Angels in Antarctica

“Don’t blink. Blink and you’re dead. Don’t turn your back. Don’t look away. And don’t blink.” - The Doctor

The Weeping Angels are the monster of the week in one of my very favorite Doctor Who episodes. They look like saccharine angel statues…until they strike.

The Weeping Angels could very well have been modeled off the lovely sea angel, if the Doctor Who writers are secret marine biology fans. Sea angels (Clione spp.) are adorable shell-less molluscs that fly though the water on cute little wings, looking like this. Awwww!

Except when they’re hungry. And they uncurl the first third of their gut, shoots tentacles out of their face, rip the bodies of their prey (shelled swimming molluscs called Limacina) out of their shells, and shred them with their sharp radula.

Natalia Chervyakova of Moscow University got absolutely stunning photos of Clione hunting Limacina. I can’t embed them because they are in Flash, but go here right now. Or you can watch the Japanese game show version below.

I think I would prefer being chased by the Weeping Angels, myself. Because Clione don’t care if you blink.

Thanks to Jesse for sending the photos!

Miriam Goldstein (230 Posts)





6 comments on “Angels in Antarctica
  1. Thank you for the link to Ms Natalia Chervyakova’s images. She has done some most utterly awesome underwater photography I have ever seen. As an invertebrate zoologist who has thousands of my own underwater images, as well as my own (in comparison – pathetic) in situ images of Clione, and who has watched them feed in nature and in the lab, words fail me. The skill and technique are utterly mind-boggling.

  2. “Except when they’re hungry. And they uncurl the first third of their gut, shoots tentacles out of their face, rip the bodies of their prey…”

    I should NOT have read that with a mouthful of coffee!!

  3. Pingback: Angels of Death « Ron's Musings

  4. I would also prefer the weeping angels (if we were to assume the sea angels were large enough to harm us).

    Because they were the universe’s *nicest* assassins, according to the orginal episode. They ‘kill’ you by sending you back in time to live out a normal lifespan, but doing so releases an energy that keeps them going. Also, by the samples we saw, they seemed to send their victims to a place and time where they would thrive.

    They were only terrifying because the film techniques made you forget that the worst thing they would do to their victims was send them to a peaceful point in time to muddle along as best they could.

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