the-daily-species

Halloween In May/June Open Species Challenge!

Welp, guess who’s doing another Open Source Characters-y challenge, even though the first one was a resounding not-even-remotely-success. This one’s different, because it’s making whole species under a vanilla CC-BY license, based on the brilliant @tyrantisterror‘s Four Horrors Theory with some additions of my own!

It’s seven days because of the relatively self-limiting timeframe, and the timeframe is because if we can have Christmas in July, why not Halloween in May? Or June, both because of the date of Summerween as @dinosaurana pointed out and because May’s getting short.

The themes of each monster per day are as follows:

  1. Gothic Horror- Monsters based on the horror reflecting the past, the horrors of regrets; abandoned places and dark legacies, the places and times no-one wants to go within and without. One associates the species of this style with the dark crypts and rotting estates and castles and Victorian aesthetics, with the undeath; atavism and dark pacts of vampires; ghosts; werewolves; demons, but it can also be associated with more modern abandoned places and ideas; such as the dying family entertainment center of Five Nights At Freddy’s or the pop-up book featuring Mister Babadook!
  2. Atomic Horror- The horror of science done irresponsibly, of gigantic mutants and monstrous bioweapons; or of aliens with high technology but hardened hearts, of robots and modern mooncalves abused intil they strike back, of the fear of the future and our irresponsibility to it.. This is the horror most devalued in horror-elite circles, but the best one for monsters, so go nuts, and do it for science!
  3. Slasher Horror- The horror of what we do to each other, the darkness in man’s hearts. Not just serial killers like Freddy; Jason; Mike Meyers or Harry Powell, but also the communities with dark secrets as shown in works like The Stepford Wives; Dead and Buried; The Wicker Man and most recently Get Out. This one;s tricky, as the genre’s monsters are usually more often individuals than species, but there’s always the idea of monsters modeled after the dark side of humanity ala what TVTropes calls The Heartless; as well as the products of such perverse communities as in Dead and Buried and The Stepford Wives!
  4. Cosmic Horror- Things that show how fucked we are as screaming blobs of meat upon this rock in the cold void of space, not just for what they do; but for what we say about the world we live in. They can range from Lovecraft’s space monsters like the Great Old Ones and Outer Gods to expressions of man’s worthlessness like Thomas Liggotti’s atavistic clown-worms from The Last Feast of Harlequin or the skeevy John Doe from The Frolic, but they share in common they’re all just the tip of an iceberg, and that iceberg is filled with tentacles and screaming.
  5. Cryptic Horror- One of my own devising, this is the horror of liminal spaces and liminal species in the grit and grime of reality; the monsters you swear you just saw out of your eye; that you can’t be sure if you remembered them properly or not. Of course, cryptids fit under here, but also the earliest Creepypasta in terms of their aesthetics too; such as Slender Man or Candle Cove; that sort of tone /r/NoSleep is trying to recapture.
  6. Rakuga Horror- The opposite of Cryptic Horror; this is the horror of complete cartoonish nonsense; where reality is a scribbling that is out to lunch; out of its mind and out to get you. Some examples include the Paraphenelia Wagon from Halloween is Grinch Night, the witches lairs in Madoka Magica, any of the weirder old Fleischer cartoons, the classic Disney Acid Sequence, and so-on!
  7. Sexy Horror- Yes, this had to be on here. There’s a fine line between fetishes and nightmare fuel, especially on the internet, and for this final step put a monster containing the warped expression of your own sexuality warped to metamorphose into a monster! Bondage has been used a ton for these sorts of thing, but there’s some good nightmare fuel to be mined in TF; aeromorphs and more! Tho, if you’re sex-repulsed, make a monster based on indulgence some other way, based on decadent non-sexy things you enjoy!

Yeah, so, have fun, and if you don’t want to do it, please still boost!

2

Bats Have Sparkly Poop

Bats eat a lot of bugs — up to two-thirds of their body weight in insects daily for some species. There’s an unexpected side effect of all that insect eating, though. Bat scat is described as “sparkling with insect exoskeletons.” Generally the words “sparkling” and “feces” aren’t found together, unless you have a toddler that’s gotten into a jar of glitter.

It’s a diet of insects that puts the shine in bat guano. Insects’ exoskeletons, or hard outer coverings, are made of chitin. Chitin is chemically a lot like plant cellulose; it’s difficult to digest, and passes through a gut relatively unchanged. If you eat a lot of shiny insects, you are going to produce Twinkle Turds.

Exoskeletons are a chitinous candy bar wrapper around a delicious protein meal. It’s not uncommon for birds to shuck off insect wings and legs before consuming an insect snack. Insectivorous bats, however, chew everything up and the exoskeleton comes out the other end as shiny stools. (Fruit- and seed-eating bats have “splatty” feces with no gleam.) (Read more)

Source: Wired