Looking at these early 20th century nature drawings is kind of like (what I imagine) going on a bad acid trip (would be like). They start out all fun and colorful, and the world just seems amaaaaazing and full of beautiful creatures.

birs
E. Haeckel

sea
E. Haeckel

turtles
E. Haeckel

But then everything starts to get creepy …

fish
E. Haeckel

octopi
E. Haeckel

stuff
E. Haeckel

And oh, shit! Bugs! That plant is going to eat you! What’s the deal with that creepy round frog that looks like it came from Wonderland? It has a mustache, and it looks like a human head, with frog legs instead of a body and …

bugs
E. Haeckel

plant

frogs
E. Haeckel

lizards
E. Haeckel

Then you realize that all of these drawings came from a book by German zoologist Ernst Haeckel, who, while an accomplished illustrator, also had some pretty messed-up ideas about race and evolution that may or may not have influenced the Nazi Party. And you swear that you’ll never look at early 20th century nature drawings again.

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