Thursday, February 26, 2009

Underwater creatures

A fish with a windshield and a woman with a tail! A photograph of the first intact specimen of the Pacific barreleye fish (Macropinna microstoma) was released earlier this week. The 6" fish - with its highly sensitive, barrel-like eyes topped by green, orblike lenses and housed within a transparent dome - was found in deep waters off the coast of California. Meanwhile, Nadya Vessey of Auckland, New Zealand, has fulfilled her wish to become a mermaid. A double-amputee below the knee since childhood, Vessey challenged Weta Workshop - a special effects studio - to come up with a realistic and functional tail. "She was very patient. We haven't always been able to fulfill some requests. We were engaged in it pretty quickly because it was a challenge," said studio director Richard Taylor. A team of 7, led by Weta costumer Lee Williams created the suit using wetsuit fabric and plastic moulds, covered it in a digitally printed sock, and painted the scales by hand. Now Vessey can look like a mermaid and swim like one, too!

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