Even Hirst at his Excessive Worst is better than …

Reviews were all but universally terrible but, being in Venice while the exhibit was running, at two locales simultaneously, proved too much for Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, to resist in September 2017.

Have three posts that first appeared on pHantacea on pHacebook, plus a couple of bonus shots. Commentary mostly taken from Phantacea Publications Facebook Page.

Scroll down for reiteration of images and comments …

Banner outside the entrance to the gallery, shot by Jim McPherson in Venice, September 2017

Shot in Venice, September 2017, the plaza is called the same as the gallery, Palazzo Grassi

Colossus somewhat unimaginatively called 'Demon with a Bowl (Exhibition Enlargement); shot in Venice Italy by Jim McPherson in September 2017

Damien Hirst’s colossal conceit is somewhat unimaginatively called ‘Demon with a Bowl (Exhibition Enlargement). Henceforth shall be referred to as Colossus

<== To the left is a shot of the banner for “Treasures from the WRECK of the Unbelievable. Damien Hirst” exhibit running in September 2017. Spotted and shot by Jim McPherson outside the Palazzo Grassi in Venice Italy.

It’s the second venue for the show but the first visited. Exhibit ran from 09/04/2017-03/12/2017

==> According to the brochure that came with admission, the image to the right (which needs a good clicking to fully appreciate its sheer, laugh-out-loud immensity) is somewhat unimaginatively called ‘Demon with a Bowl (Exhibition Enlargement).

Hirst Colossus, taken from second level of Palazzo Grassi gallery by Jim McPherson, September 2017

Colossus adjusted to bring out contours better, taken from the second level of the gallery inside the Palazzo Grassi

Sooth further said, enlargement is something of an understatement. For one thing, even in the narrative it’s just (?) an outlandish copy of a much more sensibly sized golem: “It seems … the figure served as a guardian to the home of an elite person.” In ancient Mesopotamia, also according to accompanying brochure.

<== To the left is a frontal view of the supposedly Mesopotamian Colossus as taken from the second level of the Palazzo Grassi. Some tinkering with the levels on Photoshop has brought out, for the better, the demon’s contours.

Hirst's demon taken from the gallery's third level

Back shot of Hirst’s Colossus taken from the third level of the gallery and looking downward

The squiggles and encrustations are artistic conceits perhaps left in to indicate the original lay “… submerged in the Indian Ocean for some two thousand years before the site was discovered in 2008.”

==> To the immediate right is a back shot of the colossus looking down, down, down from the 3rd level of the Palazzo Grassi. Once again the conceit of the artist, not to mention the demon’s forgers, is that the original was found underwater, hence the coral and other encrustations.

Hirst's sea monster seen through window and shot by Jim McPherson in Venice, September 2017

Sea Monster seen through the window on an upper floor of the Palazzo Grassi. It appears to be rising out of the Grand Canal

<== Looking through window on an upper floor of the Palazzo Grassi in September 2017 and what does one see but a sea monster rising out of Grand Canal. Note the Ca Rezzonico palazzo on the other side. It comes highly recommended for its massive gallery of Eighteenth Century Italian artwork.

Upshot of Colossus taken by Jim McPherson in September 2017 in Venice Italy

Shot looking up at Hurst’s Colossus from the ground level

==> To the right and again looking up, way up, from the ground level is a shot put on Facebook just to see if its censors were watching.

Supposedly the Colossus was and is anatomically correct. Or at least as proportionately correct as a 60-foot bronze behemoth could be.

(Again according to the brochure, it’s a facsimile of the original, which wasn’t at the Palazzo. Might have been at the other venue, Punta della Dogana, across the Grand Canal a few stops south of the San Samuele vaporetto dock.)

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Encrusted Mickey Mouse, photo of a wall slide taken by Jim McPherson, September 2017

Evidently Mickey, Goofy and, yes, even a scene from Jungle Book (?) were hauled out of the depths after spending two thousand or so years submerged

<== Have to ask, if it sank nearly two thousand years ago: What’s Mickey doing on the Unbelievable? Time warp, perhaps? Could be Disney partially funded Hirst’s extravaganza and wanted some of their characters to join in the very expensive fun.

