From Beyond Part 6 – Invasive Species and Ecosystems

 

CrawfordTillinghast_iposterbot

Crawford Tillinghast (by iposterbot).  Did the Tillinghast device open the way for inter-dimensional invasive species to make direct physical contact with us?

As an environmental consultant whose focus is lakes, ponds, streams and rivers, a large part of the work I do is to address, manage and eradicate invasive species.  By definition an invasive species is an organism that has negative impacts on the local ecosystem, which typically results in direct economic or health-related impacts to humans.  Most (but not all) invasive species are “exotic”  which is synonymous with terms such as alien, non-indigenous or non-native species (Alien Species in North America and Hawaii: Impacts on Natural Ecosystems; G.W. Cox; 1999).

Most of the invasive species I deal with (zebra mussels, curly-leaved pondweed, Eurasian watermilfoil) are native to other continents (frequently Eurasia).  In their native lands they have competitors, predators and parasites that keep them under control.  However, once invasive species enter a new ecosystem, where they have not evolved with the native competitors, predators and parasites, they can grow unchecked and have devastating ecological and economic impacts.  A similar situation may be occurring when the Tillinghast device is turned on, as well be described in more detail.

One example of an invasive specie that appears to be showing up on a more frequent basis, at least over the last 5 years, is the water chestnut (Trapa natans). Water chestnut is an extremely aggressive plant and can easily out-compete all native aquatic vegetation (see below).

Lake Musconetcong, located in northern New Jersey, covered over by the invasive plant water chestnut (from the lakehopatcongfoundation.org)

This aquatic plant originates from Eurasia and Africa and was first observed in North American near Concord, Massachusetts in 1859.  Recently, this plant has been appearing in more lakes and ponds throughout the Mid-Atlantic States and its impact on the entire lake-ecosystem can be devastating.  The plant can grow from 1 to 100 acres over one growing season, easily taking over a lake, covering its entire surface.  This eliminates light from entering the water, killing all native vegetation and substantially reducing the amount of dissolved oxygen (DO) in the water.  In extreme cases, the lake or pond can be completely depleted of DO and a fish kill can be the result.

Another major nuisance of water chestnut is its seed pod, which has four sharp spikes (see below) that can easily penetrate a sneaker.  Thus, once these seed pods begin washing up on local beaches, the local economic consequences can be significant.

A single plant of water chestnut I first identified in Westtown Lake in May of 2011 (Chester County, PA).  Note the large seed pond with the spikes.  Since then selective harvesting and seasonal hand pulling was used to eradicate this plant (as of 2013)

Another aquatic invasive species that may seem to be more relevant relative to the aggressive creatures that appear once the Tillinghast device is turned on, is the northern snakehead (Channa argus), sometimes nicknamed the “Frankenfish”.   This fish is an extremely aggressive predatory fish that is a native to Asia, where it is a fairly important source of food.  The snakehead is known to decimate entire fish communities through predation.  They will eat anything that will fit in their mouths and can group up to 1.0 to 1.5 meters long (3.3 to 5.0 ft).  In addition, they are obligate air breathers, which allows them to move from one waterbody to another on their own.

The mouth and teeth of a northern snakehead, a very aggressive predatory, freshwater fish that has the potential to wipe out entire fishery communities in North America (photo from fl.biology.usgs.gov)

Similar to water chestnut, the northern snakehead and countless other aquatic and terrestrial creatures, the extra-dimensional creatures that appear once the Tillinghast device is turned on are exotic, invasive species.  In fact, since they already exist within our same space-time, but not in our same dimension, their appearance can be described as an “invasive ecosystem” clashing with our own.  The potential results of these two distinctly different ecosystems, occupying the same space-time, suddenly having physical contact has been described in both HPL’s story and Stuart Gordon’s movie.

An invasive predatory species “From Beyond” preying on the narrator of HPL’s story (iposterbot)

The invasive planktonic species “From Beyond”, which may serve as food for other, larger species (from Stuart Gordon’s movie From Beyond)

However, even the plankton “From Beyond” can be predaceous on humans (from Stuart Gordon’s movie From Beyond)

Another inter-dimensional, invasive species “From Beyond” (from Stuart Gordon’s movie From Beyond)

The instantaneous lining up of two very different inter-dimensional ecosystems can have profound and deleterious impacts on the species who inhabit both.   Thus, while we can not see it from our own dimensional perspective, the realized intersection of our ecosystem into those “From Beyond” is more than likely disrupting their species as much as ours.

The “overlapping” of two distinct inter-dimensional ecosystems, as a result of the waves generated by the Tillinghast device or Resonator, would have devastating impacts on the species of both ecosystems (from Stuart Gordon’s movie From Beyond).

This article concludes the scientific investigation into HPL’s story From Beyond.  Next time we will be talking about a scientific hoax that HPL briefly referred to in some of this stories – the Piltdown Man.  Thank you – Fred.

 

 

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4 thoughts on “From Beyond Part 6 – Invasive Species and Ecosystems

  1. What a satisfying way to wrap up your “From Beyond” investigation! This is one of my favorite articles yet.

    I was about halfway through the article and actually thought about the Northern Snakehead before I read it. I read this book called “Weird Maryland” and it featured some creepy stuff on that invasive species. Also, it recently came in to a New York lake, and I live near the city. So it was weird but not all that surprising to shortly thereafter see that you had written about the Northern Snakehead.

    Well! I found this article very well done, along with the whole “From Beyond” investigation. While I have not heard of the Piltdown Man yet, I am sure it will be fascinating and enjoyable. I am also anticipating your briefly mentioned “Shadow Out of Time” discussion. That (and “The Thing on the Doorstep”) made body switching – frequently employed as a comedic device – seem freaking terrifying! And it will be an interesting investigation, I am sure.

    Wow. This blog has to be one of the best things I have seen on the Internet. Seems like such a fun, academic activity.

    BRIAN

    1. Thanks Brian – yes, I am taking my time re-reading The Shadow Out of Time before I start to write about it. The whole mind / body transfer is interesting and I think I will have an interesting perspective on it.

      Fred

  2. I found your article very interesting because it made me think that “From Beyond” was derived from HPL’s wonderment at the world revealed to him by microscopes.

    The story was about the pervasive presence of living things all around us that we can not see without artificial assistance. It is not too much of a stretch to see the parallel with the microscopic ecosystems all around us revealed through microscopes. And as you mention, the entities “from beyond” somewhat resemble various species of plankton.

    I don’t know much about HPL beyond his stories, but given the narrator’s disturbance with the revelation of these ubiquitous yet invisible beings, it stands to reason that “From Beyond” was based on a possible germophobia he developed after seeing samples of microscopic life.

    1. Hey Jack – excellent point regarding HPL, From Beyond and the use of microscopes. I reviewed his stories and found only 2 fleeting references to microscopes and in Joshi’s biography on HPL (I Am Providence) I found no reference to microscopes. I also reviewed Collected Essays: Volume 3: Science and found no reference to Lovecraft using a microscope. Lovecraft attended high school in 1904-1908 and took a number of science classes, including botany. However, student microscopes were not readily available for public schools until the later part of the 20th century. More than likely, Lovecraft was captivated by the illustrations of microscopic organisms produced by Ernst Haeckel. These illustration could have easily stimulated Lovecraft’s imagination. Great observations! Thank you – Fred.

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