Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Blaschka Sea Creatures

"During the fall of 1957 an unusual find was made at Cornell University in upstate New York. Professor Thomas Eisner, a young faculty member who was working in Roberts Hall and had begun to explore its musty corridors, found a series of locked antique wooden cabinets. Through the dingy glass windows were visible hundreds of delicate and unusual sea creatures, all the more extraordinary because landlocked Ithaca is several hundred miles away from the closest tide pools. Eisner picked the locks with a paper clip and were absolutely mesmerized to find that the highly detailed ocean invertebrates, including octopus, squid, pelagic snail, and sea cucumber, were made of glass. Altogether, 570 creatures had been-well, how had they been?-fashioned by someone, for some purpose. But why? And when?"