Someone got paid for this…

About two years ago Justin Ritchie got me into reading again by letting me borrow some really interesting books.  Since then, I’ve never stopped.  I reread Jurassic Park for the first time when I could actually comprehend it, and I’m thoroughly convinced that its much better than the movie, as is usually the case.  (By the way, I just finished Crichton’s Next and thought it was terrible.  Don’t waste your time.)

I know I know, “Jason where are you going with this?”

Well, as I searched my Summerfield residence for books to read, I came across an old book from my childhood: National Geographic Picture Atlas of Our Universe by Roy A. Gallant.  It’s an astronomy book, and I remember finding the Universe fascinating and developing a deep sense of appreciation for it.

It’s full of great factual, but somewhat outdated (Pluto’s a planet) information on everything from the beginnings of our planet to the depths of deep space.

There’s one section that puzzled me this past weekend when I took a look at it though.  It’s a section called “What if…” and in this section we’re treated to glimpses of what life on other planets in our solar system would look like if they existed.  Each creature is named quite literally and illustrated beautifully, but somewhat creepy.  Let’s start with Mars…

On Mars we find the Martian Waterseeker, whose parasol tail guards it from the UV ray, long snout can probe for ice, and giant EARS allow hearing well and can serve as a shelter for the cold, frigid nights on Mars…

Now let’s take a trip to the icy moon of Jupiter, Europa, where Brinker-roos spend their days skating around without worry.  Lame name aside, life as a ‘roo must be pretty sweet, they get all their energy from magnetic coils on their back and photosynthesis.  Did I mention they have blades for feet?

He absorbs magnetic energy and uses photosynthesis, but wait \'til you see his Triple Lindy!

Let’s head over to Jupiter itself…where Jellyblimps live their lives in constant fear of Swordtails, evil bird-like creatures that get their kicks from dive-bombing defense floating blobs of jelly.  Look at that carnage!  What type of life is this…you’re born, you float, you get blown up by a bird with a lame name.

what a life...float around until you get popped!

Now to the fun stuff.  I’ll quickly show you the lame Plutonian Zistles, highly intelligent spiked ice cubes who communicate telepathically and springing 20 meters into the air.  Gallant must think humans are pretty stupid if he thinks there’s ice cubes smarter than us out there…

WOW...real imaginative here, spiky balls, do they fly by farting too?

Now I’ll conclude with the two entries that make me say, “someone got paid for this?!”  Here we’ve got two creatures, one from Venus and one from Saturn’s Titan.  The first, the Oucher-poucher gets its name from the sound it makes as it lands on the hot surface after flying through the air, presumably by farting as the picture shows…

yummmm metal...I wish I could fly by farting too...

And of course, more farting from the Stovebellies of Titan.  Yes, they seem to have rocket-powered asses.  Those red creatures?  They’re half fish, half salamander.  They’re name…Fishimanders of course.

Yes....that one is flying by farting fire out of its ass...

So thank you Roy A Gallant.  You brought us three wonderful creatures that seem to fly by farting…truly astounding.

Until next time…

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Posted on June 2, 2008, in Crazy stuff, Entertainment and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Speaking of reading, I’ve still got your copy of Salem’s Lot! It was an awesome read but I need to get it back to you. Also, I think I left my copy of Good Omens with you.

    Are you on GoodReads? http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/164060

    Hopefully we can be goodreads friends together!

  2. I have that book… interesting fact is their are some similar cases… as in the TV Program called The Universe that airs on the History Channel…occasionally shows a what would life be on other worlds … i also remember such what if notions in several other TV Programs aired on the Discovery Channel I believe… of course the other similar books in my collection that might pose a similar interest are Barlowe’s Guide to Extraterrestrials (a look at Science Fiction Literature’s most memorable creatures) and Barlowe’s Guide to Fantasy (a memorable look at Fantasy Literature’s most memorable creatures)… thanks for the walk down memory lane… they always helped me come up with creations of my own…

  3. OH YEAH!
    That brings back memories.

  4. Omg. I just had a ‘discussion’ about oucher-pouchers with my boyfriend. He didn’t quite believe me (though had correctly guessed they were frog-like). Thank you, thank you for having the pic! Even though I’d mistakenly remembered them as being from Mars… Sigh. So much for my memory from 1981…

  5. Awesome. I remember reading that book, and specifically just looking at that “What if…” part nonstop. Oucher-pouchers. I’ll never forget that name.

  6. I think I have this book packed away. I’ll need to dig it up. Plutonian Zistles rock!

  7. Arii Rottenberg

    I go this book in 1981 and loved it. Unfortunately, it began to fall apart. I couldn’t disagree more with jfelt, these were great ideas and they reinforce what the book taught about the planets – Mars has low gravity and nothing to filter out the UV rays, Venus’s atmosphere is crushing and melts lead, etc in a very imaginative way. The NG Atlas of our Universe was definitely one of the toucstones of my misspent youth.

  8. The thing I read said oucher pouchers were on Mars too. It was a Boy’s Life magazine or something.

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