This is how my cousin Allan and I found out about life and how it… starts
Aurora Consurgens (att: St. Thomas Aquinas or “Pseudo-Aquinas”)
f. 34v: Black Female Angel
Germany (c. 1420s)
Parchment Codex with Watercolor Miniatures, 20.4 x 13.9 cm.
This is one of those manuscript miniatures that is so beautiful and strange, it’s hard to believe it’s really as old as it is. Aurora Consurgens is an alchemical treatise; a commentary on the Latin translation of Silvery Waters by Muhammed ibn Umail at-Tamîmî (Senior Zadith), attributed first to Saint Thomas Aquinas and later attributed to “Pseudo-Aquinas”.
The miniatures are unusual not only for their quality, but also for the fact that they’re tiny watercolor paintings on the parchment codex. The whole text has been digitized here, and you can read like you were holding it:
The link has a photo with flash in which you can see the gilded portions a bit better, as well as the ability to zoom in to see the details. For those who were curious, inside the Angel’s body is a sheathed dagger and a coiled serpent:
The Golden Elephant Snail (Tylomelania zemis)
Feast your eyes on the cutest snail that has possibly ever existed. This is the Golden Elephant Snail, otherwise known as a Rabbit Snail (Tylomelania zemis).
These snails walk sort of like lumbering elephants, pulling themselves along using their muscular foot while simultaneously sifting through the sand with their ‘trunks.’
They are one of only a few snail species who deliver 1-3 perfectly formed “babies” in individual milky-white egg sacs. Can you imagine how cute these guys must be as teeny-tiny elephants?!
Okay, okay, so this isn’t a land snail, but just look at it! It really does look like a little yellow elephant!
Hey if you got two bucks you want to go towards the conservation of amphibians you can buy this bizarre and adorable twine game about an axolotl and proceeds go to jjust that
A personal essay worth everyone’s time.(via beatonna)