’S RIGHT! NOW WHAT’S THE PASSWORD?!”
“WOULD YOU GET OVER HERE AND OPEN THE DOOR ALREADY! I CAN’T HOLD ONTO THESE FOR MUCH LONGER!”
Tetrox shook her head and walked over to the door and opened it up. Instead of seeing Arnick’s face, she saw what appeared to be a tower of boxes and bags with legs. Behind the tower was Arnick, wearing his Forge Inkling Parka along with his usual cap, covered in a layer of snow. His snow boots stomped along the floor, shaking more snow off with each step. Tetrox just watched him as he slowly waddled in.
She put her hands on her hips and gave him a stern look, “Now where in Sam Hill have you been? It shouldn’t take you four hours to get me the latest issue of Stay Fresh Magazine!”
Arnick rolled his eyes, “Oh Goodness Me, Arnick! Those look ever so heavy! Why don’t I help you with them?” he said sarcastically.
“Ain’t my fault yer too stubborn to make more then one trip!” Tetrox said with a shrug. Arnick had just about reached the living room when his legs finally gave out and the tower hit the floor with a thud. “What the heck is all that anyway? Sure don’t look like my Stay Fresh Magazine, hon!”
Arnick brushed the snow off his arms and shoulders and gave Tetrox an annoyed look. Despite his stern face, Tetrox wasn’t exactly paying attention to it. She couldn’t help but note how handsome Arnick looked in that parka. When he wore his beret along with it, Tetrox had to be careful she didn’t spring an ink leak through her nose. Arnick was quick to snap Tetrox out of her momentary stupor, “Did it ever cross your mind that I might have been busy trying to take care of other things on top of getting you your silly little magazine? Hmm?”
“You could have at least called or something!”
“I Sent You FIVE messages letting you know what I was doing!”
“Sorry, sugar. Battery’s dead.”
“THEN CHARGE-” Arnick decided there was no point in arguing and moved over to the shoe closet to hang up his jacket and take off his snow covered boots, “You know what, it doesn’t matter. I had other things to do. I got them done. End of story!”
Tetrox knew the battery on her OctoPod wasn’t dead. She just never felt like getting up to walk over to her room to get it. Arnick stepped back into his room to change while Tetrox looked over the small tower of boxes and bags. The logos for many big name department stores were all over the sides of them. There was JCPerch’s, Mahi’s, Koi’s, Barreleye and Crate, Lord & Tilapia, Neiman Marlin, Hake’s Fifth Avenue, and many more. It looked like Arnick had visited just about every store in the mall.
Arnick walked back in wearing a Sage polo shirt and moved over to the packges. Tetrox decided now was a good time to tease him a little, “Aww, Nicky, did you get all these just for lil’ ol’ me? You shouldn’t have! Y'er gonna spoil me rotten”
Arnick shot back without missing a beat. “For your information, one, these aren’t all for you, and two, it’s far too late for that.”
Tetrox scowled back, “And what's that supposed to mean?”
Arnick turned towards her and began to count on his fingers, “Well for starters, you’re living here with me NOT paying rent, NOT paying any of the utilities, and NOT contributing anything of value while living here. If that’s not spoiled rotten, I don’t know what is. In fact, I wager that if you were any more spoiled, you’d start growing mold.”
Tetrox seemed offended, “Now you know y'er lyin’ there, Nicky. I contribute plenty around here.”
Arnick crossed his arms and gave her a smirk, “Oh yeah? Like what?”
“Why my charming, wonderful presence, honey! What else?” Tetrox said as she struck a pose, “Why I’d normally charge yah just to take a gander at me, but ain’t you lucky! You get to look at me as much as you want!”
Arnick turned around with an unimpressed look on his face, “Hmm. I wonder what the trade-in value of that would be?” Tetrox shot him a nasty look as he faux-pondered to himself. "Might be just enough to get a drink or two from the vending machine.“
Tetrox shook her head at Arnick, “Y'know I’d lay into yah for that one, but frankly, I’m surprised you finally found that sense of humor of yours.”
Arnick didn’t pay attention to her as he began sorting through the boxes and bags to put away in one of the closets. Tetrox got rather annoyed at the lack of attention.
“Say, did you ever find it, or did yah go down to the dollar store and buy a new one?” Tetrox peeked over Arnick’s shoulder as he sorted. “You DID remember to bring back the latest issue of Stay Fresh, right?”
Arnick handed it to her without a pause in his sorting and without even looking at Tetrox.
