Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tasmania 2

The weird, wild and wonderful. Tasmania is where it's at.
Wallaby in the wild. Unfortunately, most we saw were roadkill.
wombat snuggle!
Tasmanian Devil
The Tasmanian Devil is the largest meat-eating marsupial. That is only by default, because the former largest meat-eating marsupial, the Tasmanian Tiger, or Thylacine, is believed extinct. The last thylacine died in captivity in 1936.

In the 19th century, the government put a bounty on the thylacine as they were known to have been killing livestock.
Since the 1930s, there have been numerous unconfirmed sightings of the Tasmanian Tiger both in Tasmania and on the mainland. The island is filled with vast forests and I was on the lookout, on a tiger hunt determined to prove the tiger still exists - like how they rediscovered the "extinct" black-footed ferret back in the 80s. I've always been a sucker for a lost cause.

In the 21st century, Tasmanians are determined to save their indigenous fauna - and the endangered Tasmanian Devil is being helped by humans who have halted the spread of a horrible contagious cancer that deforms their faces - as well as posting public awareness campaigns around the state to the effect of, "Don't Let Our Devils Become Angels."

Lizard vs Echidna 
Seahorse World. Bred and sold to pet stores around the world. 
 Did you know seahorses are actually fish? And that it's the males who gestate and give birth?
The only thing stranger than that is the... sea dragon (below).
Jar Jar Binks lives! 
A cuttlefish or the Millenium Falcon? 
Clearly Science-Fiction begins underwater.

Above ground, I used Grindr to track some hometown gay bars - hitting up the Lazy Butterfly in Launceston. Here, a drag queen with an unfortunate foot cast (try stuffing THAT into a pump!) named Wisteria Lane got willing patrons to bend over as she mercilessly applied wax strips and yanked.

And then another queen, Lady Midnight, ascended the stage.
"I am Titanium!"
Last I heard, Wisteria Lane was telling the crowd the security guards were willing to get their asses waxed on stage, "for the right price".

I also used Grindr (see folks, it IS multi-purpose!) to track down a really fun club, Flamingos, in Hobart. Quaint, sleepy Hobart...
...is also home to one of the most progressive and out-there museums I've ever visited, MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). It was begun by gambling savant David Walsh and the building itself, drilled into and incorporating the rock wall of a peninsula, is jawdropping. But once inside....

Doggie Style
this fat porsche, a comment on excess consumption, looks way better in person.
remains of a suicide bomber, in chocolate
There was also a suicide couch, where you could choose to inject yourself and then wait as the poison quickly ascended to your brain, slowed your heart and killed you. FUN! I could have spent two days in that museum. It is now Tasmania's number one tourist destination. If you don't count the incredible natural surroundings....
Strahan, on the west coast.

Simon and I went trail running on the Tasman Peninsula, and came upon this view. Can you see Antarctica?

1 comment:

Tony said...

Hey Jesse -
Loved the wonderful posts from Tasmania. The photos of the Tasman Peninsula are spectacular, as are all the pics of the Island. What a beautiful place! Makes me want to get on the plane and head down there immediately.
And the wildlife photos are fascinating - including the wildlife on display at the Lazy Butterfly. Not sure what to make of that museum. Thanks for the cool travelogue.