Round #223 - VOTING!
The voting is a multi-vote this week due to there being ≥20 entries.
Topic: The Mariana Trench
Deadline for voting: 1 week
Round Requirements (Read BEFORE Voting):
- The creature must be aquatic
- The creature must be capable of surviving in crushing water pressure
- The creature must be large (at least the size of an average shark)
Last edited by Si_Swe; August 4th, 2011 at 12:05 AM.
Roughly the size of a great white shark, the Shravok has super-dense bone plates under it's skin which protect against incoming attacks as well as helping it to survive the crushing pressure of the deep. The Shravok has extremely high internal pressure to counter that of the equally strong external pressure, if it ventures too far out of the deep it would literally explode, which is why none have been discovered thus far. The bio-luminesant ridges on it's back and skull (which is ultra thick) provide a dual purpose: firstly to attract meals and potential mates and secondly as a threatening display to discourage other rival males. The Shravok is closely related to many species of sharks, but unlike it's more aggressive cousins it is extremely inquisitive, intelligent and somewhat good natured; it is just as likely to follow smaller fish around for observatory and educative purposes as opposed to predatory.
Concept: Megelia Noctiluca
Being covered in a toxic mucous has its ups and downs. Mostly it is very handy at keeping predators away and preparing prey for consumption...
The word ‘anarchy’ comes from the ancient Greek αναρχία in which αν meant ‘without’ and αρχία meant first a military ‘leader’ and then ‘ruler’. Anarchist society is one ‘without rulers’: a classless, non-hierarchical society.
“You need people like me.
You need people like me so you can point your grubby fingers and say, "That's the bad guy.""
Concept: Pressure Fish
The pressure fish is a rare type of fish only found deep in the mariana trench. Adapting to the high pressure deep in the ocean the pressure fish is able to change its body pressure to match the oceans pressure through holes located on its side. Do to the lack of light in the mariana trench the pressure fish have evolved feelers rather than eyes. The pressure fish hunts fish curious of the light within its body, hoping prey will swim into its mouth.
Concept: Odontoceti Hominoidea
A rare, mystic quatic mammal live at the depth of ocean. Their ancestor once lived on the surface but then moved to the sea the same time as the first primitive whale did. Being more intelligent than other sea creature, they don't have many competitors in the new environment and continue to grow to gigantic size. With such body and reserved fat, they now can withstant extreme pressure and cold temperature at the mariana trench.
Concept: The Gelatinous Ray
The Gelatinous Ray is a passive bio-luminescent deep sea creature that resembles a manta-ray. With the wing span of rougly 15 feet, the gelatinous ray soars through the ocean deep. It survives primarily on falling debris from the upper levels of the ocean, sucking in the debris through the holes on is wings, which connect to its' stomach. Through this, the gelatinous ray has access to a constant supply of food, keeping the amount of energy it burns swimming in balance. The ray withstands the pressure of the hadal zone with its' gelatinous body. Though a passive creature, should the ray ever be attacked, it will swim around its target and tangle it in the stingers that trails behind it. Though very uncommon, studies have shown the ray to eat fish in emergency situations where it swims into an area with little to no debris.
Concept: Hammerhead Crab
The Hammerhead Crab, the most deadliest predator of the deep see is the result of several evolutionary steps that were needed to adapt to the extreme environment of the Mariana trench. Being an active and swimming predator is much more effective than hunting on the ground since there are no corals or plants to hide or hunt between. Because the crabs had to adapt to immense pressure as well they developed a segmented body. While the organs in its body segments, except the muscles aren't much bigger than those of a normal crab the chitin exoskeleton is about five times as thick and of extreme hardness. Since the prey of the hammerhead crabs predominantly consists of larger fish that are light emitting predators the crabs adapted by developing extremely light sensitive eyes and the distinctive shape of their head for a binocular vision.
Last edited by sevira; August 2nd, 2011 at 12:29 PM. Reason: stoopid sevira
Artist: Mathieu Stern
Living in the depths of the ocean, the luminosaurus moves by walking on its fins. for food, he lights his bioluminescent glands to attract small fishes and squids that fits directly into his mouth, attracted by its bright language.
