... saving itself from extinction, appearing as a magnificent rainbow jewel 175 million years later, or humans’ thinking ah! this would make a good meal …
|Matrix Opal c/o National Opals, Australia|
Bugs are incredible, and together with the natural earth, keep this world in balance, which is more than can be said for the Anthropocene epoch.
Nothophantes Horridus – yes, more commonly called the Horrid Ground-Weaver – an extremely rare species of spider in the family Linyphidae (sheet weavers or money spiders).
Etymology gives this little bug its name: from the Greek words ‘notho’, meaning spurious, and ‘hyphantes’, which means weaver, and the Latin ‘horridus’, which means … not horrid! … but bristly.
Anyways … it is very rare and has only recently (1989) been found in a microscopic area of Plymouth, Devon, less than one kilometre square - whereupon its environmental friends called this endangered species ‘to action’: as evidence that a housing development in a quarry should not go ahead: the Planning Inspector upheld the bug’s right to exist.
The next is a Belemoidea, which has raised its pretty little head after life in the Jurassic era – about 175 million years ago.
They are an extinct group of marine cephalopod (being millions of years old I guess that’d they'd be extinct?!) – but very similar to squid and closely related to the modern cuttlefish.
This particular bug has had a chequered life … seen by marine dinosaurs in Australia’s vast inland sea, before the sea regressed. At that time the weather was erratic and very acidic – the effects caused silica-rich gel to become trapped in the earth. Over time the silica solidified to form opals.
|The Virgin Rainbow Opal|
This Virgin Rainbow Opal was found in the Coober Pedy district of Western Australia – “The Opal Capital of the World”. It has been secured for the South Australian Museum in Adelaide.
Not knowing the area at all … I was interested to see that Coober Pedy lies on the Adelaide to Alice Springs road and on to Darwin – I’ve taught myself a bit of geography here.
We are running out food … well so they say … and we’ve always constantly looked at other alternatives of food sources … how about bugs? Australia has them … Balmain Bugs – I always liked the look of these slippery lobsters – a food to be enjoyed.
Some of these aren't bugs ... buttttt .......... I enjoyed writing about them!
|Balmain Bug, Prawn, Squid, etc|
A lot of us won’t eat bugs … just the thought of scrunching down a creepy crawly sends shivers down our spines. They’re not unhealthy; they’re often quite tasty and loaded with the sort of nutritious good stuff dietary professionals love.
Sooner or later we’re probably going to have to get over our apprehensions and embrace these remarkably efficient sources of protein.
|Served at a pub near you ...|
Let us eat worms, we already eat snails … the American Army Survival Handbook, I see, tells you (not me!) how to catch worms, clean (purge) them and then you can eat them raw.
|Late 1800s ad|
But remember we used to despise oysters – the poor man’s food … and those bugs the lobsters despised by American coastal dwellers, but beloved by the train passengers (good to eat) and railroad bosses (cheap to provide).
Now there’s the Wild Food School in Lostwithiel, Cornwall – which provides Entompohagy Courses – new word?! Yes for me too … but here they show us that eating insects is de riguer in many parts of the world ...
So let’s embrace bugs … for their use, their balance of life, and for the beauty they might provide in a quarter of a billion years ahead!
Here are some links … that might amuse and tell more of their story:
Finest Opal Ever c/o The Jewellery Judge
Big Think on Eating Bugs
How Lobster Got Fancy c/o PSMag
Wild Food School: Edible Insects and Bugs
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories