Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Aliens? Demon? Nope, it’s just a fish. [60 Second Specimens]

Aliens? Demon? Nope, it’s just a fish. [60 Second Specimens]

Guadalajara, Mexico, 1953. During a break from his expedition collecting
insects, Field Museum research associate Dr. Charles H. Seevers was perusing an antique
store when he came across a most unusual specimen. It was this alien-looking creature, with sunken
eyes, a protruding mouth and horns, and a long, barbed tail. Is it a demon baby, a fallen angel or the
spawn of satan? Nope, it’s just a fish. Since the 16th century, sailors and sea-side
dwellers have been selling the manipulated figures of certain cartilaginous fishes like
skates and rays to tourists. They were marketed to oddity-collectors as
devil fish or dragons and became known as ‘Jenny Hanivers,’ thought to be a misinterpretation
of the French phrase ‘jeune d’Anvers’ or “young person of Antwerp. Many of these devil babies are made from guitarfish,
a kind of ray in the family Rhinobatidae, which live along beaches and coastlines, and
in estuaries. The practice of selling their disfigured bodies
to tourists has declined in recent years due to conservation protections around many of
these remarkable fish. But, thanks to museums, you could say this
odd legacy still has legs.

100 comments on “Aliens? Demon? Nope, it’s just a fish. [60 Second Specimens]

  1. I frequently go through these same rounds of questioning when I'm about to eat fish….I'm not a big fish-eater….😂

  2. I love these 60 second videos. This one makes me want to go learn more about skates. (Also, legs? Legacy? Groan!) Now excuse me while I go Google skates and rays.

  3. 🌤Hi Sunshine, yup fish are fish an that's that. Enjoy peace an happiness while manifesting the light an love of life.

  4. I like the experimental/artistic style of this. Take it further. Also your cheesy puns need more cheese please. Love it!!

  5. I was at a very nice restaurant & they served us Skate. I had to Google it to find out what I was about to eat. Delicious, with unique flesh.

  6. I just woke up and started watching this video, hearing my city's name at the very beginning was so surreal. Anyway, I love this format, more please!

  7. These 60 Second Specimen are always cool to watch. Definitely one of the most fun facts video series around.

  8. Now I can't stop imagining that someone one day was like "we should mess with these dead fish and make them look like demons and sell them to people".

  9. Its FISH!!!! I mean at first sight I couldnt imagine it as a fish from any damn angle!!! But after Emily says its a fish.. I was like OHHH now its looks like a fish

  10. "This legacy still has legs…"
    I wish they had held on that shot longer after the punchline just to make it more awkward 😛

  11. Emily, I love these episodes dedicated to specimens and their tales. I’d love for them to be longer than 60 seconds! How about “3 minute marvels” or idk :/ something like that lol I need to know moooooooore

  12. Before I watch a second; I hope this is going to be Jenny Hannivers.
    Edit: I Was Right! I love cryptids and hoaxes.

  13. those are still on sale at mercados, at least in CDMX, at the Sonora Market (famous for selling witchcraft and oddities) and even at normal yerberías (stores that sell medicinal herbs) like the ones behind la Catedral Metropolitana.

  14. Emily, this past weekend I went to the field museum with some family members. We were blown away. Would never have heard of it if it weren't for you. Thank you so much for your promotion efforts.

  15. Am I the only one who got excited with the first words of the video? 🇲🇽😁 Greetings from Guadalajara! 👋

  16. Reminds me of the dodgy taxidermy practice of combining for example, a monkey and a fish to create a "sea baby".

  17. Miss Emily, Do you plan on doing any more of the videos where you have the live feed while doing a dissection? Or just record it normally and post it?

    I enjoy learning about the various animals and how their parts work/compare to our bodies.

  18. i think you need to 'recreate' on of those to show how it's done and proof it's actually that fish. would make for a fun video

  19. Just watched a YDAW video, at the Field Museum, and…no Emily.

    I feel like I got socks for Christmas.
    Nice socks, but still.

  20. Emily might get a kick out of "the Bermuda Depths", an awesome, mega-cheesy, late 70s early 80s movie where Jenny Hanniver is actually a character whose backstory is rather cleverly explained. Damn, I loved that movie!!!!

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