Concept: Deep Sea Diamond Back
The Deep Sea Diamond backs are only found in the deepest parts of the Mariana Trench. Due to the extreme pressure of the ocean, the outer shell of the titan crystallizes. usually laying dormant, using its many tentacles to trap a wide array of deep sea mollusks, the diamond back can grow up to a zillion feet long..
Artist: Ricardo Robles
Concept: The Challenger Monster
In our ninth immersion into the Mariana Trench, and thanks to our new acquisition Blue Smile, we finally managed to stay in the deepest zone of the Challenger Abyss for a 20 hours period. Sadly, these creatures appeared when the oxygen reserves were at the minimum allowed, and we were starting the rise to the surface. We just managed to record about 2 minutes of precious information of these unknown and amazing creatures. With this little amount of data, we can only assure this is an ancient, probably prehistoric kind of predator which probably evolved from jellyfishes. The long web of tentacles reaches near 3 kilometers, probably more, and seems deadly on contact. The creature itself shows an incredibly big mouth which composes the biggest part of its body, and an amazing bioluminescent skin which give a translucent look of its skeleton, most likely composed by cartilage. Also in our short encounter, we managed to see some scars in the creature skin, and judging on its predator look, there must be something bigger in the deeps of the Trench we have not seen yet…
Concept: Dungeonous Cthuloid
Little is known about the Dungeonous Cthuloid. The creatures have only been found in the Marianas Trench at depths exceeding 10 kilometers. Although displaying cephalopoidal and ichthyoidal characteristics the Cthuloid defies classification. Without further study, scientists are at a loss to explain how this creature came to live, and how it survives, at such extraordinary depths. With this dearth of information, many off-beat members of the scientific community have been having a field day; Fringe scientists believe that the creatures are extra terrestrial - originating on a planet where their norm is a pressure and water environment similar to that found in the deep oceans the earth. Many of these same scientists also believe that these aliens have been brought to earth as prisoners - the extreme depths serving to isolate them from just about everything.
Last edited by J-Sun; August 3rd, 2011 at 10:53 PM.
Ryan Sumo: ryansumo
Concept: Pisces Illuminafaecis aka Illuminated Shit Fish
The Pisces Illuminafaecis is the primary predator of the Mariana Trench ecosystem. It's elongated, wormlike body contains no vertebrae, allowing it to swirl and fold seamlessly through the immense pressures of these depths. Its other unique feature is a digestive process that adds an illuminating quality to its feces. It stores this illuminated shit in an anus sac, which then attracts new prey to fuel the large creature's never-ending need for sustenance.
Concept: Crocodylus Leukos
This ancient creature evolved from the crocodile family long time ago. As this specie gradually migrated deeper and deeper into the sea over millions of years, its shells became thicker and more resilient in order to withstand the extreme pressure of the Mariana Trench. The fin on its head possesses the ability to generate bioluminescence which is very useful for attracting preys.
Last edited by Hyunjae; August 3rd, 2011 at 03:14 AM.
Artist: Rob Powell
Concept: Star-hide Angler
Not much is known about this deep sea giant. Much like the anglerfish a luminescent lure hangs in front of it's large mouth, most likely for the same purpose. Strangely, schools of fish will encircle the massive predator, most likely due to it's speckled bioluminescence on it's body.
Last edited by Rob Powell; August 3rd, 2011 at 01:53 PM.
Concept: Odontoceti megalomanus
Odontoceti megalomanus mystifies the researchers who recently discovered this creature. From the raw footage and data captured by the deepsea sub, it seems this enormous blind, whale-like creature leads a solitary excistence. Not much is to be said yet, but to survive at this depth, it seems most of this creature must be hollow, featuring only the most rudimentary of skeletal structures and organs. This lack of fully developed skeletalstructure seems to be suppored by the way it swims, which resembles a manta ray, gracefully gliding through the water.
Despite its daunting size, and ferocious mouth, it seems this creature has evolved to live of the debris (also known as marine snow) which accumulates in these deepest trenches. Scientists speculate the bioluscent back fin is a remainder of its more predatory background, most likely when this creature was the size of the average great white shark.
