Wednesday, 21 January 2015
Do you see that curled up fish that a passing fish is trying to eat?
That is an early cryptid called the Swamfiscke, which the naturalist Olaus Magnus (1490-1557) wrote about. Everything he ate became absorbed by his body, as he had no proper stomach. He had no neck, but the food he consumed went straight into his body. If attacked, he would roll into a ball, a position he could maintain for some time, for to eat he would devour his own flesh internally, feeling it better to be eaten in part by himself than whole by some other creature.
I have not the slightest clue what lay behind the legend of this fish. Does anyone out there have any ideas?