Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Memory of Ink

I have previously written about Jupiter's strange belongings. He keeps them all tidily tucked away in the big wooden trunk in his sleeping quarters most of the time. But tonight he endeavored to show me one of the curious items hidden within.
He calls it an Image Collector. It has the shape of an ordinary bottle and can be used by those who find it difficult to describe something in detail to obtain an impression of just about anything for their personal records.
The contraption was invented by one of his fellow countrymen, who was a teacher of Marine Life at the local school. Jupiter explained that the man had been fascinated by some tiny marine creatures of the Sepia family, that were extremely sensitive to light. Every time the tiny squid were exposed to even the tiniest hint of light they would be so disturbed that they would expel  a liquid ink, that was brownish in color but also curiously luminescent.
He experimented with the oil based ink, only to find that when dropped onto a paper surface and exposed to heat the ink would spread like tiny lichen onto the surface and create an image, strangely reminiscent of the environment that the squid were in, at the time of their exposure.
He proceeded to study this even further, and hence discovered the qualities of this amazing new substance...some how this oily ink had it's own memory, and given the right conditions it spread in a thin layer and revealed this memory.
All this was extremely fascinating to me!
But I was skeptical. That is, until Jupiter showed me one such image he himself had produced using the contraption.

Here it is for you Dear Reader.

The image he captured using the ink is a delicate paper representation of the Constellation of the Hare that is on display in the House of Stars on the island of St Catherine's.