Concept: Devil's Swordfish
In some sort of mystical union deep within the recesses of the Mariana Trench, the Devil's Swordfish combines the power and cunning of the deepest angler fish and the sleek elegance of it's closest relative the Oarfish, creating a creature that commands the murky, freezing depths of the one of the deepest places on earth. It's armored skin and elongated body allow for organs to be separate from one another allowing extreme pressures to have no effects on its body, while its 4 meter tail slices through the water with ease.
Creature: Abyssal tubeworm
During the forays into the abyssal depths of the Mariana Trench, japanese scientists uncovered new species with every subsequent dive.
Most were very small crustaceans and molluscs, feeding off the detritus that drifts down from the surface world.
However, there numbers must be kept in check, by predators. These however, are rarely seen.
It is hypothesized that larger animals easily evade the submarines, and are thus a rare sight indeed.
Newly released footage of a gigantic tubeworm that probably feeds off everything it can handle, showed itself to the scientists on the 5th of november, 2010.
"It was an amazing sight", according to chief scientist Huriniwa Tokanawa. "The creature seemed to be defending red tubeworms, which are sessile creatures on the rocks.
This leads us to believe that once they've grown big enough, these creatures actually detach themselves from the rocks and become free roaming predators once again - just as in their larval state."
The scientific community is thrilled by the footage and Tokanawa cannot wait to go down there again, to capture more amazing footage of the world below.
Artist: Edward B
Concept: Abyssal Crab
The abyssal crab lost its pincers a long time ago, living in the incredible depths of the Mariana trench the huge creature simply filters the waters for fish and octopi much like its smaller relatives do with planktons.
Bonefish, blind, roam the deep seas in large nomadic groups - protected by their heavy, boney plates. They feed on literally anything they find, and can grow to be 150ft long.
Concept: Pink Mariana Cordfish
The Pink Cordfish is exclusive to the depths of the Mariana Trench. Usually found gliding along, it can accelerate quickly and catch prey offguard. The small appendages located in the "split" of its head are actually not it's teeth (which are located on its underside), but the act to give the creature a more aggresive appearance. Under its skin, the Cordfish has a layer of jelly-like fat cells that help to offset the intense pressures of the deep water. This specific type of fat cell is rare, and as scientists began to find that it had many uses to people, divers would hunt the creatures in an attempt to profit. The animals are now protected by the government.
Concept: Glowing Squid
The glowing squid lives in Abyssopelagic zone. It's body is completely made out of a transparent gel with bio-luminescent cells on it's tentacles and side fins. This creature is able to attract food by mimicking it's prey's lighting patterns.
The glowing squid would rather avoid confrontation than fighting. So as a defense it will spread its tentacles with a flashing array to scare it's attacker. But then when things are looking too grim it will just jet away with a blot of ink.
The Krythii lurks the floors of the trench, hiding in shadow and sometimes beneath the rocks. It will eat nearly anything, but it's lure is particularly suited towards mid-sized, bioluminescent fish who mistake the lure for a mate. The Krythii's massive jaws are extraordinarily strong, but its teeth are not as sturdy, and sometimes snap off when eating crustaceans, causing the Krythii to shy away from such creatures when food is not in short supply. It's fins are relatively weak, and it often uses it's arms to pull itself along the ocean floors.
Concept: Trench Scorpion
The trench scorpion is distantly related to terrestrial scorpions. While most of the eurypterid sea scorpions of the Ordovician either went extinct or evolved to live on land, one species has remained in the inky blackness of the Mariana Trench where it has eluded scientific discovery until recently. This sea scorpion uses a bioluminous lure which grows on one of a pair of antennae. When the trench scorpion senses movement near the lure, it strikes with its venomous stinger and grabs its prey with formidable pincers. The creature has the peculiar habit of walking backwards on the trench floor, and since it has long ago lost its eyes in the black abyss, it looks very much as though its "tail" is actually its "head."
