Dressing for Halloween…A Scientific Solution

By Shinelle Black


Time is the enemy of all men.  That statement is in no way relevant to the content of this article, yet it accurately depicts how I feel the initial days following October 31st, every year.

Halloween, a day more prized, exalted, celebrated, acknowledged, and recognized than my own birthday, (or Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, the fourth of July…hopefully you get the gist), is one of the primitive reasons for my existence. The day is one not to missed, and is probably the gem of the year. Now before you counter my claim with a rebuttive quarrel, please let me make my case.

As a young child growing up in the United States I was often told that I could be anything I dreamed…a blatant lie if I”ve ever heard one. But  whoever said that a lie can’t be adjusted enough to become an acceptable truth?  Hence my interpretation of Halloween, a day where you can indeed be anything your heart desires.

Yes, on Halloween you can be anything from a bottle to a fictional dragon that breathes cookies, and you know why? No one’s judgement matters, because despite looking absolutely ridiculous on Halloween, there is always the relentless, titanium steel-defense of creativity and authenticity. The day has literally been invented for dreamers of the most obnoxious yet compelling concoctions.

So my dear friends, your parents were not liars. They just expressed the fact that you can only truly embody your dreams on Halloween. As an added bonus to this somewhat eye-opening perspective, I will throw in some motivation for those who always find themselves last-minute passengers aboard the Halloween express.
On October 7, 2016, the BBC News released an article written by Helen Briggs about the recent discovery of two new species of ichthyosaurs. For fans of Jurassic Park and all things related to the Mesozoic era the term “ichthyosaurs”  is probably more than familiar. If you have never encountered this term before, then ichthyosaurs were giant reptile-like creatures that researchers believe lived around the same time period as the dinosaurs.

In the 1800s the fossils that confirmed the existence of these creatures now–nicknamed “sea dragons”–were unearthed in Somerset, located in the United Kingdom. Fortunately, these fossils have survived intact to date, where they can be analyzed using both forensic and various biochemical sciences.

One of the two most infamous ichthyosaur fossil collections can be found at Bristol University in England, while the other set of bones unearthed by Thomas Hawkins during the Victorian age can be found in Philadelphia. Through the recent cooperative efforts of palaeontologists Dean Lomax of Manchester University and Judy Massare of Brockport College in New York, two new species of ichthyosaurs have been identified using the two sets of bones previously mentioned.

According to Dean Lamox this discovery proves that: “Around 200 million years ago the ichthyosaur, and specifically this particular type, was a lot more diverse than previously thought.”  The particular type being referred to by the quote is the ichthyosaur larkin specimen. The analysis and investigations of both Lomax and Massare lead to the conclusion that the ichthyosaur had a body resembling that of a dolphin that could grow over fifteen meters.
Utilizing the information gathered by paleontologists has never been easier. Rather than letting the knowledge you just acquired occupy space in a crevice of mind never to be deemed valuable until finally forgotten, use this information to inspire a unique Halloween costume. One that allows you to encompass an aspect of your imagination that you can only dream of becoming because, God knows, those dreams are 100% unrealistic.

Or for some of us–although I’m likely only talking about myself and one other random person who may never read this article–this information can be used to justify an already extravagant, socially-awkward costume, by us simply stating that: “I am a scholar, and my costume is inspired by science.” Let’s just hope no one guesses the truth.  Then again…there’s always that creativity and authenticity argument.

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