Freaky Science

Sometimes, on the rare occasion when I have nothing to do, I find myself wondering what the skeletal structure of a chameleon would look like after it was dyed hot pink and thrown in a jar. Just kidding—if I did, that would be weird. Very weird. Although, maybe if I did I could be famous like this guy.

Iori Tomita, an ex-fisherman turned mad scientist, has a rather extensive collection of animal specimens preserved in jars. (Imagine walking into that after your first date!) And not just regular animals—anyone could do that. Tomita has transparent animals… with dyed bones that eerily look like x-rays. Freaky, but I’m totally into it.

First removing the scales of fish that have been preserved in formaldehyde, the organisms are left to soak in a mixture of blue stain, ethyl alcohol and a bunch of other chemicals that break down the protein and muscles turning the flesh transparent. The bones are later stained magenta and the cartilages blue, and then preserved in glycerin. Initially intended to study the delicate skeletal structure of small animals, he now creates these transparent specimens to “help people feel closer to the wonders of life,” claiming that while some may look at them as academic material or a piece of art, others may see them as an entrance into philosophy. To anyone who looks at these as an entrance to philosophy, I can say one thing for certain:  I want whatever you’re on.

Paging Damien Hirst

Posted by Emily

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