by Rev. I. "van Leeuwenhoek" Stang
An infinite nightmare of flopping, writhing, amorphous, blighted unnamables! Blasphemous unspeakable churning eldritch monstrosities from a time before death died! Abysmal necrotic benighted ageless horrors from the yawning gulf between madness and death! Squirming gibbering chittering ghastly indescribable cancerous clawing specters from the deeps!
Man, this microscope is fun!
I picked it up on sale, and on a whim, for $30 from the toy section of a department store. I mentioned it to a professional microphotographer who I am lucky enough to know, and he told me what to do next.
As advised, Princess Wei and I collected a gallon jug of primordial diseased muck from a pond in a nearby city park. Near a drainage pipe I found the stinkiest, muckiest, most stagnant disgusting pit of sludge, a combination of algae, dead leaves and bird feathers.
The bird feathers were especially disturbing. Why so many? I suppose a skeleton was just below the visible muck.
I used a trowel to get some mud, to make sure the really really disgusting creatures were sampled.
The two samples we have examined from our new Muck Jar have been crawling with hideous, stomach-turning life!
I will never ever touch anything natural again without fumigating myself thoroughly and undergoing a bombardment of ultraviolet light and x-rays to kill the surface monsters on my skin.
These repulsive animalcules are nonetheless cool as hell to watch!
I am pretty sure the Giant Sluglike Blind Ever-Nosing Worm is a Stenostomum, a type of Planarian. There are 2 to 6 in each half-drop of scumwater, and the sight of one of these piggish bloated snakelike horrors is enough to make you never ever want to swim in a lake, NEVER EVER, EVER AGAIN. These are the squirmiest creatures imaginable. Actually they are horrible beyond imagining.
Stentors are another extremely common monster. These look like trumpets made of spotty greenish Jell-O, usually attached to some kind of debris, sometimes free-floating. You would think they were plants except that a look through second-highest magnification at the fluted flower-like mouth reveals the incessant buzz-saw action of teeny cilia, ravenously pulling in bacteria and things too small for me to see through this lens. These shit-sucking devils are all over every tiny drop in every scummy mud puddle on God's creepy revolting circle-of-life Earth.
Zippy little pill-shaped greenish shit-filled bags that I keep seeing I suspect to be Chilomonas. These look innocent enough, and their movements are more fishlike and darting than nauseating and sluglike, but that only makes them all the more suspect as disease-carriers in my book.
There is a ubiquitous bell-shaped pulsing and spinning thing -- I am still trying to figure out what it is from the guidebook to Inner Hell. Seen from "above," they look perfectly circular... and spinning. But then they'll suddenly flip onto their "sides" to start swimming, and then they look decidedly bell-shaped. They are brownish and semi-transparent, sort of like a jellyfish, only stiffer. They dart about in an almost squidlike fashion. Are these Bursaria? Asplancha? Epiphanes? Trichophyra? They are the most common of all the animalcules in these samples so far, and easily seen at 40X magnification. Rainis and Russell's Guide To Microlife or perhaps YouTube will no doubt eventually provide an answer.
As each sample drop dries, the creatures are pushed closer together. I just witnessed two of the vomitous Stenostomum worms all tangled up with a Stentor and being bumped by the Chilomonas (or whatever they are).
There is also a whitish segmented wormish-looking thing that behaves in a somewhat wormlike fashion but appears to be much stiffer than the planarian-type things, and smaller.
I have not seen any of these creatures do battle. I think I have seen most of them suck teeny particles from the surrounding fluid, however. I haven't seen any fucking, fissioning, budding or parthenogenesis that I know of, but hey, with Nature, sometimes it's hard to tell sex from, say, puking.
Thank goodness I have not encountered a "water bear" or Tardigrade yet. Speaking of puking. I've seen pictures.
-- By Rev. I. "van Leeuwenhoek" Stang
Tardigrade fan club: http://tardigrades.bio.unc.edu/
Stang's First Micro-Monster Videos:
MICROSCISQATSI: "The Seahorse King"