“Thaaaank You!” Tetrox grinned as she snatched the magazine from Arnick’s hand before plopping down on the couch. Digging into her magazine, Tetrox hummed happily as she flipped through it. It was the Winter Special issue with the latest trends in gear for cold days and colder nights. While the outfits were cute and fresh, Tetrox was more interested in seeing if any of the fashion models in the magazine were Octolings. She had heard some rumors that one of her friends was going to be debuting soon.
Tetrox then noticed that the sound of moving boxes had stopped. She looked over her magazine to see Arnick looking at her like he was expecting something.
“Well?” he said.
Arnick crossed his arms and glared at her, “Aren’t you going to say anything else?”
“About what?” she asked, “Those bags and boxes?”
“Yes! Those bags AND boxes! I would have thought you’d have been more interested in them.”
Tetrox shrugged it off, “Why would I? They ain’t for me or nuttin’. Said so y'erself.” Tetrox went back to her magazine before finally getting what Arnick was implying at. She laid it flat on her stomache as she just gave Arnick a look that screamed “Eye Roll”. “Oh honey, puh-leeze, you think I don’t know what all them goodies are for? They’re Squidmas presents, duh!”
Arnick looked genuinely surprised and somewhat disappointed, “So you DO know what Squidmas is!”
“Mm-Hmm!” Tetrox hummed back in agreement.
“Drat!” Arnick sighed.
“Lemme guess,” Tetrox said with a wry smile, “You was gonna go into something about how you couldn’t believe I never heard of Squidmas, then go about pretendin’ to ask what kind of heathens or some such wouldn’t know about Squidmas before stopping mid-sentence, going ’OH WAIT’ and then looking at me?”
She got him there, “Maybe…” and he didn’t want to admit it, “Okay, yes!”
“HA!” Tetrox laughed, “Sorry to disappoint yah there, Nicky.”
“Well if you know Squidmas is coming up, then why aren’t you doing anything to prepare for it? I haven’t seen you go out Squidmas shopping, haven’t seen a Squidmas Wish List from you yet, and Heaven forbid you ever lift a tentacle to help me decorate!”
Tetrox just shook her head, “What can I tell yah, sugar? Squidmas just ain’t my thing. 'Sides, why would Octarians want to celebrate a holiday named Squidmas anyway? That don’t make no sense, now does it?” Despite Tetrox’s double-negative, Arnick saw her point, but then she added, “I grew up celebratin’ Octokah, anyway.”
Arnick blinked, “Octo-what?!”
“Y'know! Octokah! The Festival of Ink! Eight Days of Ce-” Tetrox cut herself off short as it dawned on her. Arnick began to worry as Tetrox started to look at him with a hungry, and smug, look in her eyes.
“What?” he stammered.
Tetrox gave one of her sinister looking grins Arnick’s way, “You really don’t know what Octokah is, do yah Nicky?”
Arnick looked away, “O-of course I do! I mean… who hasn’t heard of…”
“Arnick,” Tetrox said with a complete dead pan tone to her voice. In the time they had been living together, she rarely ever used his actual first name. And when she did, it meant she was being serious.
With a sigh, Arnick gave in, “Okay, FINE! No! I do not know what Octokah is!” he pointed at Tetrox with a “this is your fault” attitude, “But I Have heard of it before! It’s just been a while.”
“Define ‘a while’ for me, sugar,” Tetrox smirked.
“Is grade school ‘a while’ enough to satisfy you, Tetrox, or do you need the exact date, time, and year. If so, I’m sorry, but I don’t remember every detail from that class what with me being ELEVEN at the time!”
Tetrox laughed it off, “Alright, honey, c'mere.”
Arnick raised an eyebrow, “…why?”
“It’s story time, baby! I’m gonna tell you the Story of Octokah!” Tetrox was actually feeling a bit excited to finally tell Arnick something about her people. In the time she’d been with Arnick, they’d had a chance to share their respective histories from their respective points of view. This usually led to arguments over how things really went down, and sometimes they could get really heated. But this time, Arnick had no way to come back, giving Tetrox full control of the stage.
At first, Arnick was going to decline, but given that the two of them were going to be snowed in for a while, he figured he might as well bite the bullet and get it over with. “Alright, fine. You win- THIS time.” Arnick sat down, crossed his arms, and gave the grumpiest look he could to show Tetrox how much he wasn’t going to enjoy this.
Tetrox responded to that by resting her feet in Arnick’s lap. Arnick looked over as Tetrox wedged her way into the couch. “Comfortable?” Arnick snarked.
“Just a sec…” Tetrox wiggled one more time to get the couch pillow just in the right spot, then gave a contented sigh as she leaned back, “Now I am,” and began to tell the tale.