Which sounds like something only a cynical dullard would say. Sorry about that, Damien.

Shot of underwater shot of a unicorn's skull and horn, taken by Jim McPherson, September 2017

Supposedly an underwater shot of a unicorn’s skull and horn

==> As for the shot to the immediate right of his paragraph, is that really what’s become of the skull and horn of a unicorn after two thousand years?

Might it be a Raven’s Head type from the Phantacea Mythos? For comparison have lynx to the covers for Forever & Forty Days – The Genesis of PHANTACEA and Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade, both of which have Raven’s Head on the cover.

Underwater Colossus, shot of a shot, taken by Jim McPherson, 2017

Presumably the original Colossus taken while still submerged

<== Colossus doesn’t look quite so large in this slide. Could there be two of them? Contextually speaking it’s more likely this is the original.

Shot of a shot of an idol taken undersea with diver's bubbles, Jim McPherson, 2017

Goddess idol taken underwater complete with diver’s bubbles; suggestive of D-Brig’s Sea Goddess

In terms of the Phantacea Mythos, can’t be Catastrophe (Headless Ramazar, the Apocalyptic of Sudden Destruction, a head shot of whom shows up a cpuple of paragraphs down), from the comics and novels, notably “The War of the Apocalyptics“. Too underdressed.

==> Tempted to say the shot of a shot to the upper right represents Thalassa D’Angelo, unless it’s Thalassa Thanatos, D-Brig’s Sea Goddess, notably from the obverse cover of pH-3, artwork by Ian Bateson​ 1978.

Too bad there’s only a hint of a third eye on the sunken idol. Like the bubbles, though.

Andromeda screams as Jaws leaps out of rock to eat her, taken by Jim McPherson, 2017

Andromeda’s chained to a rock screams while Jaws leaps out of ground intent upon eating her

<== Jaws butts in on the Kraken. Andromeda doesn’t look too pleased either way.

Five covers from Phantacea comics or graphic novels, artwork by Ian Bateson except for pH-5 which Ian finished over Verne Andru's original black and white cover

Plenty more on the Phantacea Comic Book series and graphic novels can be found here: http://www.phantacea.com/one2six1.htm#logo

Wasn’t the best shot taken so darkened the background and greyed up some of the sides in hopes of bringing out characters better.

==> Something of Sea Goddess’s skinniness in Hirst’s Andromeda, too. Except D-Brig’s Sea Goddess would just state-shift into her watery element and get away instead of wasting time screaming.
As for what she could then do to either Jaws or the Kraken should she decide to come back … well, best leave that to your imagination.
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Close up of Hirst's Andromeda Screaming, part of the blue diorama based on myth of Perseus, shot by Jim McPherson, 2017

Andomeda is (silently) screaming so hard she turned the whole oversized diorama blue.

Diorama entitled Andromeda and the Sea Monster, shot taken by Jim McPherson, September 2017

Background darkened to bring out the three main characters of Andromeda, Jaws and the Kraken; the whole diorama really is blue for whatever reason

<== The elaborate diorama is not only huge it really is blue. As per shots later, and one put up last week, Andromeda really isn’t headless. She is chained, however, and does seem to have an extra hand in this shot.

==> Needs to do a Nihila and break loose pretty damn soon. Jaws and the Kraken look ravenous and could care less about social media.

Datong Harmonia, the Unity of Panharmonium, superimposed over Siqueiros's New Democracy, prepared by Jim McPherson, mid-200s

Datong Harmonia, the Unity of Panharmonium, superimposed over Siqueiros’s New Democracy (Nueva Democracia) as photographed in Mexico City’s Bellas Artes Palazio in mid-200s

<== Reference above is to what’s become of Datong Harmony as of Tantalar 5980. Google up Nueva Democracia for the unadulterated Siqueiros or just hit here: https://www.google.ca/search?q=nueva%20democracia&dcr=0…:

Demonic Head by Damien Hirst, shot by Jim McPherson, 2017

Severed head of a demon supposedly dredged up then cleaned prior to going on display

==> Only one mobile head in the Phantacea Mythos and that’s Bodiless Byron. He isn’t called the Unmoving One because he can’t get around — he can, by sheer force of will.

