Something missing on the mantle in your trophy room? How about a nice electric green neon sea horse suspended in glycerin? It makes for one hell of a conversation piece. Japanese artist Iori Tomita injects dye into the skeletal systems of different animals in order to create these intricately colored works of art. Tomita has titled the project “New World Transparent Specimens.”
The organisms are first preserved in formaldehyde, then submersed in blue stain, ethyl alcohol, and acetic acid. Tomita uses an enzyme to break down the muscles but the reaction has to be carefully controlled so that the original shape of the animal remains intact. The bones are then stained with dyes.
The specimens take about six months to produce and the end result is a cross between Dr. Seuss illustrations, taxidermy, and a Hunter S. Thompson LSD hallucination. Tomita proposes that “People may look at my specimens as academic material, a piece of art, or even an entrance to philosophy.” You can order these vividly colored creatures via Tomita’s website and then just tell your friends you captured a rare new species.