“So, centuries ago, back before the whole Great Turf War an’ everything, us Octolings were living with y'all Inklings in a town called Jewfish.”
“Hang on a sec… did you just say, ‘Jewfish’?” Arnick interrupted.
“I’ve never heard of a city called Jewfish.”
“Aw, sugar, this is all ancient history. I think the city’s called… Goliath Groupertine or something like that now, but… anyway…
So we were all living in this city and things were pretty cozy for a while. It was ruled by King Pintano of Escolar V, but everything changed when King Astacus Astacus III invaded to claim the city of Jewfish for the Karkin Empire.”
“Ahh yes,” Arnick recalled from his history lessons, “The Great Noble Crayfish Emperors… they always were pricks.”
“Nah, they weren’t all bad. Ol’ Astacus Astacus III was actually pretty kind to his subjects. He said that just because they were all part of his empire now, it didn’t mean folks couldn’t continue doing business as usual. Things weren’t half bad until years later when his A-hole of a son, Astacus Astacus IV, took over. That boy basically told everyone that it was either his way, or the highway.
Things started getting bad in a hurry, but what really ticked everyone off was when he messed up the Temple of Iku-Turso.”
“Iku-Turso?!” Arnick interrupted, “You mean Meritursas, right?”
Tetrox rolled her eyes, “Honey, it’s the same durn God of Turf War no matter what you call him. But at the time, he was Iku-Turso, so I’m stickin’ with that. Anyway, King Nasty Asty, as I like to call him, wanted squids and octos alike to worship their patron deity: Karkinos. They tore up the temple dedicated to Iku-Turso something nasty, and the head priest of the temple at the time, fella named Mantathias, was at his breaking point. He and his five sons weren’t going to take that sort of thing lying down and started to fight back against the King.”
“Really?” Arnick said, genuinely interested, “Do go on.”
Tetrox continued, “Now this battle went on for a real long time. Those ancient ink weapons didn’t do much against those crabby customers, so we Octarians and you Inklings had to work together to find a way to fight back. Now I dunno all the details, but long story short, the empire was driven out of Jewfish. It wasn’t without it’s casualties now, either. Mantathias fell in battle and his son, Berjudah, took over as leader an’ led the charge to drive the empire out.
So once the crusty crabs were kicked out, Berjudah gets hailed a hero and even gets a great nickname too: Berjudah the Hammerhead! First thing he does is order that the temple be flushed out of all the Karkinos gear an’ swag so that they can dedicate it back to Iku-Turso again. Inklings and Octarians worked non-stop to get that Temple back in ship-shape condition, but for it to be a proper temple, it needed one very important thing: Ink! And not just any ink either, uh-uh, it had to be kosher, virgin ink.”
“Kosher virgin ink?” Arnick asked.
“Mm-hmm,” Tetrox nodded, “This ink was ink at its absolute finest. No impurities or anythin’, just pure, honest to Cod, ink. It had to be fully inspected by a high priest and stored in an ink tank with a holy seal on it. There’s this whole ritual an’ everything to it. Problem was, though, that the Karkins smashed all the tanks of ink they could find. When they searched the temple, they could only find one tank of ink.”
Arnick interrupted again, “Hang on a second, why was the ink so important?”
“Well, for a temple to Iku-Turso to be a temple to Iku-Turso, the priests in charge of the place needed to do a ritual where they would use the pure ink to coat the altar with. This is done every day, with the whole altar covered top tah bottom until the ink dries out an’ evaporates, but the tank they found only had enough ink for one day. Right away, folks started workin’ to get more ink made so they could keep the ritual goin’, but it was gonna take eight days to get the ink, purify it, bless it, seal it, the whole nine yards, sugar.
But that’s when the miracle happened.”
Arnick was skeptical, “Miracle?”
“Uh-huh. Like I said, the ink they found was only supposed to be enough to last for a day. But somehow, that ink kept going for eight days straight! It lasted long enough until more ink could be made, and nobody thought that was possible. When word spread about this, the eldritch sages decided to make a holiday to celebrate this miracle for eight days each year. An’ that’s why we celebrate Octokah, sugar.”
Arnick eyed Tetrox with a thoughtful look before he finally spoke, “That’s… pretty amazing actually. I honestly had no idea.”
“Learn somethin’ everyday, honey!”
“It’s just too bad it’s made-up.” This earned Arnick a very nasty glare from Tetrox.
“EXCUSE ME, SUGAR, BUT WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?!”
