November 12th, 2007



I'm sorry I didn't mention this earlier; I thought I should go to the press first in case I could sell the story. I photographed one of the sea monsters Saturday evening. Not a grainy photograph, either -- a crisp one, unambiguous, lit clearly in the orange of the autumn sunset. You could see its eyes, watching you watching it watching you, and its teeth and scales and spines and fins and wings and coils and cilia and its splendid shape, too big and complicated to picture clearly without a photograph.

The marine biologists were irritated.

"It's dangerous to photograph that kind of sea monster," they said, "Don't you know? That's how they reproduce. If you leave that photograph around, it will probably hatch. Even old paintings would hatch sometimes, but not as often. Upload that image to your computer and you'll wake up with a monitor shattered from the inside and a trail of slime headed straight to sea. Publish it and you'll create a planetary disaster."

"If it's so dangerous, why don't you warn people?"

"Because we can't prove it without making the problem worse, and besides, can you imagine the trouble some kids would cause if they found out?"

So I promised to keep it a secret.