He’s called Unmoving Byron because no part of his face moves when he speaks, via a form of thought transference, through his mouthpieces … Sedona Spellbinder in The War of the Apocalyptics and APM All-Eyes in Hidden Headgames

Head supposed excavated in 1932, shot by Jim McPherson at the 'Unbelievable' exhibit in Venice,

Different shot of Damien Hirst’s demonic head. Brochure says it was excavated in the Tigris Valley back in 1932

<== Although definitely demonic I’m not sure this huge head would even fit atop the headless Colossus let alone if it really belongs there.

The accompanying brochure says it was tentatively identified as Pazuzu, a googleable Mesopotamian demon, and that it was unearthed in 1932 in the Tigris Valley. (Pazuzu had something to do with the horror movie entitled “The Exorcist”, may have even been the possessive devil who drove the girl to such head-turning extremes.)

Skull and long horn by Damien Hirst and co, shot by Jim McPherson, 2017

Dried out and scrubbed clean skull and horn might have belonged to a unicorn according to exhibit brochure

==> Also not sure if this really would pass for the skull and extended horn of a ravendeer in the Phantacea Mythos. Then again the exhibit’s claim that it belonged to an actual unicorn is arguably even more fanciful.

Skull and long horn by Damien Hirst and co, shot by Jim McPherson, 2017

Another view of a dried out and scrubbed clean skull and horn might have belonged to a unicorn according to exhibit brochure

<== Another view of the unicorn’s skull and broken horn unearthed (unwatered?) near the sunken wreckage of the Unbelievable. Skull looks like something you’d rub and expect three wishes from the genie wafting out of it.

Full wraparound cover for pH-40, artwork by Ian Fry and Ian Bateson, ca 1990

Full wraparound cover for pH-40, artwork by Ian Fry and Ian Bateson, ca 1990

NOTE:  The best in-colour, pictorial example of a ravendeer — Raven’s Head? — appears on the cover of 1990’s “Forever & 40 Days – The Genesis of PHANTACEA. Raven’s Head the character has her biggest role to date in Decimation Damnation.

In pHanta-pHact she appears in all of the 19/5980 novels and mini-novels. She even does a cameo, in her multitude, near the end of Hidden Headgames. It’s in Dec-Dam, the opening entry in Phantacea Phase Two, that she shows the petulant side of her nature.

Still encrusted 'Diver', so-called, by Damien Hirst; scanned in from a postcard bought at 'Unbelievable' exhibit in Venice, 2017

Still encrusted ‘Diver’, so-called, by Damien Hirst; scanned in from a postcard bought at ‘Unbelievable’ exhibit in Venice, 2017

<== Yehudi Cohen, D-Brig’s Untouchable Diver, is another long-serving character who reappears in Dec-Dam (after vanishing, then inexplicably, during Helios on the Moon“). He has a much more significant role than Raven in Games.

Hirst's Medusa scanned in from a postcard bought at 'Unbelievable' exhibit, September 2017

According to the brochure, among the fourteen venomous serpents represented are the African rock python, horned viper and coral snake

Have to say, though, that Hirst’s Diver, so-called, looks more female than male. Still, it’d be remiss not include it in post re treasures of the ‘Unbelievable’.

==> As for Hirst’s Medusa, the accompanying brochure claims that “fourteen of the world’s most venomous snakes … crown the Gorgon’s petrified features.”

Might have to add this one to the longtime pHanta-pHeature Medusa’s I have met.

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End post … for now!