Concept: Hard-Shell Snapper
This creature is found drifting around on the currents within the trench. It keeps its head tucked into its shell-like body and waits for prey to get into range, then in a slit second it launches its head forward and snatches its prey... It thick shell allows it to withstand pressures even on the trench floor... Many parasites and other deep sea organisms use its shell as a home...
[/B]The luminus-volitan, recently discovered in the Mariana, is nearly 6 times the size of any known creature in the trench. Scientists have been speculating how a creature of such size (though not very large for shallower waters) can manage to procure enough energy to maintain its size. Upon study, scientists have learned that though the creature may appear large, its body mass is significantly small. The Luminus-voltanis manages to sit for days even weeks without movement, using its long fins to keep it adrift, while simultaneously ushering small animals into the large opening in its stomach. It large stomach has the ability to open and close, stretch, and produce light. Several long tendons protrude out of its stomach to attract small invertebrates. Once there is a significant amount of 'food' swimming around its belly, it slowly closes its stomach walls, and begins digestion. Its large fangs are not intended for eating, but rather as a cage to prevent its meal from swimming out its mouth, which is solely used for move water past its gills.
No cuts this week.
There is a multi-vote. As Clark and I have said previously, we'll do a multi-vote for any round which exceeds 20 entries. Try to limit yourself to 3 or 4 votes, if possible.
My favorites this round were: Ricardo Robles, jasonsng and Sealegs, with honorable mentions to scorge and Edward B for gorgeous design and rendering.
EDIT: fuhrenator, voting for one's self is prohibited. Is there someone else you would like to vote for?
Last edited by Si_Swe; August 4th, 2011 at 12:29 AM.
Some really kickass entries this round guys! Quite glad we got a multivote this round cuz choosing just one would be nearly impossible.
Anyways voted for blazinwolf, jaroldsng, Ricardo Robles, and Sealegs, all had really solid entires this round. honourable mentions to scorge, liffey, and Edward B. Great work overall guys!!
Crits for the week, forgive me if they seem a bit brief some of them, starting to get tired...and with 24 entries I believe this is the most I've had to write for one round so far (although I only wrote 23 since I don't feel like critting my own work, I know what I feel needs to be fixed such as the lighting, the awkwardness of the fins, the crappy indication of the school of fish, etc....)
RyNSWOrLD: Really neat cartoony style. I would like to see a bit more form in this guy, the highlighting looks very weak (especially against the white background) Would've been nice to see this guy in it's natural environment with the proper lighting you'd get in it's environment.
lkjhgfdsa: Really cool scene and nice composition, I like how this piece is teaming with life, showing such biodiversity is always cool. Your creature on the other hand, though a cool and origianl design, looks a bit flat, and the eyes (or whatever they are) at the lower half of the creature looks rather dull, having a glow come from them would've improved the piece.
ColdDegree: Looks pretty cool, this is a bit nitpicky, but the creature lost the use of it's eyes because there is no light yet it can produce a bioluminescence from it's mouth? Alos the tail of the creature is a bit unclear does it have fins? or is it just one big fin?
shadowind: A mammal living in the depths of the ocean, how does it breathe? I don't see any gills. Seems like you overdone the texturing a tad becasue the image looks a lot busier than it should. In general it's a very neat design.
blazinwolf: One of my favourites this round. Only real complaint I have is that the creature looks fairly small. It looks like it's chasing a krill as well so makes me think that it's only a couple inches wide as opposed to 15 ft like in your description. But it's still a solid design with some solid rendering to boot! Good job, you got one of my votes!
sevira: Pitch Black and Kabutops (as you mentioned earlier) comes to mind when I see your creature. It seems a bit awkward the way some of your creature has been cropped off the page. Also it doesn't seem like it would swim very well through the water since it has no fins.
mat0fr: Really cool creature, very dinosaur like, perhaps if you gave it some more reptilian or lobe fins for it's pectoral fins, I would be better convinced that it can walk on the bottom. Your creature is also looking fairly flat mostly due to the high amount of light coming from the sub in the background.
jaroldsng: A very strong entry. The lighting and texturing is executed excellently. Though it does look massive I don't see it being a zillion feet long, I don't even think the entire trench is that long, lol. A solid concept with great rendering earned you my vote!
