May 16, 2006

The good, the bad and the downright ugly

Isn't it odd how things that are gross can fascinate you, and things that are fascinating can gross you out?

Two things that are on my mind at the minute can elicit both responses.

The first is the fungus that is growing on the wall next to the washing machine. That stuff is vile. It's a kind of red–orange colour, and wouldn't look out of place growing on a tree in a forest somewhere. On a wall inside it looks deadly. And yet I can't stop obsessing about it's presence in the house. It's like the gory bits in horror films – you know if you look you'll get nightmares for a week, but your eyes are irresistably drawn to the screen…

The other thing is more the other way round, instead of something disgusting that I can't forget about, this is something genuinely cool, but which makes my skin crawl when i think about it.
I've been reading a bit of Gerald Durrell lately, and have come across something called a Surinam Toad (Pipa Pipa). It's from South America and it looks like roadkill. Seriously. It looks like it's been flattened and left in a ditch. But that's not why it makes my skin crawl.

Have a look at this

The pictures on the other end of this link show the really fascinating thing about this amphibian, which is the way it breeds. You see, when the female lays her eggs, the male spreads them all over her back. Then a thin layer of skin forms over the eggs, and they actually hatch and go through all the tadple bit under her skin, before wriggling out about 3 months later as minature adults.
That's damn cool, but looking at the pictures gives me the shivers.

- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. shit they really are gross/fascinating! i know what you mean about this feeling…we had a deformed jungle orchid which had a centre stalk that looked like a finger devoured by pussy warts. it made me retch but i couldn't stop looking at it!

    on that note – have a great summer!

    15 Jun 2006, 11:01

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