A Photoshop collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017, using graphics mostly taken from Web

A Photoshop collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017, using graphics mostly taken from Web

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Forget the Fantasy Photo, Meet Phantacea’s creator/writer on Sunday, 18 June, in Vancouver

Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, will be at the Creators Table on Sunday, 18 June 2017, selling and signing Phantacea Publications comics, graphic novels, novels and mini-novels. $8.00 admission

Poster for Biannual Comics Show, June 2019

Poster for Biannual Comics Show, June 2019

Biannual Comics Show, Croatian Hall, Vancouver: http://www.canadiancomics.net/

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Welcome in the May-O … with Jim McPherson at the Vancouver Comicon, May 14, 2017

Winter’s Gone Away

Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, will be behind the Phantacea Publications table at the Vancouver Comicon on Sunday the 14th of May 2017.

Welcome in the May-O. Song courtesy of Oysterband

Copies of the latest mini-novel, “Decimation Damnation” available for $10.00. Books and graphic novels: $10.00. Phantacea Four (1979): $5.00

Screen shot from the Welcoming Page of phantacea.com as of Saturday, August 4, 2016

Wilderwitch goes into labour with “Decimation Damnation”, the first mini-novel extracted from the open-ended saga

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Still no sign of Psycho — except on the Simpsons

Well, it worked last time up, so let’s try another …

Haven’t watched anything on Fox, not even football, for decades. Still this really is Psycho. Which is also the name of a Phantacea Mythos character, albeit as a brain in a box, last seen in “Nuclear Dragons“.

Having, thanks to his sister, Aranyani Nightingale, who first appeared nearly forty years ago in Phantacea 1 (September 1977, see back cover shot of Aran and a few others as drawn by Dave Sim way back then) avoided becoming a light snack, he’ll be back in quest of the rest of his body whenever “Destination Damnation” gets published.

“Hidden Headgames” will come out before it, though, later in year.

Seems there isn’t a handy shot of Psycho Saul Ryne from the PHANTACEA comic book series readily available. Remind with a comment below and there soon will be.

 

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Likeable pHanta-posts pHrom pHacebook

Have to remind myself that nowhere near everyone has Fb and that therefore those that don’t can’t access pHantacea on pHacebook as readily as those that do can. Here are four copy and pastes from the last little while.

Comments appreciated at bottom of entry.

After a lengthy absence, finally got around to adding some more entries to Serendipity and Phantacea. Got three monstrous newcomers to start with; more work budgeted for tomorrow, wherein lynx shall be thoroughly vetted.

Alabaster Leadface, a new entry on Serendipity and …, quotes extensively from a Fortean Times article entitled “Fashion Victims” (FT 345, October 2016) that’s not online yet.
Queen Elizabeth I of England (aka Leadface, pictured) caught smallpox when she was 29 in 1562. Because it left her scarred, “after her illness, she resorted to applying thicker layers of makeup. … Lead and mercury lotions caused [her skin] to react: breakouts and impurities were covered by increasingly thicker layers … and eventually [her] skin was corroded by the chemicals at work.”

May not be pHant-applicable but it is hard to resist

Image may contain: text

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And you didn’t even need rainbow hair back then

Phantacea Publications's photo.
Phantacea Publications's photo.
Phantacea Publications's photo.
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Wilderwitch goes into labour on Labour Day

In print, in an interactive PDF and as an e-pub.

Wilderwitch goes into labour on … when else? Labour Day. And it’s got nothing to do with Phantast Thanatos … at least we don’t think it does. Yet!

In the meantime, for those of you with Adobe Reader or plain old Acrobat — and an extra $10.00 — there’s a website special on the digital edition of “Decimation Damnation” here: http://www.phantacea.com/#pdfDec

 Digital Version — online collage covers enlarge here

  • Digital cover, one of two, for “Decimation Damnation — Wilderwitch’s Babies 1”

     Print Version — full cover print edition enlarges here

  • Cover collage by Jiim McPherson, 2016

    Front cover for the print edition of “Decimation Damnation — Wilderwitch’s Babies 1”

     Back cover — enlarges here

  • text and collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2016

    Back cover for print version of “Decimation Damnation — Wilderwitch’s Babies 1”, text and collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2016

