Top 5: My Top 5 Alien-like Animals.
The People have spoken. I put up three choices on my twitter asking what topic I should cover for this week’s Top 5 blog. I have to admit, I almost didn’t want to put it up for a vote. I was so excited about this topic. I should have just had faith. Thanks to E.B. Dawson for the awesome idea!
It should go without saying that our idea of aliens have been inspired by what we see around us. Even so, there are many animals in our world that look like they just don’t belong here. You see them and you wonder where the mother ship is.
Here is a list of some of my favorites.
5: Aye-Aye: Aliens usually come in two distinct classes: Avatar, drop dead gorgeous or Alien, creepy, ugly or blobby. Sure, you could maybe call ET cute...if you stretch it. Here is one little alien creature that you probably don’t want to snuggle with. If you compared it to the predator, though, you might feel relatively safe.
4. Jellyfish: Many scientists wonder if life on other planets might be energy based instead of biological. If that were so, I imagine they would look like jellyfish. Not just any jellyfish: deep sea Jellyfish. With flashing lights and amorphous, shimmering bodies, if not aliens...maybe fairies?
3: Nudibranch: Also known as the sea slug. Yes, I’m talking about slugs. Like the tiny living turds you see under logs and in piles of autumn leaves. But in the ocean, these slugs like to be a bit more flamboyant. If you’ve seen “Treasure Planet” and remember one particular alien that Jim Hawkins thought quite engaging for its “fart” language, you can see how this makes me think of an extraterrestrial. Maybe that’s just Disney talking. Nevertheless, the bizarre, colorful and engaging Nudibranch looks like it would be at home in a galaxy.
2. Trilobite Beetle: I get it, bugs are easy pickings. But that doesn’t change the fact that this gorgeous, segmented variety of beetle looks like they just crawled out of a hole on the surface of the moon. When I see pictures of the little monsters I imagine how awesome it might be to set my characters up against a dino-sized version. Future reference, you know.
1. Pray Mantis: I grew up with Pray Mantis as pets. Big tropical ones. I used to catch the hand-sized green monsters in oversized mayonnaise jars and drop in grasshoppers and bees to watch the slaughter. Forget Wolverine, these creatures have built in longswords on their arms. There are so many gorgeous and terrifying varieties as well. And with names like the “Darth Vader Mantis” and “The Devil’s Flower Mantis,” these colorful creatures are very much suited to invade any planet. I dare you, watch an episode of “monster bug wars” and imagine yourself in front of a praying mantis as it approaches with it’s odd, jerky dance and it’s bulgy eyes and tell me that isn’t torn straight out of Ender’s Game. (Actually, the Queen at the end of the Ender’s Game movie was pretty much just an upsized Mantis)
Which of these alien-like animals are your favorite? Do you have any favorites of your own. Comment below or send me some pics on twitter and facebook.