Inspired by Monsters

by Kellyann Zuzulo
The chimaera that was pulled from the icy depths
off Northern Canada in November 2013.
We're a society that loves zombies, vampires, and creatures who pass themselves off as human right up until the point where they suck off your face...or a similar grotesque demise. We are drawn in by the idea of the other...the things we can't explain. As I am. I write about genies. I'm fascinated by the idea that there may be entities out there that science has yet to explain. So, imagine my excitement when I saw in the news earlier this week the tale of a creature..a creature from the abyss. For real.

Off the coast of Canada's Davis Strait this week, a Nunavut fishing boat netted a great beast with a giant snout and a protruding pocket of razor-sharp teeth. According to Nature World News:
"Also known as the jawed or cartilaginous fish, they have a sharp long nose and a mildly venomous spine. These long-nosed chimaeras are said to be found at great depths, below 2,000 to 3,000 feet."

Narrative doesn't get better than that. There is inspiration in the world around us, even if it's a slimy fish with a hideous anatomy. What it proves is that our imaginations are not the only source of the supernatural...and I do mean "super." The world holds any number of living mysteries just waiting to be recognized. Microbes and neutrinos, chimaeras and nutria. The name chimaera originated from Greek mythology, where it is described as a monster with the body and head of a lion, plus the additional heads of a snake and a goat. The recognition of such a creature would have satisfied the ancient Greek desire to identify the things in the world around them, even if they couldn't explain them. They knew that there were "monsters" in the world that were unfamiliar to them. Who would have thought that several thousand years later, we are still stumbling across species that have the power to amaze us...and gross us out a bit. As a writer, I'm thrilled by that idea. I am inspired by monsters.

Sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction. Look around. Maybe you'll see a genie riding a chimaera.

Best Wishes,
Kellyann Zuzulo


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