Ricardo Robles: Another strong entry, looks very other-worldly. The first thing that came to mind after I read your description 'There's always a bigger fish' (name that movie) Some very cool texture work going on, however I feel the base of the pink antennae could've been pushed a bit further, showing some highlights possibly. Got my vote!
J-Sun: Def has that lovecraftian look, though I would've liked to see a creature that less resembles Cthulu and looks a bit more original. The far left side looks a bit cut off by some black, I'm not sure if it's just my laptop playing tricks on me though. Also the only part of the creature that really shows is it's face, I wanna see a bit more of it's body to get a better sense of it's full bodily design.
ryansumo: Interesting creature, still quite funny how it attracts prey with fecal matter. Seeing as there is a glow coming from its...shit...there should be more contrast between...it...and the rest of the image, adding some stronger bounce lighting from that glow could improve the overall composition.
Jae1234: This piece looks unfinished. A unique design, but I feel you could've worked on this a bit more, adding some textures can really push your piece a long way. And smoothing out your edges will give it a stronger form as well as eliminate any blurriness. The bioluminescence looks a bit odd, it's more like a cloud of stuff in the water as opposed to lighting. Also adding a smaller image size is always a good idea, at least small enough to fit the page without having to scroll sideways.
pestibug: Neat desing, I like how you added the luminescence to it's dorsal fin, makes ithe creature look a bit less boring. It looks more like it'sdeep sea now, but you've lost a lot of the contrast between your creature and the background. Also the way the creature fin cuts the image in half really hurts the composition of the image.
scorge: Good job as always, dude! Not really the best pose for the creature, but you can still get a good feel on how long it can grow. Really neat how you added the sub in the background behind the creature, gives it an interesting perspective.
Harmageddon: It looks more like it's underwater now, but it look very rough and choppy. A lot of this could use a bit more refining. I'm a bit confused as to what that thing at the top right is. Is it a sub? A lot of this stuff in your image must be clear to others, if you were working for a client you don't want them to guess about what something is, you want them to know. As for your creature, a more creative design would've been better since this just looks like a larger version of the tubeworm.
Edward B: Interesting looking creature, I would've liked to see this guy in it's underwater environment. Here it looks like it's in some sort of a snowy environment. The creature doesn't really contrast all that well with the background either. I can imagine this guy being very large, but with nothing to scale the creature I can also imagine it being very small as well.
Jri: Simple looking critter but still rather neat. Pretty cool style, almost like a paper cut-out on cardboard. Somehow I can't picture these being 150 ft long though.
artiphats: Very interesting creature, either one would've worked well for this topic. There are some issues with the foreshortening, on your creature, but nothing too major. The linework in the fins doesn't look too neat though.
snippet: To me this is just a variant of the cuttlefish, with added luminescence. Try to be more creative with your design. Overall this looks quite unfinished, be sure to reference creatures with transparent membranes, jeelyfish for example, as there are many species that are fully transparent and have bioluminescence. I can see this guy easily living in the deep sea environment, but it doesn't look very large either.
Liffey: Looks really cool, I'd like to see more of this creature, I noticed a lot of entries where like this where not a lot of the creature shows up quite clearly, but then again it is rather difficult considering the dark environment they live in. Back to your piece, I like the realistic textures and lighting, the face of the creature looks really cool as well. The real downside to your piece is that the creature doesn't show up too well. It's a nice illustration with some very skilled rendering, but the design is the important thing.
Eclectix: Nice concept. Some of the values need to be pushed a bit further because a lot of the creature is lost in the background.
Sealegs: Awesome concept dude! I like the snapping turtle like approach to the creature's design and the side graphics was an excellent way to show this. Parts of the design reminds me of your last entry actually, possible signature? Great job overall, you got my vote!
fuhrenator: Really unique design. I like the incorporation of the pouch, either a safe haven for young or a trap to catch prey.
Pestibug Good composition, and the design seems barlowe-esque in a way too.
blazinwolf You managed to combine different sea creatures in a way that really works well!
I had to vote for BlazinWolf, definitely my favorite creature this week