Saturday, May 25, 2013

Is Sharon Stone an Ocean Nerd?

The internet is abuzz humming with news of a Russian estate agent who bought himself a £1.2 million trip into outer space alongside Leonardo DiCaprio at yesterday's amfAR Cinema Against AIDS gala. Overlooked is the more pertinent news that there may be a dedicated ocean-nerd in the midst of Hollywood's elite. This annual Cannes star-studded event was hosted by Sharon Stone, who arrived decked out in some heavily nature-inspired haute couture.

Actress Sharon Stone at the 2013 Cannes amfAR Cinema Against AIDS Gala

The most noticeable feature of her outfit was the bulky red sea star cuff clasping her wrist so lifelike, it almost seemed as though it were really clinging with hundreds of tiny tube feet. The rubies and diamonds encrusting the gold realistically mimicked the characteristic spiny texture of echinoderm skin. Echinoderm literally translates to "spiny skin" in Latin, and it is the taxonomic phylum in which sea stars, sea urchins, and sea cucumbers are classified.

Ruby and diamond sea star cuff by Swiss jewelry designer de GRISOGONO.

The typical spiny texture of sea star skin.

A golden serpent suspended with gold chains along the spine of her ivory Roberto Cavalli gown rivalled the sea star in both boldness and bad ass-ness. Okay, so it's not actually sea snake, since the tail is not laterally flattened, as it is in snakes whose bodies are adapted for a swimming lifestyle. But the serpent is a symbol that has long been associated with marine mythology, so I won't hold this detail against her.

Sharon Stone wearing an ivory floor-length Roberto Cavalli gown with golden serpent.

The morphological difference between the tails of a land and sea snake.

Arguably the most interesting and unusual piece incorporated in Stone's gala getup was her gold clutch, which uncannily resembles the dentition of a stingray dental plate. As both an elasmobranch and fashion enthusiast, this accessory really triggered my sartorial salivary glands. Take a look at the similarity yourself...

 This is a stingray dental plate, embedded in which are rows of hexagonal teeth:
A typical stingray dental plate, lined with rows of hexagonal teeth.

And this is the gold clutch Sharon Stone wore to the amfAR Gala:
The gold clutch worn by Sharon Stone to the 2013 amfAR gala, resembling a stingray dental plate.

Is it a coincidence that Stone's clutch looked like the inside of a sting ray's mouth? Who knows. But I choose to think not. Did she assemble this statement of an outfit herself, or did a biophilic stylist? Who cares*. I adore it either way.

For those interested, Sharon Stones other accessories included:

TUBETTO ring by de GRISOGONO

JANE ring by de GRISOGONO

ANNELI earrings by de GRISOGONO

*Wait, I care. I want to know all the ocean-themed fashion accessories that exist. Someone tell me who styled this killer outfit! And also, where is that clutch from?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Manta Ray vs Stingray: What's The Difference?

It has come to my attention that many people aren't sure what the difference is between a manta ray and a stingray, and often misuse the two terms. Let me clarify.

In short, a manta ray is a type of stingray. A manta ray is to a stingray like a boa is to a snake.

I've noticed some people will slap term "manta ray" onto any old stingray, which is incorrect, as a manta ray is a specific genus within the ray group.

This is what a manta ray looks like:

The manta ray has distinct white markings and cephalic fins on either side of the head. And it's huge.
This is what a southern stingray looks like:

A southern stingray is NOT a manta ray.
This is what a cownose ray looks like:

A cownose ray is NOT a manta ray.
The manta ray genus is within the eagle ray family. This is what a spotted eagle ray looks like:

A spotted eagle ray is NOT a manta ray.
Once again, the manta ray:

A manta ray IS a manta ray.
Hope this clears some things up! Now please don't ever call a stingray a manta ray again.