    Carrying on from where the PHANTACEA comic book series and the three-part Launch 1980 fantasy epic left off

  • Promotional Collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014, utilizing the covers for the two Phantacea Revisited graphic novels: The Damnation Brigade & Cataclysm Catalyst

    Promotional Collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014, utilizing the covers for the two Phantacea Revisited graphic novels: The Damnation Brigade & Cataclysm Catalyst

    See much more at www.phantacea.com
    Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wooden Carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014

    Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wood carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014; taken to represent the Dual Entities during happy times

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Disney did know what ‘Tonto’ meant in Spanish after all

Months fly by. Apparently Silver does too — albeit onto collapsing houses and mine shafts, not to mention moving railway cars.

Original artwork from Phantacea Five, drawing by Vince Marchesano et al, 1980

Original artwork from Phantacea Five, drawing by Vince Marchesano et al, 1980

Kirby Sattler's Raven on Head, image taken from web

Design by Kirby Sattler used by Johnny Depp as model for his version of Tonto

Might she be a psychopomp? If so, they don’t outright say so in the Lone Ranger movie.

Don’t tell you what ‘tonto‘ means, either; not explicitly. But at least they did refer to it, albeit not till the end.

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Made mention of the Lone Ranger movie a few months ago on Serendipity and Phantacea (http://www.phantacea.info/seren.htm#manOya). Did a ditto on pHantaBlog. Have now seen it.

Recall at the time virtually every reviewer I read said it was unadulterated crap. Beg to differ. It isn’t unadulterated, as in ‘ Not mingled or diluted with extraneous matter; pure’.

Not sure it’s adulterated crap either: ‘To make impure by adding extraneous, improper, or inferior ingredients.’ The filmmakers knew exactly what they were doing and it wasn’t crap.

Drawing ascribed to Lakota Sioux chief Black Hawk of Wakinya Thunder Beings, c 1880; scanned in from August 2015 issue of Fortean Times

Drawing ascribed to Lakota Sioux chief Black Hawk of Wakinya Thunder Beings, c 1880; scanned in from August 2015 issue of Fortean Times

At least, though it is Disney, they didn’t intend to make it crap. Did intend to make it rollicking good fun along the lines of that other Johnny Depp franchise they produce. The one where he plays Keith Richards as a buccaneer.

Movie ends with a question: “Do you know what Tonto means in Spanish.” Have wondered about this for decades, as it happened. And I knew what it meant.

Kirby Sattler's design side by side with Johnny Depp's Tonto in Lone Ranger movie released by Disney Studios

The two Tontos, images taken from Web after reading an article on Lightning Beings in Fortean Times, August 2015

Straight out of the Serendipity article cited in above ditto link, here’s a different take on subject:

“Guess now I’m going to have to assume the creators of the Lone Ranger weren’t really racist twits when they named him thusly. They meant that Tonto was a highly respected tribal heyoka — a Thunder Cloud Clown.”

Collage prepared by JIm McPherson, 2014, utilizing artwork by Verne Andru and Ricardo Sandoval

Collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2015, made up of Ricardo Sandoval space backdrop and female sphinx from the cover of “Helios on the Moon”, plus Verne Andru’s Freespirit Nihila, 2012, and old King Cold, 1980

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Nuclear Dragons doing a Reverse China Syndrome? Can’t be, not on 28 Sept 2015

Am struck by this shot of what … fancy fireworks?; St Elmo’s Fire? Looks like something out of Cataclysm Catalyst, albeit in colour.

(http://www.bbc.com/…/20150928-ten-strange-lights-that-appea…).

From St Elmo’s fire to sprites and blue jets, discover the peculiar glowing balls and streaks that form in Earth’s atmosphere
bbc.com|By Martha Henriques

Mention of astronomical sprites and ring-like ELVES is also kind of interesting from a peculiarly PHANTACEA perspective.

Both the ball lightning (“The Death’s Head Hellion” and the aurora borealis have long been associated with Datong Harmonia, the Unity of Balance, as well as her far less savoury alter egos, Nemesis (from “Contagion Collectors”) and Freespirit Nihila (“Goddess Gambit”, “The War of the Apocalyptics” and “Helios on the Moon”, all of which can still be ordered online or directly from the publisher.