Arnick made hand gestures as he spoke, “Well if they only had ink for one day, then it shouldn’t have been physically possible to make it last for two let along eight! I bet they probably had to use non-blessed ink until they got more-”
“OKAY!” Tetrox snapped, “YOU STOP RIGHT THERE, MISTER! I ain’t about to sit here and listen to you bad mouth Octokah, y'hear? You don’t see me going on about how dumb Squidmas is, do you?”
Now it was Arnick’s turn to be offended, “Squidmas is NOT dumb!”
Tetrox folded her arms, gave a pouty face and turned away, “Well if Octokah’s dumb, then so is Squidmas! If y'all gonna believe in Father Squidmas bringing presents to all the good lil’ squids out there, then I can believe in ink that lasts eight days. So there!”
Arnick realized he had offended Tetrox. He wasn’t a very religious person, and neither was Tetrox, but he still didn’t want to show any disrespect. “Okay, Tetrox. I’m sorry.” Tetrox looked at him out of the corner of her eyes, “I was wrong. I shouldn’t have said that and I am genuinely sorry.”
Tetrox smiled and turned back to look at him, “Good! Ain’t nuttin’ wrong with believing in miracles, sugar.”
Arnick smiled back, then took a look at Tetrox’s bare feet still resting on his lap and he got a wicked idea. “You know what’s really a miracle, though?” he asked.
Tetrox had picked up her magazine and began reading through it again, but responded with a “What?”
With one hand, Arnick grabbed the spot right above Tetrox’s ankle and held on tight. “It’s a miracle that you would trust me enough to put your feet in my lap and not expect this to happen!” Arnick raised his other hand and wiggled his fingers. Tetrox saw this and knew exactly what was coming.
“Oh! Oh no! Uh-Uh! You are NOT gonna-”
“I’m gonna do it!” Arnick said with a grin.
“DON’T YOU DARE!”
“They’re getting closer!”
“BOY, IF YOU MOVE THEM FINGERS ANY CLO-” Tetrox never got the chance to finish her sentence as Arnick began mercilessly tickling her feet.
“GOOCHIE GOOCHIE GOO!” Arnick said playfully.
Tetrox was rolling around on the couch laughing, “HA HA! NOOO! STOOOOPP!!! HA HEE HEE HEE! I’M GONNA GET YOU FOR THIS!”
Arnick just grinned back, “I’d like to see you try!”
“HA HA HA! OKAY!” Tetrox giggled as she sat up and lunged at Arnick, reaching under his sage polo and tickling his side.
Now Arnick started laughing, “HEY! HA HA HA HA! CAREFUL! THIS IS- SNRRRKKKK! ONE OF MY GOOD SHI- SNNNRKKK HA HA HA! GOOD SHIRTS!”
“THEN WHATCHA WAITING FOR, SUGAR? TAKE IT OFF!”
“ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, TRUCE! TRUCE!” The two stopped tickling each other and Tetrox took her feet off Arnick as he stood up and headed to his room. Once there, he took off the polo shirt and hung it up in his closet, leaving him with his undershirt and shorts on. He also knew full well that Tetrox had tip-toed into his room behind him and had her fingers ready for a surprise attack. But Arnick was ready for her.
“AH-HA!” Arnick hollered as he spun around and wrapped his arms around Tetrox’s waist. Tetrox squealed as the two of them fell down to the floor with each one trying to tickle the other. After a few minutes of horsing around, Arnick found himself cornered against the wall with Tetrox on top of him. Both were smiling wide after their impromptu tickle fight. Outside, it had grown dark and the snow was falling steadily. The winter wind blew past the window, carrying snowflakes that flew through the air with grace and beauty. In front of the window sat Arnick’s cactus: Private Potter. He had a small bit of tinsel wrapped around him and a star adorned on top of his tiny cap.
Slowly, Tetrox brought her arms up and around Arnick’s neck and shoulders, pulling him a little closer to her. Likewise, Arnick had his arms wrapped around Tetrox’s waist. They both looked into each others eyes and had extremely happy smiles on both of their faces. The silence was finally broken by Tetrox.
“Merry Squidmas, sugar,” said Tetrox with a sweetness to her voice.
Arnick smiled back, “And a Happy Octokah to you too!”
Private Potter wasn’t paying attention to the other two people in the room while they began kissing each other passionately. He was too busy feeling festive and fabulous.
Tammy’s comments: AAH! What an amazing timing my yesterday’s drawing had indeed. This was a cute story and I enjoyed it. I was also pleasantly surprised to see some Finnish mythology in too. NICE! Merry squidmas! Happy Octokah… Happy holidays everyone