Boing Boing 

This underwater nightmare scorpion was Earth's first "big predator"

c9cd6bb8-8891-4902-8020-2b3a1b955732-2060x1236 Meet Pentecopterus decorahensis, the creature that would have eaten you were you a tasty fishy 460m years ago: “It was obviously a very aggressive animal. It was a big angry bug.”

Those are the words of James Lamsdell of Yale University, author of a study on the nasty thing.

The creature grew to 170 centimtres (5ft 7in) and had a dozen claw arms sprouting from its head, as well as a spiked tail. Geologists at the Iowa Geological Survey found 150 pieces of fossils about 18 metres under the Upper Iowa river, part of which had to be temporarily dammed to allow them to collect the specimens. Scientists at Yale University determined they were a new species from about 460m years ago when Iowa was under an ocean.

The study was published in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. It's like reading about a very complex fossilized puzzle.

s12862-015-0443-9-20 Despite the fragmentary nature of the material, the comprehensive representation of the morphology allows Pentecopterus to be reconstructed (Fig. 20). The taxon bears a number of similarities to Megalograptus[5], including the typical megalograptid guttalate ornamentation and a number of features of the prosomal appendages, notably the randomly-oriented armature on the distinctly swollen podomeres of appendage IV and the narrow gnathobase bearing multiple rows of small teeth on the coxa of appendage V…

The newly described eurypterid Pentecopterus decorahensis from the Winneshiek Lagerstätte is the earliest described representative of the group, pushing our knowledge of Eurypterida back some 9 million years to the Darriwilian in the Middle Ordovician. Pentecopterus shows clear affinities with megalograptids, a highly distinct group of large predatory eurypterids known solely from the Ordovician of North America.

This also sounds like a great candidate for the "swarming monster of the month" for the cover art of a traditional mens' adventure magazine.

See Metallica guitarist's killer collection of classic monster memorabilia

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If you are traveling through the San Francisco International Airport during the next four months, don't miss the exhibit Classic Monsters, featuring fantastic items from the collection of Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett, on view in the Terminal 2 gallery of the always-fascinating SFO Museum. The artifacts include vintage movie props, toys, and original paintings by Basil Gogos that appeared on covers Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine.

Above: Vampire Armand Tesla’s head before and after it melts in The Return of the Vampire starring Bela Lugosi, 1943.

Below: Frankenstein toys and memorabilia c. 1960s–70s; Wolf Man makeup test bust made for Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein starring Lon Chaney, Jr., 1948; Dracula toys and memorabilia c. 1960s–70s; Mummy painting c. 1969 Artist: Basil Gogos.

Classic Monsters: The Kirk Hammett Collection

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Cthookie Monster tees


They're designed by Beastpop and sell for $20 in the Neatoshop, which also has some other great Beastpop designs, such as the Flying Spaghoofy Monster and Mickthulhu Mouse (and the farting Bambi!).

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Crocs for kaiju


After you've tired of croc-a-likes that look like topsiders, Converse, and Vans, you can switch to rubber shoes with monster toes that squeak when you walk (via Gameraboy).

World's most dedicated hunter of Loch Ness monster says he's not about to give up

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Steve Feltham gave up his job, house and girlfriend 24 years ago to dedicate his life full-time to looking for Nessie. Recent news reports said he has abandoned his long quest for the Scottish cryptid, causing ripples among monster-lovers across the world. Feltham tells Reuters that's not true.

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Excellent Mars Attacks! face paint

Mars Attacks! was a lurid, horrifcally gory series of Topps bubble gum cards produced in the 1960s. Makeup artist Marla Malone created this wonderful face painting tribute to the genius of artist Norm Saunders, who painted the Topps Cards. Watch the video below.

Exotic eyeball jewelry and housewares


Stefano Prima is not content to make rings and stalks sporting everyday taxidermy eyeballs -- rather, his pieces sport fanciful reptile irises, vertical goat-slits, terrifying basilisk pupils and even square pupils.

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Beautiful grotesqueries for your wunderkammer


Seattle's Anthony Hicks has an Etsy store filled with beautiful grotesqueries, including carny sideshow gaffs (come for the feejee mermaid, stay for the mummified head!), but also tooth-filled pocketwatches and artfully preserved homunculi.

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Vintage Monster Valentines


In 1966, Topps issued a series of "Frankenstein Valentine Stickers" that have only improved with age.

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Learn the techniques of professional monster makeup artists with Hollywood Makeup Lab

Hollywood Makeup Lab is not a beginner’s monster makeup book. The projects are mainly for people with experience making molds and prosthetics, and who are familiar with airbrushing and different kinds of makeup. But a beginner who wants to make a killer Halloween character can learn a lot from going through this book, which covers color theory, bruises, burns, zombies, aging, hair, bald caps, fangs, and tattoos.

See sample pages of Hollywood Makeup Lab at Wink.

The Best Bigfoot Podcast

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The Bigfoot Show is the best bigfoot podcast you're not listening to.

That's saying a lot, because there are a LOT of bigfoot-themed podcasts out there. Some are good, and some are painful to listen to, but The Bigfoot Show is great. The hosts bring just the right blend of skepticism, science and humor to the oft-ridiculed subject. And yet several of them have had encounters that they can't explain even from a skeptical point of view, which makes for a fascinating discussion. (I know from personal experience; I've been a guest on the show.)

Could there really be an undescribed, upright, bipedal ape wandering the forests of North America? If you're even remotely interested in the subject, you need to check out this show.

Here's the latest episode.

Best monster merch of New York Comic-Con


Far and away the best monster merchandise I found at New York Comic-Con came from Scumbags & Superstars , whose tees, patches and stickers perfectly captured everything I love about monster art.

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Monstrous tees


Spotted today at New York Comic-Con, the wonderful, ghastly tees of Vertebrae 33: Third Eye Frankenstein, Nyarlathotep, and Cthulhu.

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Melting zombie candles (and other delights)


Etsy-based mold-maker Stexe has a store that's a delight -- from the Melting Mandle (a melting zombie candle) to a black lagoonite, to a tar-zombie to a chainsaw-wielding pig, to runny glow-in-the-dark zombies, and a gnarly cthulhoid.

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Goth-Icky: vintage monster art, selected by MST3K's Mike Nelson


In 2005, MST3K's Mike Nelson published Goth-Icky: A Macabre Menagerie of Morbid Monstrosities, part of the Pop Ink series -- it's a gorgeous graphic tour of four-color monster art that were pulled from the archives of the Charles S. Anderson Design Company.

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Spooky stereoscopic GIFs: 'Monsters, Villains, Heroes and Victims'

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A gorgeously retro-spooky series of stereoscopic GIFs from The Saline Project: "Monsters, Villains, Heroes, and Victims (MVHV)."

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Automata clock-monster with moving eyes

Automata builder Dug North sez, "I combined my love of clocks with my affinity for wooden monsters to create this monster clock with moving eyes. The monster is made of basswood, ebony, and tagua nut. A small weight-driven German clock movement powers the eyes and clock. It is titled simply 'Monster Clock No. 1,' which implies I may be making more of these. Please do!

Moving-eyed monster clock by Dug North now on display