 Hit the next blue highlight for lynx to all the Phantacea Mythos publications in print

Here’s the shot of Nuclear Dragons doing a China Syndrome away from Centauri Island as it appeared on the Phantacea Publications Facebook Site. The artwork’s by Ian Bateson, 1979 or 1980. It was intended for Phantacea Seven (unpublished).

NOTE: This is the re-lettered version that first saw light of print in “Cataclysm Catalyst”, webpage shot is here: http://www.phantacea.info/phpubs.htm#horsMn

Phantacea Publications's photo.
And, just in case the shot at the top of the page degrades over time, here’s a reiteration of the same image suggestive of Nuclear Dragons doing a Reverse China Syndrome away from Centauri Island in early December 1980.
Shot taken from BBC Online

Image of five shapes rocketing skyward into some sort of circular wormhole reminiscent of a scene from Nuclear Dragons, image taken from the BBC Online (http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150928-ten-strange-lights-that-appear-in-the-sky)

PS, Web-meister Oz, who insists he doesn’t exist despite having 30+ Recommendations on Linked-In, used the same image for an entry on Phantacea Publications here.

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Meanwhile, on the Outer Earth of October 2015 — Harvesting Collectibles at a pHanta-pHall pHlea Market

Collage prepared by JIm McPherson, 2014, utilizing artwork by Verne Andru and Ricardo Sandoval

Collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2015, made up of Ricardo Sandoval space backdrop and female sphinx from the cover of “Helios on the Moon”, 2014, plus Verne Andru’s Freespirit Nihila, 2012, and old King Cold, 1980

The Vancouver Collectibles Fair happens tomorrow, Saturday, the 3rd of October 2015, at the Scottish Cultural Centre, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, shall be there under-manning, not undermining, the Phantacea Publications table. More here and here:

Scottish Cultural Centre
8886 Hudson Street
Vancouver, B.C.
Admission: $3.00

– Click here for directions to Scottish Cultural Centre –

From comics to novels, artwork by Ian Bateson and Verne Andru

From comics to novels, artwork by Ian Bateson and Verne Andru

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Sea Silk for Sea Goddess

Guess what Fisherwoman is going to be wearing the next time she appears in a Phantacea Publications’ release, which may well be the next Phantacea Publications’ release?

Then again maybe this is what Sea Goddess is putting on in this detail taken from pH-4, artwork by Ian Bateson, 1979

Ian Bateson artwork circa 1979 for pH-4, modified by Jim McPherson, 2013 4sea_hagfish

Page excepted from pHRv1:DB; Sea Goddess finds something more suitable to wear after 25 years in Limbo

If it’s still online, hit the next blue highlight for the complete BBC Magazine article on Sardinian Sea Silk. Some rather interesting historical notes made therein. Here’s a sample:

Sea Silk is … “an ancient thread, known as byssus, which is mentioned on the Rosetta stone and said to have been found in the tombs of pharaohs.

“Some believe it was the cloth God told Moses to lay on the first altar. It was the finest fabric known to ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, and one of its remarkable properties is the way it shines when exposed to the sun, once it has been treated with lemon juice and spices.”

Uncredited shot of a Sardinian woman stretching sea silk, taken from the BBC Magazine online

Uncredited shot of a Sardinian woman stretching sea silk

Apparently it comes from a clam, though equally amazingly the clam is unharmed by the extraction.

Reminds me of a long ago, maybe even long lost, pHantaBlog entry that featured these shots of hagfish slime:

hagfish_66661087_2012-12-1818.25.48

Shot of someone holding up translucent slime from a hagfish from an article in BBC Magazine 1 April 2013 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21954779)

Shot of a woman holding up hagfish with translucent slime, taken from BBC Magazine online 1 April 2013

Shot of a woman holding up hagfish with translucent slime from BBC Magazine 1 April 2013 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21954779)

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