At first I wasn't sure if I should post this to wtf_nature or wtf_humans, but as it is an animal I thought this was the right community, although it is astonishing every time and again what freaky ideas humans may come to.
You remember those tweely, lil' baby-rays posted here before?
Did you ever wonder how those little cuties would look like if they were terribly dried out for multiple times, twisted, bended, deformed and cut out only to be varnished?
Now, here you are
"A Jenny Haniver is the carcass of a ray or a skate which has been modified and subsequently dried, resulting in a grotesque preserved specimen.
One suggestion for the term was "jeune de Antwerp" (the French call Antwerp, Anvers), that is "young girl of Antwerp." British sailors "cockneyed" this description into the personal name "Jenny Hanvers."
For centuries, sailors sat on the Antwerp docks and carved these "mermaids" out of dried cuttlefish. They then preserved them further with a coat of varnish. They supported themselves by selling their artistic creations to working sailors as well as to tourists visiting the docks.
Jenny Hanivers have been created to look like devils, angels and dragons. Some writers have suggested the sea monk may have been a Jenny Haniver.
The earliest known picture of a Jenny Haniver appeared in Konrad Gesner's Historia Animalium vol. IV in 1558. Gesner warned that these were merely disfigured rays, and should not be believed to be miniature dragons or monsters, which was a popular misconception at the time. It is possible that Jenny Hanivers were the source of some tales of dragons during the Middle Ages, and they affirmed people's belief in dragons. Jenny Hanivers may also have started the legends of Mermaids."
Story is this. The first three pictures were posted to a german biology board. Somebody guessed it may be a ray because of the "face" but the threadstarter didn't believe him.
I remembered our little babies, also I own very good eye recognition and told the TS it were rays, too. He didn't believe me.
I went into every detail, describing the body parts of that little guy, were it's tail were, that those little legs were the pectoral fins, stuff... I was just going to literally color it out, when I stumbled over an article referring to that article on wikipedia. Then he finally believed me- but all that work... :/ well at least I know much more about rays now.
Fun fact: If you don't search for "rays" and "dried" I doubt you will ever find something about Jenny Haniver.
TAGS: Jenny Haniver, rays, skates